When the music’s over

Reflections from the damaged world of World Cup party patriots

Fubball raises agonizing philosophical, theological, historical, anthropological, psychological, medial, economic, political, postmodern, and sometimes even sporting questions that must be reflected upon and constructed, but also mercilessly deconstructed or hopelessly exaggerated. This is surprising, because soccer seems to be a comforting reduction of complexity in an unclear world: a small population of participants, a time limit in the format of a movie, a manageable space and above all – a digitally uninterpretable world construction: 1 or 0. Beyond Ludwig Wittgenstein, it is necessary to talk about such things about which nothing and little can be said, because otherwise identity, community and reflexive ball theories are no longer possible?

The thinker’s fear of the sideways exit of the reflective space

The simple truths "the ball is round and a game lasts 90 minutes" are no longer enough to move this most abysmal of phenomena from the round leather to the square of theories, at least for a few weeks. Sepp Herberger, that mischievous strategist, who made it clear once and for all that even the small German burgers have unimagined scope for reflection and perfidious techniques at their disposal to assert themselves and their peers in the world outside, was only the philosophical kick-off of the game. After that, reflection beyond the turf became a game of theory without boundaries, faced not only by the philosophical quartet, led by Peter Sloterdijk, but by ball theorists of all stripes.

Only superficially, the ball is as round as it is unpredictable, the flying "thing in itself" is now pumped up with a lot of light air in order to fly straight from appearance to being. Theoretical efforts of the chief thinkers of all countries unite as obtrusively as the gang advertising, the advertising for this or that gang, which is greedy for attention and buyers. For at first secretly, then more and more blatantly, numerous head-firsters came out of the closet to transform bland ball physics into deep metaphysics on the somewhat different campus or to celebrate the aesthetics of the game as a higher cultural scoop.

The dribble-strong Fubballphanomenologe Dirk Schumer has in one of the few readable Fubballreflexionsbucher "God is round. The culture of football" shot a profound cross from Sepp Herberger to Martin Heidegger. The fundamental ontologist, in his other "existence" at times left runner at FC Mebkirch and Beckenbauer aficionado, "vests" deeply and passionately in the goal-sides of football. Existential philosophy alone is probably capable of interpreting the striker’s "forgetting the ball" before the penalty kick: What the fear is afraid of is the lonely being on the pitch. "Being and time" can be reinterpreted as football ontology, when the remaining minutes are not enough to equalize, existence misses the "distance" to the opponent’s goal and the final whistle makes the nothingness of defeat vanish in us.

"Is clear these words, is possible understand what I have said?"But whether Giovanni Trapattoni’s reflections of rage, Heidegger’s fundamental abstobe or the simpler thought patterns of the brew curve are consulted, philosophy has long since mutated again into the water carrier of theology, in order to interpret the "Miracle of Bern" and all the eagerly awaited subsequent miracles with dogmatic reliability. "The high and low holidays of football have taken the place of the calendar of feasts and saints in the church year" (Dirk Schumer), and thus countless analogies between church and soccer, paradise and World Cup victory, hourly fall and penalty stob, penalty and altar room, litanies and stadium choruses, up to mass walks and fan frocks, appear alongside all other liturgical rules, which are now given a new, doxologically retreaded meaning. Replaces the World Cup ticket baptism and Eucharistic celebration, because only the belief in the transformation of running strength and accuracy into real goals makes so blessed, as no one could become more blessed in his lifetime?

Whoever compares a thoroughly celebrated goal kick with the liturgy of the monstrance raised above the heads of the faithful, feels divine power on the pitch and within himself. "Only a few are chosen!"Where else but here does this saying become the anticipation of the unpredictable for us?. "Our ‘Hand of God’" is the subtitle of BILD’s photo of penalty killer Jens Lehmann. Or has football replaced theology with its very own methadone program for the unbelievably needy?? In any case, at the center of the ball believers is the pagan polytheism of the demigods, whose international cults have currently reached such an extent that every printable, but still free surface wants to appear to us as pure harshness in the face of the collective good news. With the coarsening of screen and monitor, players and coaches are projected ubergrob, in order to adapt their bodily coarseness to the ideational, i.e.: divine one. One of them, Otto Rehagel, who transformed himself into "Rehakles" close to Olympus, has the fundamental epistemology "The truth is on the field" shot in the face of the reasoning faithful.

