Football and Society
"Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win." Gary Lineker
Well, Gary, not this time! You would have loved it. But let's start at the beginning. Over the course of the last few seasons, the Kickers Pufendorfer and the Green Tulip had frequent matches. And they tend to be performances of elegance, stamina, drama, and a good number of goals. But most important of all: a lot of fun. Both teams started the game with cultivating a good sequence of passes, running, the right hint of dribbling, and not too many tackles.
While the Tulip often tries to do that and then ends up swinging the ball right to left in the back four, they started this game with a magic triangle in the midfield. Ok, the magic was limited to controlling the ball every now and then and stumbling the ball to the next player, sometimes even one of the own team. But at least, they tried... And for the first twenty minutes things looked pretty even.
Unfortunately, the Tulip's German discipline to not kick long passes - actually in order to get rid of the ball at least for a little to catch one's breath - requires more endurance than what the Tulips are eventually able to put in. So, the fine composition of Latin American dribblers, English midfielders, French strikers, and an I-don't-know-where-from playmaker started slowly to have the better end. The Kickers proved what makes multicultural societies stronger and more competitive than homogenous societies - and what no anti Open Society minded bonehead will ever understand: open plural societies just like football teams are more creative, innovative, they find new solutions in situations where the traditional passing patterns are blocked. And so the Kickers pushed strongly into the box again and again.
Still the Tulips seemed actually to have everything relatively well under control, but then a crossing from the left wing comes in, the Tulips win it but pass right into the feet of the Kickers' right wing who easily puts the ball into the back of the net. 1:0.
Now the Tulips changed their set-up added an offensive midfielder, but only shortly after the left wing uses all his speed, breaks into the box, though the Green defence keeps him away from the goal, so the wing drops back and flicks it from the edge of the box right next to the far post passed the goalie. 2:0. And this is the moment when the Green Tulip would have reminded Gary Lineker of the Germans. Down at halftime by two, and no prospect of levelling the game, which merely drives them to start to put in more.
The Green Tulip started the second half simply by attacking upfront wherever the ball was, a Green put some pressure on it - and miraculously it worked, it levelled the game. For most of the second half, this was a match between equals. No real opportunities for either team, only once the Kickers striker appeared right before Tulip goalie Jochen Schieborn, who managed to shut the goal and deflected the shot. And then it was one simple pass from the half left to the right midfield, ball control and a pass perfectly timed with the pace of Matse Richter, a pass in the centre, back on Jonas Bleckmann who beautifully places the ball on the square post, the rebound shot is blocked and comes back to Jonas Bleckmann who this time does not shoots but dribbles, stumbles and finally chips the ball into the back of the net. 2:1.
It looks like the equalizer might be in range. However, now happens what Gary Lineker never saw on any German team: high upfront pressing is too exhausting for the Green Tulip, and only 10 minutes after, a short pass into the box by the Kickers playmaker, and suddenly it happens what the Tulips managed to control for most of the game: there are two of them, a short pass to the centre, past the goalie and the centre forward puts the ball into the empty goal. 3:1.
That breaks even the strongest, and strength is what dwindles away in the Tulip anyway. Another attack, actually it seems to be blocked, the box is full of players and no way through for the ball - unless you nutmeg the sweeper and the goalie with the same shot. Lucky bastard! 4:1.
Game over. Not yet, Gary, they are still Germans. A free kick from the right corner of the box, perfect for chipping in a crossing and heading the ball into the net - you would think. Toffi though just flicks it right onto the goal. Surprise for the goalie, and a really entertaining as well as exhausting game comes to its end. 4:2. And that doesn't sound so bad. Scoring goals gives us the illusion of being the most elegant players.
"Football is the ballet of the masses."