A utopia of modern football
Even Emperor Franz said, “Let’s lose football as it is.” How right is he!?
Well, the call sign would stand for confirmation. Exclamation of enthusiasm and approval: “And how right he is about that!” The question mark would stand for certain doubts. Does the statement imply a ban on thinking about whether there really is no potential at all to change something, at best advantageous? “The Emperor has spoken – so shut up too!”
No matter how outrageous and improper you can still do a few mind games? What happened if…? A utopia – sure. Maybe a little poetic, maybe a few lines retouched, with the soft focus, a little romantic or even kitsch? But maybe the picture is still pretty, a respectable one?
The paper, by regulation, proves to be patient. The thoughts are busy, now only one thing to the other – thoughts on paper. Maybe someone will get lost in the city that doesn’t exist, in Utopia? First disguised as a reader, later slipping into the role of like-minded people, exploring the unfamiliar, unknown, but somehow interesting terrain side by side?
In the place that doesn’t exist, the media initially take on the leading role. “Oh, tell me, they already do that anyway?” Well yes. It would be a question of how they interpret their role, let’s put it that way. In the real football world, at least in this country, they themselves polemicize with this sentence: “Yes, yes, the media are to blame for everything again…”
Well, sure, no, so what now. By polemicizing, do you want to abdicate responsibility? “I’m just doing my job” and “I’m sure I’m allowed to ask that?”
There are laws that have been made that everyone claims to know. These are the laws in the real world that the media themselves enforce.
Now, however, they would have the power to simply reformulate these laws and subsequently make the changed ones just as valid. “Power of the media” at the same time as “responsibility of the media”. There is no question of guilt.
In the utopia of modern football there is the first law: “The main thing is that the spectators are well entertained.” Even if one almost had to add: “The spectators have to finance everything, there is no way around it.”
The reactions to this basic requirement, which is so simple, to entertain the viewer well, could already be surprising, but above all different. Nevertheless, she should say one thing: “I haven’t even thought about that.” This should be kept secret, however, because you wouldn’t have thought about it, hadn’t even dealt with it yet, but on the other hand there must be a reason for it and this reason only that can be: “That’s not true.” Or at least as much as: “It can’t be a problem, otherwise I would know about it.” The intuitive contradiction will come inward. “I don’t know, that’s not true.”
Before thinking about it, the route is already clear: “I will argue against it, no matter what comes next.” This leads to controversial discussions without any prospect of being productive. Since you are in Utopia and it’s all just mind games, you can spin the dialogue further without major dangers.
“Yeah, uh, no, well I don’t know. The viewer entertainment? What do you mean? There’s a game on TV almost every day, often several, the stadiums are full, my neighbor has Sky, I sometimes watch it on Saturdays, it’s booming, they’re well entertained, otherwise they wouldn’t be … and anyway . .. where is the problem?”
Well, the answer at least suggests that the fictitious conversation partner hasn’t dealt with it yet, that it doesn’t matter, that football is here, the really big thing, that this prerequisite for entertainment isn’t even a question and it should be given . But repeated here: he hadn’t thought about it yet.
Thus, the further question arose: who would have ever thought about it? “This is football, entertainment isn’t a problem there, as big as it is.” Certainly, yes, somewhere a logical (inference) conclusion. But also a real one?
In any case, in Utopia this was the first law that was passed without ever having to put it on paper. “We make football so that the spectators like it.” The argument “they do that, otherwise they wouldn’t all be here” is declared invalid, null and void. a) here is utopia, b) an invalid inference, and c) they’re guaranteed to look if we make it our mission to make sure they enjoy doing it.
“Do you like watching football?” “Of course!” “Why?” “Because I’m entertained.” “No further questions!”
Something like a (pointless) dialogue in the city that doesn’t exist…
The skeptic is right there: “What’s different in Utopia? Have this dialogue today and down here, you’ll get much better answers, you’ll see!” Whether he sets about researching this himself or leaves it to someone else or has experience with it: he certainly feels safe.
It’s just very strange “down here,” as he puts it so beautifully. You drop the snippets of “modern football” somewhere – and get dismissed everywhere. Anyone who hasn’t tried it yet should take this as an opportunity. One thing is certain: he cannot expect storms of enthusiasm.
Skepticism, dismissal, shaking of heads, roughly the range of possibilities.
Alternatively, the experiment can be carried out slightly differently. For example, throw the name “Uwe Seeler” into the room. Eyes are already transfigured, everyone already has their story about “Uns Uwe” ready, melancholy sets in, you’ve already found a bunch of friends who would love to hug you, but even each other – just with the one name. “Yes, those were the days…” A fair player who knew where Tor stood, someone who always respected his opponents and they respected him, an idol, a role model for every child, someone who didn’t chose big coal but preferred his HSV and his Ilka in familiar Hamburg.
Somehow “the viewer” would have said what he would like to see — if that still existed?
If, just for fun, you send the word “modern football” afterwards – no matter how serious it might be – everyone falls back in their armchairs, just shakes their heads and waves them off: “Modern football? Ah, it’s all lies and deceit. Only commerce, acting, the fourth officials, players who change jersey colors a bit faster than the wife – which latter one they only change every two and a half years – and salaries and transfer fees in dimensions, since you don’t even have the decimal places anymore can count. Nothing, leave me alone, go home. Everything rotten.”
Well, as fictional as this scenario itself may be: it would by no means have happened in Utopia. The spectators and the players and the media representatives really love each other. “We can’t do without each other, so let’s stand together.” And the fictitious scenario described could be created almost effortlessly, in the invented way. Objection!?
The viewer who still watches a game today and in the real world is anyway just a supporter of his team that is playing there. He doesn’t care about justice or entertainment value, which he only gets from his team’s goals and victories. A nasty foul on his player? Aggression boils up, which is vented with whistles – but later maybe in a different way?! When his player fouls? “Serves him right. He did earlier and much worse…”
In Utopia one asks in the stands: “Who are you for?” “I watch football. I’m not for anyone.” “Oh, that’s not possible at all?” “I used to think so too – but I was taught here. Football is a beautiful game and there is a lot on offer. Above all this: fair and great promotions and many goals. It’s fun – believe me?!”
The first law was: the viewer must be well entertained. The second law reads something like this: all following laws are subordinate to the first law.
A brief look at the third law in Utopia: “In football, it’s not just the result that counts.”
Let’s take a look at reality. A coach is asked after the game: ‘Didn’t you care how you achieved the win?’ ‘Of course I didn’t care. I also know that it wasn’t a nice game and that the opponent was actually good.” “Then why didn’t you care?” “Well, because you said that we sometimes have to win a few dirty wins because my chair wobbled a lot, as you said before the game and because you promised me that in two weeks nobody would ask about it anyway. It’s best to stop asking now. We’ve got the threesome – that’s all that matters. And you specified it that way. Thank you and goodbye.”
This was still a fictional interview, but one from the real world that you’ve probably heard before in one way or another.
What would Utopia look like? Well, the dirty win would of course be frowned upon. Whoever stole him with dirty means, whoever injured two opponents in foul games that had to be exchanged afterwards, if an emergency brake had prevented a goal from being conceded, if the spectators had perhaps denigrated the opponent with a few abusive songs, then one would have expected nothing more as boos and well-conceived diatribes in the other direction. No, nobody wanted to see such victories – and from then on they would only be hanging around in the long since rancid history books, which people then open here and there to dance a long-forgotten “underground”, which was mainly about dancing as often as possible and quickly shake his head. “No, no, no, no, no, what ugly times they were.”