From the hero myth to the global narrative industry

But this is not to be understood only in religious terms, because truth and its countless offshoots proliferate no less than on the liturgically arranged pitch in television studios, sports editorial offices, fan miles, and in general wherever two of you come together, so as not to leave the course of the game to chance or oblivion after the match. The narrative effort is tremendous to get endoscopically into the ball handling of all involved beyond the field. There is reflection, shop talk, rambling, slurring or even "poaching", rarely just reporting, where there is not much to report in the final analysis anyway. After the preliminary round, soccer is the digital sport par excellence, binary coded: victory or defeat. So it wants to appear to us as if this naked truth is to be suppressed straight in the mode of speculations which the German idealism could not conceive more wildly.

Perhaps what Kierkegaard knew about anticipation is true of the bold speculations before the game, that it is the true joy, which is too often deprived of the event itself. Before the match, all players are examined, projected, substituted and substituted, the real playing field is covered by the virtual shadows of past matches and future team lineups. The lines of force of victories that have become pale must be constantly redrawn like the chalk lines on the field anyway. The winning narrative industry of football makes us feel at home in the rough events of the history of football mankind.

Gerd Muller bombs today in TV and DVD permanent reprises not much less than before. We know the final match "Germany : Holland" 1974 at least as well as we know our own front yard, because not a few fans take more narcissistic pleasure in collective myths than in their own dreary life stories. Whereas in the past, men, buddies, guys gathered around the overfull ashtray of the shabby "Trinkhalle" of Schalke 04 or Schalke 05 (Carmen Thomas) pre- and post-virtualized games, today the professionalization of the chatter is a matter for the bosses. The most uncanny a priori of the football media modernity, which, by the way, Jurgen Habermas neglected in his communication theory, is the ability of our commentators not to laugh or cry unrestrainedly after each of their sentences, which in its meaning would amount to the same thing.

Mastering the intrusive platitude of saying what everyone sees, but saying it in such a way that not everyone sees it, is the poorly guarded secret of the football commentator, our big brother. "Goal, goal, goal" was previously the more convincing hymn of recognition. In the affirmation of the self-understanding the talents are as different as on the grass. Again and again, Gunter Netzer comes out of the depths of this thoroughly playful narrative space and, in a double-passing game with Gerhard Delling, wreaks havoc not only in the opponent’s penalty area, but also on our monitor: "I can’t listen to this crap anymore." (Rudi Voller).

But that alone is not the point, but rather the commercially motivated demonstration of power to still smoke in every national coach as the Lord Privy Seal of the nation. We, on the other hand, don’t really know what we’ve seen if we didn’t have the duo of Netzer/Delling struggling to be funny. Netzer is the best paradigm of the changing times in soccer. In the seventies still celebrated as the "spirit of utopia", i.e. as the world soul in the variant of Ernst Bloch, he turned into a busy rights marketer. The fact that players are also important projection surfaces beyond the pitch, the continuation of perimeter advertising with pratentious advertising figures, as it were, became apparent in the seventies, when footballers – according to the outer signs – reacted in a socially trend-conscious manner and, like Paul Breitner, brought along their Mao Bible for the cultivated rebelliousness for better training: Long hair, sports cars, even political chic, which was reflected with due seriousness in coach Klimaschewski’s declaration "My players are intellectuals, they have not yet come to terms with the death of Mao" (1976). If the football is to be revolutionary and individualistic, the head must also become so, which is to be proved if necessary with hair lengths, beard cuts or bald heads.

Now the paradigm shifts in reflective soccer, whether declarations for player souls, strong or weak gladiators become urgent, are as easy as Pele or Beckenbauer in the old days. Fubball as a model of reality" (Klaus Theweleit) is suitable for many constructions of reality, which one might need when one is less able to cope with or recover from more complex realities. We secretly know that football is a game of 22 contingencies, which are not available in Niklas Luhmann’s box of notes. Because these 22 contingencies, not to mention referee, linesman and weather contingencies, are supposed to conjure the total determinacy of victory out of the eerie fate of the unpredictable round of soccer. As unpredictable as fubball is and should be, life remains more angular. The systems theorist Luhmann also coined the term "interpenetration," which is not specific to soccer and which vividly and promisingly describes the mutual interpenetration of opposing counterattacks on the field, often separated by only seconds. Here we experience the eternal tension between chaos and order, the fierce struggle against the second thermodynamic law, which cannot unfold its horrors in 90 minutes and is perhaps finally refuted by Ballack or Zizou at the end of all time. In a word: good fubball rewards with a less good scooping.

