“Here the spectators rightly applauded”
“The coach rightly praised his team after the match”
Commenting on a substitution. after the substitute is named, comes the player’s analysis: “Yes, he didn’t have a good day today. That didn’t work and that didn’t work and in general.” Why only after the substitution? A true expert would perhaps recognise it, beforehand, and draw attention to it. On top of that: as a coach, you don’t even want to be told why you’re substituting someone. If he were to speculate that maybe for this or that reason. Well, it just doesn’t work, it’s brazen and inappropriate. Especially, afterwards. There, “embarrassing” also fits.
The disrespect is even worse when foreign matches are discussed without any German participation.
The assault on the spectators when a scene is sold to them as a clear foul or “correct”.
Quote: “It’s amazing how calm the audience remains here” or “how patient”.
Quote: “You already thought the chance was gone, but then still the goal.” Who, please, is “one”? Pretentious. I know what you were thinking, and it’s getting infinitely harder to get any sense into it other than “I’m the greatest, because I know the score.”
This form of reassurance for the television viewer, proclaimed or even permitted by the broadcasters, is also becoming increasingly popular. The speakers permanently presume things that they simply put in the room for the viewer, sell them as assured truths, but completely overlook, ignore or simply do not understand the intentions or contents of the actual expert reactions. It is the presumption of being coach, player, referee and manager at the same time, but worst of all in the sense of brazenly patronising the spectator, no matter what level of understanding he is actually at. In the role of those in charge, he wants us to believe that he can not only manage all their tasks with ease, but that he simply knows the “right” solutions in all cases, which the interviewees (or not even interviewees, thus the defenceless) have not yet come across.
Here is an example that has developed into a jargon that virtually every sports reporter has to use, which he “foists” on the audience. Listen to or read such a comment: “…the coach, who rightly praised one of his team-mates after the game.” Pretty, wonderful, he praised, he is quoted, a positive comment nonetheless. Only, please, ask yourself, what has this little word “rightly” got to do with it? The coach praised his player. Full stop. The reader or listener may now like to think about why he did that. He may also ask himself whether he also liked the player in the game. Perhaps his attention is only drawn to this competitor by this pleasing, remarkable judgement, the praise. A player who has perhaps not yet been in the limelight, but whose importance the coach would like to see emphasised here. The “rightly” is so outrageous that one actually lacks the words to explain it in more detail. But there it is or there it is said. God Almighty might be entitled to say something like that. And certainly no one else.
It is a judgement. This judgement, however, is no longer marked with the note that it is one’s own, personal view. As soon as this is omitted, it is a so-called judgement of God or, in other words, an incontrovertible judgement. Where does the claim to be omniscient come from? What listener can enjoy it in this way? The judgement is presented. If one should be outraged, one has this anger to oneself. Hardly an outlet. Who writes to the broadcaster? At what point is the question even raised as to what the viewer would like to hear?
If this unbelievable pain in the ass with the microphone — who at this point is simply denied any football sense, because of stupidity paired with audacity, because no one who actually has a hint of a clue can be so insubordinate — now wants to reveal here that he also liked this player, then please let him note it. He can show his expert status with profound knowledge and well-considered game and player analysis in so many places. Let him give marks, let him imperceptibly include the coach’s judgement, let him, if he does so in the interview, ask repeatedly, for his own and the viewer’s enlightenment, what he liked so much about the man, but please, please no more classifying the statement of a real expert. “The coach got that right. He was good.” Really bad, that’s all to it.
Imagine that this time the expert (in this example, the coach) may have been right in his judgement – as the demigod at the mike has just assured us – so there is consensus, but what would he have to expect if he had been wrong? This player, all right, he rightly praised him. But the other player, about whom he also made similar comments, or a week later, was he wrong to praise him? Who, just for the record, had the sole right to say that?
The same applies, of course, to the statement that, for example, during a substitution, “the spectators rightly applauded him”. But it is just a little more presumptuous. To deny the spectator the right to do so, or even worse, to deny the spectator the right to do so, is the pinnacle of a spectator who spontaneously expresses his feelings, who does not even reflect and who is not supposed to do so, but who reacts emotionally to a performance that he has enjoyed, to whom he wants to express his recognition, respect and esteem in his own way by giving the gladiator a (standing) ovation.
This encouragement is so indifferent, so repugnant, so disgusting to the person concerned that he would take it as an opportunity — if he had knowledge of the impertinence that has just been let loose — to spontaneously stop clapping and to exchange it for loud whistling — preferably directed at the commentator — just so that this person’s mouth would finally be shut. And one thing can be stated here with certainty, even if in an inadmissible use of jargon: He would rightly receive these whistles. And the spectator would accompany it with: “I clap when I want to. And I whistle when it suits me. Now I spontaneously felt like whistling. Shut up!”
Please think about it in the same way here: since the speaker had this time graciously given the audience, so hopelessly inferior in judgement to him, the right to clap: would he want to deny it elsewhere? This time they clapped rightly. Good lambs. Another time they clapped unjustly? How could such a thing be? The audience got it wrong. They applaud, they seem to have liked him, yet he was really weak? Who would now have to think about his “judgement”? Certainly not the person(s) applauding.
