Industry versus Game - İSMAIL KILIÇARSLAN

Industry versus Game

I am thinking about 50s. There were "Busby babies", or Manchester United, which was storming in England football league. The team was nicknamed as "Busby babies" because during those years the team"s trainer Matt Busby"s most outstanding character was that he was discovering young football players and polishing them.

The date is February 6, 1958. After the game with Red star, the plane carrying the Manchester United team departed from Yugoslavia and landed at Munich airport. As it was taking off, it underwent an accident. In this accident, 8 of the 23 football players lost their life. Among the casualties, there was Duncan Edwards who lost his life after spending 15 days in the intensive care unit.

A movie was made on this gloomy incident in 2011. The movie is called "United". In my opinion, the most interesting scene in the movie is the marriage remark of Edward"s girlfriend. Edward was one of the most irreplaceable national football players of the English National Team. She said, "We cannot get married, honey. Unless the 15 sterling salary of the footballer is raised, I and Duncan cannot make it".

I am not going into details with this. Let me leave this behind.

People keep asking me if I like football. I tell them invariably "I like the game not the industry" because football is an industry and the game is its enemy.

The most evil thing the industry did to the game is that it left football without a story. What does that mean? Let me elaborate.

We do not have "footballers" today anymore. There are gladiators who fight in "arenas" in the name of companies. Managers of those gladiators have life coaches, style consultants, image-makers. As being the backbone of the industry, there are billions of dollars used for the gamble economy. There are broadcaster companies that determine the airtime of football matches. However, there is no "story" that makes us believe that the played game is football because the "footballer" is not a necessity for the industry.

For example, the industry does not want a right wing player whose leg is 6 cm shorter than the other. It does not want a southern American who would get Naples under his thumbs and claim "I want to make this team champion". It does not want a "Belfast lad" who is quasi intoxicated because he barely was gotten up in the early morning to play in the game but it turned out that with his scores and successful passes, he was declared the game"s hero. It does not want an Eric Cantona who one said "I don"t play against the opponent but the feeling of defeat", let alone players like Garrincha, Maradona, Best.

"Real football player" cannot be raised in a capitalistically rendered medium where it was filled with this notion up to the brim. Because of that, it does not yield to a "story". Thus, today we are simply talking about a football medium where "Standard behaving stars" such as Ronaldo, Messi, Bale who are polished and other "problems" such as Balotelli or Ibrahimoviç who are refined with certain pressures. There is no team which would take any risk at any level because they are not "teams" but "companies" run by mafia or big holdings.

With all my respect to everyone, this is not football. What companies put forward to us is "a super stylish" lie but at the same time an "extreme commonplace" thing.

The biggest victims of the industrial football are no doubt football fans because they do not want the industry. The industry wants customers and not fans. Companies want customers who would renew their combined tickets every year and purchase stupid football player uniforms, other official products. They are asked to take their place in the arena and must become a piece that would help the "show must go on" principle work. This is what is expected from fans. Ah sorry I was almost to forget… fans must still warm up the "clash points" in industry by "hating the other".

We all are watching the world cup nowadays, aren"t we? For my own part, I find the games to be quite dull. It looks like everything is fine… scores, football technique, speed, struggle etc. However, the basic instinct that makes us have a crush on the football is declining, even so disappearing.

We are encountering with the fact that the rich high society fills the stadium with its sponsored tickets and the "standard machines" make millions of dollars. Is it possible that these two instill "passion" to football lovers?

We know where this passion comes from, right? Such passion stems from the goal that Maradona scored by his hand or the goalkeeper Higuita saving the goal with his scorpion kick or 40 year old Roger Milla defeating the whole English defense or Zidane"s headbutting on the unpleasant man called Materazzi. This passion was visible in times when we illegally sneaked into the stadium or the striped football player uniforms our mothers used to stitch. It was visible from the muddy pitches with mustached men with their little extra on their belly who struggled on it blindfolded and from football players who injure themselves by kicking the player"s bench in anger after losing the match. I am wondering if I am the only one who misses all such things…

Remember what Gheorghe Hagi said "Come on buddy, does the spring come only with Kosta Rikaya, huh?"


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