The means to achieve the goals
Since the subject of football is unproductive and already exhaustively dealt with, the goals are banal and clumsy, the hurdles gigantic, the demands absurd and the argumentation mostly intuitive, absolutely convincing, logical, comprehensible and valid proof techniques must be produced in order to achieve audibility for what is being said.
1) Coherent argumentation
Now you can start to work on how to overcome the hurdles. As soon as one understands, mentally accepts, that these are not everyday discussed proposals, but take place on a completely different level, a certain curiosity can be assumed on the one hand, but on the other hand an even greater resistance can be feared, as the conviction that these must be utopian ideas solidifies. People are happy to take note of the views briefly, but mainly only to reject them afterwards with even greater vehemence into the realm of fable amid laughter. In this respect, a coherent argumentation is a basic prerequisite. However, since intuitive or psychological arguments cannot be omitted in many places – which, according to (the reader’s) conviction, have no scientific basis whatsoever, and above all no legal standing – even greater attention is paid to the actual…
2) techniques of proof
will have to be put in place.
The further perplexing realisation is that these evidence techniques exist. Due to the fact that resistance among readers and especially experts is still far from abating, the walls are far from being shaken to their foundations, and the hurdles require tremendous leaping power and cat agility, the last hurdle standing in the way must be overcome: “I just don’t read any further. So you know, like this, ew!”
The three options one has (by reading on nonetheless) after hearing and studying the evidence techniques are, quite brazenly and presumptuously put, either to apply the techniques or to remain silent. Oh, you were talking about three possibilities? Yes, here is the third: To go along, to listen, to comprehend, to believe, to accept, to concede, to understand, to internalise. That is supposed to be one?
a. The technique of objective re-evaluation of game situations
The first proposed technique of proof, which could be applied in all possible places, requires the construction of a small experiment, which can be realised with some technical effort. A small vote should still be taken – before it is carried out – on what is allowed and who is to decide on it, but first listen:
Foul scenes or handball scenes from earlier, not exactly current, let’s say, Bundesliga games are edited together. Not current only so that the scenes are not immediately recognisable. The selection is made as follows: There is a selection of punished scenes, where the critical question is whether it should have been punished or not. Furthermore, there are unpunished scenes where the critical question is whether the situation is deemed worthy of punishment.
It can very well be asked in general whether at all, and if so, who actually committed the infringement, since in today’s football it is the case in almost every duel that both players go to the limits of what is permissible – or even beyond.
Accordingly, the ubiquitous question to ask when this scene is played would be: “What is the correct decision in this scene. Play on, free kick in this direction or free kick in the other direction? Should either player receive an additional yellow or red?”
The small complication that is built in – but it is certainly not a trap – for those questioned later is this: The scenes are rehashed in complete isolation. All lines on the field, the position of the goals, and ideally also the teammates are touched away. You only see the action to be judged with the few players really involved. Objectively, this complication should basically be a relief. One has the full focus on the scene.
The claims about the results of such an experiment are already pre-formulated: One would get the first result immediately after setting up the experiment in a certain disillusionment: No one can be found to take part in the experiment, no one willing to judge these scenes, especially no referees. The mere formulation of this technique would already create enough deterrence and reveal the assertion: In the game, any foul situation is judged to a high degree by the position on the field where it occurs.
If a scene is recognised as a foul – this is one of the most banal theories – and it took place in the penalty area, the decision that was actually made in the game compared to the post-match assessment will usually be a “he did not give a penalty in the game, but there should have been one”. Different rules apply inside the penalty area than outside. This is the practice, although not formulated in the rules.
The second assertion is that if one or more test candidates were to actually get involved – preferably, of course, trained top referees — the statistics would very soon reveal that the decisions made in play are overwhelmingly to the disadvantage of the attackers compared with the post-match assessment.
b. The statistics of offside decisions
This is a very straightforward evidential technique which in itself could be carried out immediately. However, it would be inadmissible if a single person – the author in particular must exclude himself here – were to keep the records. There would simply have to be a brief review of all offside situations after each complete match day: Was the whistle blown correctly, was the ball allowed to run, or vice versa. The selection of the scene itself is – as one realises after a moment’s reflection – somewhat questionable. A situation in which a ball is played forward and the attacker is clearly not offside does not really belong in the statistics. The assistant could, however, demand the recording, along the lines of: “You see, I made the right decision here.” “Yes, I did, but there wasn’t even a chance to decide wrongly.”
Critical decisions are precisely those where a slow-motion shot is played, where one seriously asked oneself: “Was that offside or wasn’t it?” There are enough, that much is clear. As I said, taking in at what point the decision was critical is a wee bit intuitive.
Nevertheless, the claim stands rock-solid: the statistics of the errors – mind you, all correct decisions are taken out – would also show a clear swing to the disadvantage of the attackers here.
