Is football your attitude? ELEVEN attitudes




A spot of prophesying

Globalisation is making us all the same, worldwide. There
are no more originals, only Hollywood clones, label wearers
and model people. To counterbalance this standardisation,
private lives are being documented like world history. Every
child’s birthday is recorded by at least three camcorders
and eight cameras. Being a nudist or a communist is no
longer in, so genealogy is growing in popularity again.
Where do we come from? Who are we descended from?
For don’t we all at some stage hope that we are the
snatched offspring of kings, and not the children of a
chemical factory foreman and an office assistant?
What is the story behind football though? Where does it
come from? How long has it been around for? We have
discovered that the ancient Mexicans, wearing heavy rings
about their hips, were the first to play a game called
pelota, a distant relative of football. The winners of that
game, however, were sacrificed to the gods – yes, the
winners. But before that? How could humanity survive
without football for hundreds of thousands of years, and yet
still develop culturally? Impossible really. The clearing of
forests by the Romans must have served the main purpose
of providing decent playing areas, and the conquering of
foreign continents can only have been with the aim of
finding new teams. Football is a holy game, a religion. If you
were to ask about new political tendencies, the answer
would have to be: football feudalism!
But how will it develop? The last World Cup surely showed
that the players are becoming ever more high-spirited and
achieving ever greater levels of fitness. However, I now
think that the only chance left for many teams is if they take
exactly the opposite approach and include a really fat guy
in the team. They would have to be so fat that you would
not have a cat in hell’s chance of attacking them, since their
enormous spare tyres would keep any opponent at a
distance of one metre. They would embody an unexpected
obstruction, taking tiny steps as they dribbled the ball
between their legs, with no-one able to stop them. The only
feasible way to get the ball off such a fatty would involve
taking a possibly life-threatening direct plunge. Fatties
would therefore not only be easily able to walk the ball into
the goal, but also wonderfully able to keep possession of
the ball and play for time. And so the originals, the
non-conformists, would still have a chance to continue
taking part in what is probably one of the world’s most
popular sports, second only to table tennis.


© by Franzobel

Translated by Julie Hall