So Hertha had the ultimate (?!) relegation final game. The game on which they had built their hopes for a long time, a game that they simply HAD to win. In the capital, however, a feeling of despair had already spread. Victory was a must, that much was clear, but it didn’t seem like unconditional support, it wasn’t that the tickets, if you had any, were snatched out of your hand, that the Sky-equipped venues were flooded, it was rather that this victory had to be won first, and then the fan might want to identify with Hertha again.
It is possible, of course, that this pressure, coupled with the obvious lack of personnel, did not exactly have a liberating effect. But it is also possible that this opponent, who had not won 21 games in a row and who, even with a win of their own, had just had to dry their tears on the way home because the inevitable had happened, was taken a little lightly, that they did not really trust them to offer any resistance in this state, that they simply expected them to lay down their arms without a fight.
Thanks to Lautern for not doing this at all, but simply doing what their job is, but which is at the same time a passion and a matter of course, namely that they simply played football with the primary goal of putting the round ball in the square, without ever paying attention to result management or point chasing or promotion or relegation or any other so much quoted but so ridiculous “season goals”. There is the ball, we want it, when we have it, it goes to the best-placed teammate, from him to the next, and as soon as a shooting chance arises, we fire, conversely, in defence we try to prevent the opponent from scoring goals by practising the art of defence, as far as possible in a sporting and fair manner. That’s right, that’s how football is fun. What is the point of these permanent pressure situations, mostly built up from the outside, with which the players now only get the chance to either just about satisfy the fan or alternatively to disappoint him badly or even alienate him, if you believe the media?
In any case, Kaiserslautern simply played football as well as they could. Hertha had only one thought: how do we keep the class AFTER we have won this game? They were paralysed, they didn’t play freely, the duty couldn’t be fulfilled, not in this way, not with the fans already whistling vigorously early on at every failed action, who also saw Kaiserslautern as nothing more than windfalls, urged to do so by the media as well.
So Kaiserslautern played football and Hertha cramped. But what is this really about? Of course, about the reporting. Because at half-time we had to learn this:
“Lautern does everything right – Hertha does everything wrong.”
What is the point of this “analysis”? By the way, it was the only game in which there were any goals at all until the break, exactly 2, both for the away team. Well, when you say something like that as a speaker, it’s probably because you feel absolutely safe. After all, with a statement like that, it’s hard for anyone to object. Of course, it’s tantamount to reading out the result, because Hertha – Kaiserslautern 0:2 wouldn’t look any less deep than this comment.
Now, a reporter’s aim should be to illuminate, to provide the viewer with a better picture than a glance at the scoreboard. But we are moving further and further away from this. Every result speaks for itself, they think, because, as Emperor Franz has also been emphasising lately in his completely superfluous appearances on Sky, there is no luck in football and everyone who scores one goal more than the opponent deserves to win. So Beckenbauer can almost be seen as a trailblazer and, if one is to be completely honest, one’s own impression is that he is actually neither interested in football nor in what he says, because he is, after all, the emperor, and the emperor can even care less what he wears because it automatically becomes fashionable, even if he is naked. I’m sorry, Sky, to have to say this at this point: the emperor is a discontinued model … and was abolished in Germany almost 150 years ago. The same goes for Franzl… (“Franz Beckenbauer calls his dickl – “Kaiser” during the prelude, “Franzl” afterwards).
The problem is also not only that such an analysis does not need any further comment due to the Kaiser’s default (0:2 because they scored twice and they didn’t score once, that’s all there is to say. Deserved? Well, that’s why it’s deserved). The problem, which you don’t seem to realise, is that both observations described above no longer make sense at the same time.
So if Lautern did everything right, then what Hertha did becomes irrelevant. You’ve already worked out (you just mean it, of course) what the cause of that lead is. If Lautern do everything right, then they are more or less FC Bayern or Real Madrid. And surely they should be leading 2:0 – as Bayern recently did even more clearly? What does that have to do with Hertha?
If you assume that Lautern are doing everything right and add to that that Hertha are doing everything wrong, excuse me, Mr. Commentator, then you should really expect a result other than a 0:2, something like 0:5? It just doesn’t do any good, absolutely nothing, except that it makes a man feel smart without realising that he’s actually the stupidest.
This tendency is so shocking because the entire understanding of football seems to be reduced to pure knowledge of the result and anyone who knows this result (now and then knowledge of the table is added, which really can’t lie under any circumstances, just ask Kaiser Franz about this) is a true expert. All he has to do is add that it is “absolutely deserved” and he is sure of the laurels, or so he thinks. The viewer is thus deprived of just about everything – or is left alone with the results, which he could also read without stupid additions.
In the same way, the listing of blunders has recently become the standard commentary. It goes like this: a game is 1-0. It has been 1-0 for 20 minutes. The final whistle is approaching in the sense that you reach the 60th minute. Gradually, you approach the conclusion in the announcer’s booth. Now reasons are given for the score. These gradually pile up to the detriment of the trailing team. “There is too little forward play, there is no movement, there are no touchlines, there is no danger of scoring from standards, there is no creativity from midfield, the last pass is not received, there are too many mistakes in the build-up to the game, the defence is often unfocused and if there is a chance, then there is also a lack of finishing.
Now you could either record this sentence as it stands, if you want to, as a budding commentator, at the score of the game (it can also be 2:0) and then play it back during the game, or wait for it, because it will come to your ears in this or that form in the next such game – then you can confidently shake your head at the prophetic abilities of the author. It is pure nonsense and with each further listing he obliterates any approach of a true power of observation, of a true (possible) football mind, because each further point in fact reduces the competence and not, as he thinks, increases it. Nothing more comes of it. As Tucholsky once said about essayists, whose “language, as inflated as a balloon, is a prick in it with the needle of reason and nothing remains but a heap of bad grammar”. There is really nothing to add to that.