Llandudno in the cold and rain

1 12 2007

Llandudno Town 6 Lex XI 0
Cymru Alliance

When I deign to watch Llandudno it’s seldom comfortable; the sun’s too low, it’s raining, it’s windy, it’s hailing moon rocks etc etc. Today was just windy and wet and I arrived at half time. I hadn’t missed anything, it was 0-0. The numerous second half goals didn’t improve the viewing comfort unfortunately. What intrigued me most about today’s match was the demeanour of the Lex players. Footballers are supposed to be the pampered playboys of sport but I thought this only applied to the prima ballerinas on our TVs.

However my friends, this personality type is seeping into the lower reaches of organised football. The bottom lip comes out. The ref is spoken to with insolence. When players begin to lose “can’t be arsed” expressions are paraded. I had thought football at this level was all about effort, shouting, knees being dirtied and putting tackles in. I was dismayed to find out that acting like 11 year olds is a part of North Walian football.

Of course I may have judged them too harshly. Maybe they’re philosophers. In other words people who have realised the utter futility inherent in the fabric of football. Football, of course, is a situation whose essential characteristics are 22 people transfixed by a bag or air and try to propel it between some sticks for 90 minutes.

When we live in an epoch scarred by so many social problems they must have realised that it is obscene to become apoplectic with rage at your full back because he hasn’t closed down his opponent, or suffer a vein-bursting rage at your skillful winger because he has embarked on another pointless dribble down a dead end. Then I realised; Hey!!! That’s not such a bad way to look at things. We should look at all things from a philosophical viewpoint, even football.

Look at football from this direction and it’s easy to see why people become disinclined to care about something as banal as kicking a ball around a glorified lawn. If we do decide to look at football from a more intellectual position a problem arises; if players don’t appear to be trying, how are we meant to judge their performances? Wouldn’t we lose one of the cornerstones of modern football, i.e. the newspaper ratings? I mean how would we be able to know how many points our dream team team has earned from a particular cross? Won’t we have taken the enjoyment away from football?
Not neccessarily, not if we begin to judge footballers on a philosophical plain that is. We would still have a judgemental element except now it would be far more cerebral. There would be variation amongst our philosophers in shorts, for example how would they assess a given situation? There would be positive side-effects within wider society as analytical behaviour would be encouraged. First, how do you judge footballers, what are they thinking?
If they are Marxists, they probably realise that football is occupying the interests of the proletariat and that this interest is diverting them from their historic mission of leading humanity into a better society. Of course the alienating effects of Capitalism upon human society will praying on their minds constantly.

If they are existentialists, they might have realised that the situation of a football match immediately presents problems for the human condition. Even though football can lead to the realisation of a moral code in some cases like Camus. The creation of opposition is an inherent fact in football, you will not be inclined to discuss the finer aspects of existence if the full back has just scythed you down.

If they are postmodernists they may have come to the realisation that football is merely one more part of an outdated industrial society. They might believe that football is just some remnant of masculine identity formation in the outdated concept of gender formation.
We could take these outlooks to judge the more deserving winners, dependent on the governing variables. Of course all of these thoughts/realisations would inhibit performance in the traditional sense but in our new way of looking we would, in time, become able to use these thoughts as a tool to judge.
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