Any game theory can only be considered as such, if it has explanations for the complexities between an open world and highly limited game worlds, which collapse after 90 minutes. This is how life is supposed to be: Dynamic, dramatic, direct? The climax of the game’s world transformation comes at that brief moment when the world ahead and the (un)reality of soccer become indistinguishable: "We are world champions."The practical lessons of football for the world beyond the stadium, however, seem small compared to the opposite influence: Klaus Theweleit reflects on thinking football stars like Zinedine Zidane and understands modern football in its birth from the spirit of the PC game, which is part of the life-world toolkit of young players. To train today means to understand virtually or telepathically with "Pacman" or "Fifa-Football", what will become real goals later on the field. Those who still play Tipp-Kick are lost for every digital game.

But even the soul in the new technical age of the game still carries with it numerous legacies that do not reduce Fubball to strategy and tactics, man or space coverage. The primary process, the stuff of dreams, has always ruled the cauldrons of witches: Imagination of the desired, hallucinatory wish fulfillment beyond compelling space-time parameters, emotional intensities in rapid alternating states, wild sexual and aggressive fantasies springing from childhood: "Klinski putz die Polski" (BILD), "Ronaldo schwanger" (BILD), "Ronaldo pregnant" (BILD)?" etc. Only excessive psychology dances its way through this defensive wall of transmission resistance, of love-hate relationships between coaches and players, of damaged love affairs between stars and fans, as when Spiegel-Online writes: "Psycho warrior Klinsmann pays off Hildegard Ballack"."Klinsi banishes the diva Ballack to the bench and Michael’s Wilde-Hilde-Knef quirks are already cured. Yes, that’s how we would like to see "psycho-warriors", who can simply kick or sit out their mental illnesses and ball neuroses, while others hope in vain for cures for post-traumatic stress disorders after shameful defeats.

Oh Lord, give me my daily goal today!

Practitioners may turn their noses up at so much soccer pataphysics. They prefer to talk positivistically about Achilles heel, bone injuries, stiffened ankles and even Sebastian Deisler’s depression, in order to ie sports medical warnings that can shake entire nations in their deepest self-understanding. Ronaldo has a psycho tic or slightly swelling life rings, then not only the bench of the sitters becomes restless. Nations waltz into nightmares bathed in sweat when the legs and feet of their national monuments temporarily petrify. Defeats also make us depressed and therefore apotropaic gestures between triple sign of the cross, magical thinking and wildly flooding probability calculations are bitterly necessary.

To learn from fate mongers, football prophets and voodoo priests in the night studio is at least to learn to win virtually. And about the Wembley goal we talk and talk and talk until we know in the jargon of actuality: We, only we – actually – have won, what is the official result to us, if the reality of referees without comprehensive video control is only construction after all? Der Spiegel" explained, although not entirely convincingly, why Germany will become world champion. If we are at least the world champions according to the superstitious, winkingly interpreted statistics, there are no other problems – at least for a ball-theoretical second or more before the defeat, all remaining problems of mankind are solved. What do I care about the shabby welfare state and the biggest tax increase ever, when the soccer nation outshines all my woes?? We replace governments that are weak in action with young strikers who are eager to make deals.

In addition to all the abundant reflections, a leathery warmth was also indispensable, which could not shy away from the most pressing ies. Samba and exhibitionism of nationally punched bodies on the streets are still the harmless pleasure variant. "Teammates are afraid of Beckham kisses," BILD startles us. Is it due to the fears of contact of the teammates, if England does not become world champion?? No, homosexuality is foreign to the game, players’ wives always are and Beckham is metrosexual. Beckham refutes his compatriot Oscar Wilde, who did not want to expose boys to soccer, but tough girls to it. Such basic knowledge of the game is not too heat-theoretical though. But before analyzing the games and their excitements, up to their alleged hermaphroditism (Peter Sloterdijk), the real question is: Why does the game of games, which is only supposed to be a game, excite us so violently in our own "banana flank" when the others are sweating??

"A football game is like a rough rock concert. Only there are real feelings to be discovered; only there, since politics is no longer able to arouse them, are strong passions and enthusiasm released; and only there can one, in Bataille’s sense of the word, find a way to be a part of a society that is not as coarse as Switzerland, not as networked as Luxembourg and not as well connected as Luxembourg "lose oneself" and perfect "Auber-self". To be the main actor in such arenas, overflowing with emotion and seething, is indescribable," explains Rudolf Maresch (master of platitude and resentment).