Very much appreciated for the intended enhancement of one’s own personality are always and constantly – and please, here we are talking again and again about observed tendencies that develop further and further and which obviously no one intends to put a stop to – changes of players. The commentator, who has just been informed of this by holding up the substitution plate at the edge of the pitch, immediately has the following assessment ready, which has of course long been vouched for, but not yet communicated: “Yes, the (substituted) player really didn’t perform very well today. No wonder the coach is taking him off.”
Yes, that’s how it’s done. If you weren’t smart enough before, maybe you will be. Just put something out there, regardless of its truthfulness. After all, you have circumstantial evidence. A player has been substituted. Maybe I’m lucky and he did it because this one wasn’t so good today? Well, and if not, it can’t hurt me either. After all, who would disagree?
Sure, the phenomenon has already been discussed, especially the improvement in foreign comparisons suggested: two reporters could eliminate this weakness quite quickly. Nevertheless, it is perceived as presumptuous when an announcer once again claims to have observed what he considers to be a “clear foul play”, but you as a viewer are anything but sure about it, perhaps think the opposite, but in the subsequent slow motion are simply handed the identical verdict: “Yes, here we see it. A clear foul.” “Yes, fiddlesticks, we don’t see anything, we don’t see a foul. Besides, for me there is no “we”. No, it’s presumptuous, unpleasant, patronising, embarrassing, actually unbearable.
Incidentally, the disrespect is usually even worse as soon as a foreign match without any German participation is reported (of course, such things hardly ever happen in Germany, because Germany has been the navel of the football world since ’54 and why ever think outside the box?) Here, you can trash everything to your heart’s content and be impudent. Misjudgements, malice without end, because those now affected are guaranteed not to defend themselves. Because a) a foreigner would never watch a German sports programme anyway, if only because of the soporific, brittle, condescending tone of voice and b) he would (rightly!) not want to learn the language in order to be able to understand the insolence at all.
At least it’s reassuring to know that the coverage of non-German leagues is being pushed further and further into the background, so those responsible for it have pretty much done a great job in that sense. This means that the forum of viewers, the recipients of these impertinences, have themselves pronounced judgement and refused sound and picture broadcasts, and as a consequence the people affected, the disfigured players, coaches, managers would have no reason at all to rebel against these misjudgements. Anyone who has had the dubious pleasure of watching a late-night Spanish league match on Sky (they are really looking for witnesses here! Is there really no one?), basically a real tongue twister, thanks for the unexpectedly early and deep sleep, but still says to himself: once and never again. What nonsense you get to hear compared to an already unbearable German game – well, if it were at least just nonsense — that really takes the biscuit.
How do you do it better?
Now, what is offered here is what it could or should look like in the “ideal world”. However, it is by no means a utopia, but rather things very easily realisable that should make a positive, objective, correct, humane and at the same time entertaining kind of reporting possible – and at the same time actually lure the viewer back in front of the screen in his multitude.
There will always be one of three match outcomes. 1, X or 2. Team 1 wins, team 2 wins or the game ends in a draw. There are only a few events that find entry in the final result. These are the goals. The number of shots, great chances, corner kicks, possession, crosses, brilliant saves, perhaps, or dangerous actions without a finish, hits on the crossbar or post, all these actions ensure that the spectator likes to watch the game of football at all (the differentiation fan of this or that team to the neutral spectator is uniformly so, that the fans are perhaps mainly interested in the result, but roughly speaking these neutralise each other and the neutral spectator should therefore be the main addressee and taster of what is on offer) and the more such actions, the better, the more exciting, the higher the entertainment value, but all these so beautiful and welcome actions are not valued.
From this alone one can see that a 1:0 victory could by no means always “perfectly” reflect the conditions here. It may well happen that it is nevertheless deserved, it may even be the case that in a larger number of cases the better team wins, but this will by no means always be the case. There are also clearer results, of course, which are then increasingly likely to reflect the circumstances, but it would still not always be the case. Nevertheless, the general rule is: there is a result and there are the ratios in the statistics, in the goal actions, which by no means have to be in harmony with each other.
In addition to these actions, which nowadays can even be recorded electronically in all major leagues and thus express the ratios better than the pure result would, there are also the referees’ decisions, which by no means, and certainly not in a single match, would balance each other out in terms of justice. Here, the influence of the players and coaches is much less than with the pure game shares. With many very close results in the highest divisions, it is immediately clear that it can (and often enough will) depend on a single whistle or non-whistle that this or that team comes out on top.
In addition, there is, of course, the true performance capacity of the teams as well as the expectations of spectators, supporters, media, players, coaches and other responsible parties. The “true performance capacity” is a difficult quantity to determine, especially since it is highly dynamic and subject to developments. Nevertheless, it is “objectively” based, so to speak. Here, the coaches can actually exert their influence on the extent to which the existing potential is called upon and can develop or unfold positively. A highly complex matter, but nevertheless at least mentioned here.
Now, in a single match and in its course, the question will first be how the playing conditions would be expected – be it called “objective” again here — and how these turned out in the match itself.