If you put forward politically – even if “only” sporting – explosive theses, you soon find yourself obliged to be able to back up your statements with clear, comprehensible evidence. Whereby the term “proof”, borrowed from mathematics, is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration. What would be “provable” about one?
It would be possible to conduct surveys, but would they necessarily be representative? There must be something more, another possibility. One suggestion would be to conduct an experiment for each of the core statements. Even if at this point it would probably have to remain mainly one of the thoughts.
The two explosive theses are as follows, at the same time those closely interwoven with the overall concern here:
1) Commentators conduct “match analysis” almost exclusively on the basis of an intermediate or final result.
2) The referees can only judge critical match scenes on the basis of where they take place.
Re 1) There are at least two differentiations to be made in this statement itself: is it a live report or an after-action report?
In the case of a live report, it should be noted that at the moment of the “match analysis” only the interim result is known. In this respect, the speaker would always be on thin ice: the team just criticised scores two sudden goals and turns a game. Where to put the criticisms now? Has he made a mistake?
In a post-commentary, however, he is in the clear: he already knows the final result and can adapt any commentary spoken afterwards to this result. This may be an advantage for him, but the much more important question would be: to what extent does the viewer/listener like this?
In both cases, the criticism expressed here remains that one way of getting expertise is to pretend to have it by always putting one’s flag to the wind. You sell every winner as deserved because you simply say that it’s the goals that count or that you can’t buy anything for good scenes, that the effectiveness was lacking or that the lack of chances coupled with a few defensive blunders were responsible. The words “luck” or “bad luck” are avoided at all costs. True as they might be, they would reveal oneself as a layman, so the fear goes. A true expert, it seems, always has an explanation.
In a live report, the reporter might look stupid here and there – for the aforementioned reason: a performance that has been torn apart throughout due to a 0:1 intermediate score is turned into a 2:1 at short notice — but he cares very little. The opponent has acted too stupidly, too passively, for a while now, and just at this (and that) goal committed a chain of beginner’s mistakes.
This, first of all, is a kind of recapitulation of the facts,
That this kind of reporting is neither entertaining nor remotely true seems a secondary problem. It can be explained. It just turned out that way. Basta. How nice it would otherwise be – as observed many times abroad — by integrating the terms again, could only be shown by the practice (hopefully triggered by the texts here, longed for) in a probably rather distant future.
In the first proof technique presented here, one would play a game for commentary to one of the three-quarter gods, which has already ended — without its knowledge of the outcome — and in which everything can be seen except the goals. Anyone who would engage in this would very soon realise that the stringing together of arbitrary phrases only becomes possible because of the knowledge of the outcome of the individual scene or the entire game. If this knowledge is lost, there is no solid ground under one’s feet, one would be left on one’s own with one’s complete (lack of) wisdom and would suddenly have to bring out a long-forgotten understanding of football in order to be able to say anything at all. This action was good, this one was not so good. This team deserved to win, even without knowing the final result.
The only thing is: no one would go for it, there is no question about that. It’s just that anyone commenting on a match should kindly consider for once whether they don’t actually try to read off the quality of an action exclusively from its result?
Another kind of proof technique is actually much simpler and also more convincing. Everyone can carry out the experiment for themselves, and curiously enough, it works even without (sufficient) knowledge of the English language: watch/listen to a game with English commentary. One immediately notices, just from the tone of voice, that these speakers are willing to convey a perceived tension. The speakers are expectant about the individual scenes of the game, but also about the outcome of the game as a whole, they have no intention of trying to be prophets or anticipating anything for the listener. This is conveyed, this creates a perceived, pleasant atmosphere, even if you as a spectator are not a fan of either team. It’s football – it’s fun – you have to watch it.
If there are difficulties in understanding, one might like to get a translator to clarify the pure content. In any case, the quality of the commentary would be similar to that of a maths comparison between a university professor and a primary school pupil. If there is indignation and doubt about this, the test should be carried out first and only then should the whip be brought out.