The socioemotive minimum is therefore not the holy family revived by Frank Schirrmacher, in which feelings, admittedly only nice and good ones, are to be acted out, but the community of the anyway rocking leather scene, which then opts either for King Kahn or Slip Knot. Strong passions on the rings may be desirable for societies, because they uplift people even beyond the – meanwhile scientifically studied – la-ola waves and draw energies away from more destructive lusts. Whether the political, especially in its fundamentalist forms, is emotionally exhausted and mass delusion does not remain a dangerous waiter of passions that are as crude as they are fatal, can be seen after the politically aggressive, terrorist and warlike opening events of the 21. The question of how to deal with the debt crisis of the twentieth century can hardly be answered unambiguously. But also beyond the rough politics, which we prefer to experience like Karl Kraus as small, it is to be asked for happy ball games, whether the dark siblings of correct passions, hysteria and panic, are not ready at any time to roll over to the dark side of the field and the overpopulated fan miles? Orgasms deprive the consciousness for a very short time. When it comes to collective orgasms, i.e., victory frenzy, it can sometimes take a long time. And now? Omne animal triste.

But real emotions? The platonic concept of the real and authentic is in danger of abuse in times of virtual-medial staging of realities and especially in the gladiator zones as inauthentic as the phantomatic body feeling of the spectators, who are allowed to mimetically nestle into the player-athletes for ninety minutes and exclusively push virtual (header) goals. "Kick it like Beckham."Footballers are our paradoxical "long-distance" people, to whom we concede better perception and mobility only as long as they succeed. Otherwise, we would have kicked better, faster and more efficiently with these bodies, which belong to the public anyway, since we have bought them and applauded them.

Peter Sloterdijk was very honest when he stated that he was most fascinated by the stand-up quality of the players. They fall down, hit hard, and right after that they are fit again. Sloterdijk, after all, as a specialist for loosely floating spheres and a self-confessed immobilist, knows that his body functions in such a completely different way, almost in a game-like epicurean sense. One swallow just doesn’t make a ball philosopher. While Friedrich Nietzsche in Sils Maria gave the mountain fex and was probably prevented from kicking the ball only because of his extreme short-sightedness, if one disregards his employment in the Monty Python team, there are also thinkers who play our easy game blob with the unbearable heaviness of their Teutonic being. If one follows Rudolf Maresch, Sloterdijk is the Stefan Effenberg of the stinky finger, vulgo: an "Effe", and positions himself as a spoilsport thus as perfectly correct as suitable for all those who at least want to distinguish themselves when the "boys" afterwards prove to be a team-unfit cucumber troop.

Surprisingly, even in volatile times of global mega-businesses with the ball, the fact that soccer is a game is still considered basic knowledge. Yet the doggedness of today’s fubball, with the possible exception of a few African teams, is the minimum standard of game Darwinism. Taking part is nothing, winning is everything. Who only wants to play, the football god punishes immediately. Already in the thirties of the last century, the classic of the philosophy of the game, Johan Huizinga, complained that the sport had "lost the best of its game content". Joachim Ringelnatz saw it no differently in his poem "Fubball (nebst Abart und Ausartung)": "I warn you, brother Jahns, against the use of fubball mania!"

If the leading difference "game/seriousness" is not reflected in the game itself, but seriousness dominates the game, it is actually time for the final whistle. The bribery scandals in the Bundesliga, as well as the various bruising and kicking zombies on the green meadow, make it clear that the hypertrophy of unconditional victory turns the game into a non-game. This is not a new trait of fubball, but of all commercially inflated popular sports, which are no longer allowed to allow the seriousness of the child at play in the classical way, because – paradoxically put – there is now too much at stake.

The happy self-expenditure is therefore by no means the only form of self-disenchantment that dominates the scene. Those who attend games in stadiums must not only be able to look, but also to look away, in order not to lose their mood for the game. Hate and anger are permanent guests at this ostensibly carnivalesque mega-party. Argentinian substitute Leandro Cufre gets a red card after the match for kicking German player Per Mertesacker in the abdomen. It is also about dark ecstasies, about Dionysian games, about orgiastic states, which, however, only really unfold splendidly with drugs among numerous fellow celebrants, and even make physiological capers: victories cause the testosterone level of the spectators to rise, while it falls in the case of the defeated. As in the case of players, it is not just a question of the healthy body, but of the body as a high-performance machine, which is pushed to the edge of its performance capability, either naturally or with doping agents, and possibly even beyond that. Discarded players not infrequently possess bodies that have mutated into battlefields themselves.

