Writing conceits, as a rule, are just that—conceited.
For that reason, to this point in my writing life I have resisted creating too many "gimmick" pieces.
These formats are presented as novel or carefully crafted, but the truth is that they have all been done many times before.
Which makes this piece I am posting now pretty hypocritical.
Because I am going to throw down this all-time Manchester City XI Twitter-style, i.e., in 140 characters or less for each player.
Why? Well, for starters, the kids today don't much cotton to history. We're dealing with short attention spans, and almost all of these players retired before this audience was born.
BERT TRAUTMANN, KEEPER
15 seasons for City, over 500 appearances. Secured 1956 FA Cup triumph over Birmingham, playing the last 16 minutes with a broken neck.
MIKE DOYLE, DEFENDER
Over 550 appearances for City from 1962-1978; Doyle won the league, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup at MCFC.
TONY BOOK, DEFENDER
Joined MCFC at age 31 after years of non-league football, became decorated captain in City history winning four trophies between 1968-71.
VINCENT KOMPANY, DEFENDER
Apologies to Joe Hart, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, Kompany's the best player from the best City side in the past 45 years. So he's here.
TOMMY BOOTH, DEFENDER
Made 492 appearances in 13 seasons with MCFC, including the entire decade of the 1970's. Amassed 36 goals and five trophies as a Citizen.
COLIN BELL, MIDFIELDER
Like Doyle, won every major cup in his time. "Best player City have ever had" per mcfc.com. A stand is named after him at the Etihad. Wow.
ALAN OAKES, MIDFIELDER
Holds the record for most appearances in City blue; assuming 561 is accurate, that's nearly 15 seasons of 38 BPL games without a miss.
MIKE SUMMERBEE, MIDFIELDER
Another player fortunate enough to win the league, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup, he appeared nearly 450 times for MCFC.
PETER DOHERTY, FORWARD
Scored 82 goals for City in only 134 appearances. Might have scored many more but for World War II, which interrupted/ended his City career.
ERIC BROOK, FORWARD
City's all-time leading scorer, Brook scored 178 goals. You probably do not know this because Brook's City career ended in 1939.
FRANCIS LEE, FORWARD
Lee scored 112 goals in 248 league appearances for City, including 35 goals in 1971-1972. Remembered as part of "Bell, Lee, Summerbee."
So there it is, another sure-to-start-a-bar-fight all-time XI that you probably do not agree with.
On my way out, apologies to Grantland's Bryan Curtis, Bill Simmons and Andrew Sharp.
These "gimmick" pieces take longer to put together than one might think.