An existentialist crisis – maintaining a football base only as a means of gathering hits
Self-awareness can be crippling. As you reach the end of another eight-game weekend, you begin to wonder if football’s delicate allure is something you’ve constructed – almost entirely – yourself to disguise the hideous mundanity that engulfs your life.
But I really did enjoy Juventus vs Sampdoria, and the immediate switch to Birmingham vs Liverpool was genuinely a fascinating clash of cultures”. You’re fooling no-one, not even yourself.
In the depths of despair between the football patches which feed your addiction – watching a match, or at the very least having Sky Sports News on in the background – you realise the insignificance of it all. You realise that your un-initiated friends were right when they told you that it was “just a bunch of men kicking a ball around.”
None of it means anything. Every goal and every win means nothing as you sit in the dark reality of a Sunday night- Monday morning crossover. Even the moment when your team lifted that trophy and you felt satisfied and excited was a sham – your team were, perhaps, the best that season, but what of it? Why does it matter to you that they were?
The achievement of one arbitrary goal is immediately proceeded by emptiness and the desire to achieve more. All any trophy leads to is the desire for more.
And the dark cloud of futility that blows over you only grows more threatening once your own role is inserted into the existentialist formula: Spectator: passive and helpless. If the game is just a game, then what are the people who watch it so closely, or, at times, watch others watching it closely?
I’ve got no answers for you. I do however, have solace for those of you who are ready to accept the delights of schaedenfreude: nothing means anything. No-one else has anything meaningful to do either.
Pursuits which supposedly represent The Worthwhile are equally as open to the existentialist deconstruction – outside of, say, charity work, which I’m too scared to discredit as ‘working towards bringing others’ quality of life up to a standard where they too can join in the feeling of emptiness’.
Your friends who spend their time ’socialising’ are wasting their time too. They develop a sense of superiority because they think the people that surround them justify their existence, but what are they doing? Talking, drinking, eating or watching things – futile and meaningless, just like football.
How else, dear Ethan, can I carry on?
Avoiding grim reality is the best way for it not bother you – delusion on a grand scale. Close off your mind in the manner that you imagine Big Brother watchers do – if you’re reading this and you do enjoy Big Brother, obviously I don’t mean you, you’re the exception. It’s only once you step out of the moment that things get messy, so make sure you focus your attention entirely within the sedate confines of ‘this moment’.
This shambles of a piece in that sense is counterproductive. It’s dangled the issue in front of you like a Lion Bar in front of that homeless guy you never give money to even though you’re almost on first name terms with him (hello ‘dad’) and made it irresistable. I can only apologise.
Warning signs (of an upcoming football-related existentialist crisis) for me include:
1.) Beginning to celebrate a goal, but halfway through stopping to observe other people’s reactions and failing to understand their happiness.
2.) Questionning why a goal was aesthetically pleasing – what makes a fifty-yard lob more impressive than scoring a penalty? Should something be deemed valuable because it’s difficult to attain?
3.) Watching a bland player interview and wondering if I should care?
And thus my new website’s first proper piece is completed. Admittedly, as a discussion of the futility of watching football, it does not lend itself well to an introductory role on a football website. Nevertheless, it will have to do.