Holle, Holle, Holle

World Cup soccer appears as a competition of nations with martial proxy qualities and is therefore not entirely coincidental in its modern form in the 19th century. The global rules of the twenty-first century have been laid down. If Heidegger’s "homelessness becomes a world fate" applies to globally traded soccer soldiers from all countries, the World Cup fakes nation, homeland, patriotism for a short time. "WM" means not only playing football, but also playing nation state. Semanticists still recognize in typical stadium reports the "hard-working" German who achieves "work victories" or the "dancing" Brazilian (slogan "Sambafubball") and other national stereotypes artfully superimposed on the game: "Klinsi’s knights wobble against the nimble samurais" (Kolner Express). There is even more shaking going on here: with the anachronistic staging of national characters in the stadium, not only the agonal preconditions of the game are mobilized, but also precisely those moments that make the patriotic spirit in the healthy body react at high speed.

"It flatters the Scots and the Viennese that their soccer stadiums are called ‘the Holle of Glasgow’ and the ‘Praterinferno’. The effective announcement of Dutch torment and infernal punishment (of the enemy) swells the national sense of self," wrote the aggression researcher Friedrich Hacker in 1971. Have the rising chants of "goat" now died down, because the Federal Minister of the Interior, Schauble, declared at every possible opportunity that a visit to the World Cup would certainly not be fun for the hooligans?? "Fubball is war", Rinus Michels is said to have said, and this is not made false by the fact that the game has both aesthetic and artistic qualities, and the choice of weapons – even blood gore – is modest. A ten-year-old, asked about the abbreviation "WM", explained that it was clear to him that it meant "Wehrmacht". If you think this is bizarre, you have to explain why in this field of honor, not only British tabloids, the "German tanks" keep appearing as the leitkulturelle Wiederganger of another history.

Johan Huizinga observed in archaic forms of war a playful character, total war was no longer a game. So maybe Fubball is just "the continuation of war by other means" (Dirk Schumer), a civilian surrogate of war with a regular non-lethal outcome. Despite the aggressively operated money machines, the hypertrophy of the overbred fighting androids and the fuzzyocracy of arrogant functionaries, these means are preferable and – apart from excesses such as in 1985 in the Heysel Stadium (39 dead, 400 seriously injured), hooligans and constant police interventions – just tend to be peaceful. But what our apologists of the happy games always overlook: The relative clean peace and the martial feeling in the chest go well together. Those who see things differently through their World Cup glasses with interchangeable national colors, sold these days, remain blind so as not to endanger their mood for the game. The preconscious discourse is the first duty for the true fanatics anyway, when badly concealed feelings rage. "Play them short and small" was the headline of the tabloids. If we now replace the right word of action in the "headline", we will be exactly where the advocates of such civil and happy games never want to be.

The simple dichotomy of war and peace, however, does not capture the more nuanced politicization of soccer, nor its combative dimensions. The image of Pele, the juvenile bouncer, which ZDF is now obtrusively staging, was exploited at the time by Brazil’s then sinister torture regime. The Sparwasser goal of 1974 was meaningless as a game and sporting event, unless one speculatively attributes the winning of the World Cup to it because of the somewhat easier opponents. Politically, however, the gate was a performative declaration of two-nation status. It documented the socialist system superiority and humiliated the West.

If today Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric on the Holocaust is the political reason to keep him from possibly attending the World Cup, it becomes immediately clear that beyond a certain level of public attention, there is no such thing as an innocent sport. From a political point of view, the World Cup is a unique publicity campaign for all participating nations, which need major international events to reflect themselves as a nation. It is naive to reduce the more and more penetrating flagging of the public space to "a symbol of joy" (Ulrich Wickert) or – in the ideological countermove – to a pure sign of patriotic reawakening.

National Sturm und Drang

It is about nothing less than the paradoxical constitution of the national itself, about the euphoric nationalism of the spab and experience society, without admitting it in its classical concept: I am proud to be a German, because only in this way can the World Cup be a "fuhlsechtes" experience. Nationalism has long been absorbed by the global entertainment industry. Watching without a spark of identification is, as we all know, a nameless torture for those who are not obsessive sports fans. After that I roll up the flag again.

