Read of the Day: The Thriller

Switzerland temporarily saved the World Cup by writing a narrative that captured an atomic particle of soccer: “the thrill-in-prospect.” Unlike American sports, soccer rewards the near-miss, the great run that doesn’t pay off, the favorite being denied time and again by a hot goalie. To string these particles together, to watch an underdog thwart and thwart and finally steal a result through heart is the kind of theater the Cup had been missing. “I’ll take players scrambling to overcome their own shortcomings or improvising on a dime in a heartbeat over a game of exact adjustments and no drama.” (Brian Phillips/The Run of Play)

(Image credit: Eustaquio Santimano/Flickr through a Creative Commons license.)

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