In fact, the wording “in case of doubt for the attacker” is even anchored in the rules for offside decisions, so the statistics should basically be in favour of the attackers.
c. The statistics of critical penalty situations
The same applies here as with offside: the scenes to be recorded are not clearly defined. One could even see a slightly increased problem here due to the swallow classification. For a swallow is – this is the difference to offside – the attempt to deceive. Of course, every scene in which a swallow was recognised would be a correct decision, provided that the assessment is confirmed in retrospect. On the other hand, there are the very clear swallows that would be executed solely because of the intention to deceive. About these one could say “here it was not even critical, so it does not count towards the statistics of correct decisions”.
However, since this would be to the disadvantage of the claim, a co-admission is generously granted here. The reason above all: The risk of a yellow card is included by the strikers and to that extent swallows are only attempted if there is some hope of their success. Incidentally, there is another theory behind this: quite a few scenes judged as swallows would have to be classified as faulty in retrospect. Here, too, it is sometimes difficult to reach agreement.
Nevertheless, the assertion stands similarly unshakable: this statistic would also be quite clearly in the attackers’ disadvantage.
d. The foreign comparison in reporting
This evidence technique (obviously) relates to reporting and its reported deficiency in Germany. The thesis stands in its entirety that in Germany almost nothing coherent is ever said, but at the same time this is done in a tone of voice that spreads boredom and invites, if not forces, one to switch off.
Anyone who has any doubts about this is urged to watch a live English game first. Although it is far better in other countries than here, this one foreign example is actually sufficient, especially since in England practically everything is done at a very high level, including the after-viewing; and furthermore the English language should have the highest prevalence here.
It would even be conducive to this call in the first instance if one were to deal only with the tone of voice at first, without understanding. The pregnant with meaning, tense in the voices already generates such goodwill and with it the unconditional need to want to stay on it, that one can hardly close oneself off to the argument. Every single person is encouraged to just try it, to tune in, to listen, even if at first only in the way of speaking. You can feel the tension and that does you good.
If, in the second instance, competence – which comes across as anything but smart-alecky – is also taken into account, then one should really only flap one’s ears in this country if one has been given the absurd title of “sports reporter”.
Here, too, the rule is: Do it first before doubts are raised. In the case of ignorance of the language, we would be happy to take on the task of translating in individual cases.
e. Refuting the reporters’ “judging-by-results” technique
The view is expressed that actually all match scenes in this country are judged only and exclusively on the basis of the outcome. On the one hand, this refers to the score or the current intermediate standings, which seem to read off the justification of the score from every action of the leaders, and on the other hand, the outcome of the individual game scene. A shot that shows excellent technique and scoring power but doesn’t hit the target is always commented on as “lacking effectiveness”, “poor finishing” and “nothing comes of it in the end”, if not accompanied by “he must have aimed too accurately” or “he lacks the final precision”.
In order to make this provable, one of the commentators would have to be kept away from the action for the duration of a match, so that he would be asked to comment on it afterwards, unaware of the result. A small catch for him would be: similar to the goal stop, every time a shot is fired towards the goal, the transmission is interrupted shortly before the possible impact. The game is then continued with a delay of about 30 seconds, so that the announcer has no way of knowing whether there might have been a goal, kick or corner kick afterwards. So he sees almost the whole game, except for the goals and the few seconds following a goal scene.
Well, obviously no commentator would ever get involved in that. Especially not because he would have to assume that the commentary would be heard by people who would know the result, so he would not be able to get anything but laughter anyway. Nevertheless interesting as a consideration.
So such an experiment is called a “thought experiment”. However, if it is seriously thought through, one would actually have to start asking oneself whether the “catastrophic positional errors” or the “collective deep sleep in the defence” were not perhaps only persuaded because of the known outcome of the action – and subsequently intend to present this to the listener as a special expertise. In truth, no one was asleep and no one was standing wrong, at least not noticeably more than in other situations. It is much more than possible that in ten comparable moments there were major “mistakes”, but that the effect was absent, so that at the end there is even the verdict that “the defence made a very stable impression today”, because of course no goal was scored in this game.
Any speaker would be welcome to get involved. One suggestion, by the way, would be for him to try to comment on an action objectively or as usual, just for himself, without an audience, when he doesn’t know the outcome. He would very quickly realise himself that he actually has no judgement at all about the “mistakes”. Football is far too good and fast today. The thing about mistakes is pure invention, and especially the view that only through them can goals be scored. If at all, a mistake here or there can be worked out in a longer analysis of the overall situation (as is done abroad, by the way). In many cases, however, this would not have anything to do directly with a goal conceded.
In short: The commentator would be deprived of the solid ground under his feet and would feel a tremendous helplessness. There would either be a complete lack of judgement – which would very much have something to do with competence – or he would lack the courage, whenever he sees a “mistake”, to address it. “Mistake? What mistake is there supposed to have been? Nothing happened.” True judgement would be to refrain from the consequences.
In summary, all the techniques presented may be taken as thought experiments. Above all, they are intended to encourage people to think about them a little more deeply. Perhaps this will have the effect that the positive aspects will once again be brought to the fore in this country. To create, show and awaken excitement in -, the enthusiasm for -, the beauty of – the game of football.