In times of the inexorable dismantling of the national, fubball, state war on terror and new wars are thus close relatives, because in them – in spite of all international contextualizations – nation-states are once again, until revoked, or rather, in the process of being revoked. Abpfiff as such fufen allowed. This sportive kind of nationality is at the same time the answer to the contentless and intellectually pathetic Leitkultur debate, which is now being decided in an international discipline: Fubball.

The need for collective identity, without turning out the hateful German, is now painlessly preserved, however carnivalesque and weak in distinction the play-technical answer to this "German essence" turns out to be. The national is made as a paradox behind colorful coats of arms and pennants as recognizable as unrecognizable, because this community has nothing better to offer. Since collective moments of identity are as scarce in heterogeneous societies as uplifting pathos, they are demanded by (almost) everyone and by all means. And Reinhard Mohr, whose "feeling for Germany" has caused the "patriotism level on the Klinsimeter to reach a record 10 points", demonstrates in postmodern correctness that patriotism, irony and "criticism of repressive tolerance" are from now on only a paste that holds the nation together. Not a single game of the World Cup will take place in which at least one member of the government will not be representing the glorious shoulder-to-shoulder relationship between game and state. "The world is a guest of friends" is not a game motif, but the motto of the political ball game.

The best promise of the soccer national is the "upside-down world" in which politically half-grown or dwarfs become ball-kicking giants for 90 minutes or even decades. If the Czech Republic beats the USA, we will experience the Saturnalia of power, the state of emergency of political coarseness. Those who consider this more than an ephemeral game with reality and continue to believe in national sports will probably also follow the fragile belief that the localization of rough clubs – Bayern Munchen, FC Chelsea or Futbol Club Barcelona – has some organic relation to the native clod, the "fan mile" or the genius loci.

Basically, the relationship between clubs and fans is as arbitrary as, according to linguist de Saure, linguistic signs are. The post-match jersey exchange alone is the true metaphor of a highly paid community of soldiers, the composition of which is determined exclusively by the financial resources of the clubs and their members. Reflected in the burial practice. National and local ties are constructions in professional football, which must be maintained stubbornly if the creation of identity between players and fans is not to suffer irreparable damage.

The elaborate technical arrangements of the new broadcasting arrangements all follow this artificial community spirit, which does not create communities of solidarity, but temporary participatory societies: "Public Viewing" in the Sudkurve virtualizes the game as an everywhere event in this very reduced sense of community (Mediale Massage). The big screen allows the stadium community to come into being anywhere in the world, which at least here fulfills the electronic promise of the global village, when the rest of the globe presents itself as a chaotic topography with political, economic and religious slants. Sports television studios, themselves constructed like arenas, present presenters and international guests in their midst, to which participants in conversation in larger-than-life size – such as the all-state soccer greats Beckenbauer and Pele – are switched on via coarse monitors in order to now push passages across electronic axes that ultimately have only one message: We are a rude friendly family that sprinkles national trinkets, team spirit and global palaver like confetti over our ever better lubricated money machines that are supposedly committed to the common good and all the other joys of humanity.

Conclusion: After the game (is before the game)

As a discursive and rhetorical experience, soccer is at least as exciting as the game itself. We experience and suffer a way of world destruction, which admits every participant, thus the world society, which stages itself here as an international community of thoroughly friendly nations. Talking about football is a paradoxical and inconsequential way to combine world leadership and national pathos for 90 minutes. Party patriotism preserves the somewhat different freedom of thought that no subsystem of society, no other professional branch allows any more.

The difference between professionals and amateurs seems to be liquidated in the bramar-based footballer payment for everyone to participate in, however highly suspicious of monographs and analysis the feedback between public opinion, game behavior and coach’s decision is. Because "there is only one’ Rudi Voller", only eleven friends on the field of honor, but millions of federal trainers. Neither the allegedly gender-related ignorance of the offside rule nor delirium exclude one from this happy discourse community, which easily short-circuits the alleged "reality model of soccer" (Klaus Theweleit) with the pleasure principle.

Huizinga, however, no longer recognized any cultural sacrificial significance in the technically upgraded crude spectacles. The sport is barren, the game factor is dead, even if the temporary society of the global spectacle offers numerous attractions for businessmen, clubs, players and spectators. This does not change the anachronism of the clod, the paradox of global gladiators and locally defined gladiatorial schools, so-called clubs, which find their future recruits in world championships. The game does not end at the sideline or with the finale for a long time. The crudest of all projection surfaces is the game and its global social interception, which allows for all imaginary pleasures that then wait in the Panini scrapbook or on DVD for the eternal recurrence of the everlasting. We are never finished.

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