In the previous article, we presented the inquisitive vision of football, a perspective that transported us to a football from the past but that at the same time helped us to understand some current behaviors. Now we will focus on the present moment, how the nihilism prevailing in the world has allowed football to be turned around, and how we conceive sports.
The nihilist conception of football is based on knowledge democratization in recent years to modify the coach-player relationship. On the other hand, we will see how globalisation and commercialisation of the world have also impacted understanding the game itself.
“God is dead” is an aphorism attributed to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that symbolizes the liberation of the individual spirit from the constraints of various mythological and theocratic orders, typical of our society since the Roman Empire. As his compatriot and philosopher Hegel explains, this liberation leads to “the total absence of terror, the absence of the essence of all that is strange, and a well-being and feeling of good consciousness.”
This denial of all the other worlds made up by religion can be transferred to football that has become a compendium of recipe books where the chefs were the coaches. The idea of the coach as the magnanimous of knowledge is now the great enemy. They must accept their death as gurus to release the players, and in turn, the game.
Nietzche considered that after the “death of God” and the subsequent evolution of nihilism, the truth would not turn out to be anything more than the triumph of the will to power. In other words, the only requirement to consider a fact as correct was that it generated enough conviction that it was. That simple. In the same way that the tactic, which is the will to the power applied to football, shows us that any action that is successful in the game is correct.
Applying this current of thought to football allows us to qualify as valid any game expression that brings us closer to victory. In this way, a team will be considered to have played well provided that, applying its plan, whatever it may be, they obtain the victory or reaches its objectives. Thus, this conception has the result as its only value generator, and any path is valid to achieve it.
This perspective is the mother of chameleonic teams, influential and without the need to define themselves in a specific style of play, adaptable to any context. If we think about the teams that have remained in the world elite throughout their history, we will see that most have shown different versions of themselves to achieve their success. Today we live a critical moment for the nihilist game, and we see teams capable of playing other games within the same game. Moreover, expressing themselves from the organization around the ball or the space used, changing registers if necessary from one play to the other.
Today we may be going through the most significant expression of nihilism in history since the value of things has been reduced only to their market value, their price. In this mercantile reality, the protagonist is “the last man,” who is the most despicable being for Nietzsche since he is satisfied with pragmatism and comfort. Therefore, he only feeds on results and tangible pleasures.
This is a reality applicable to the fans or, better said, the “last fans,” who change teams based on their success and not because of what that entity means. At the same time, the materialistic effectiveness lies in the death of the soul and the disregard for immortality. This fact justifies how many begin to despise an idolised player when his performance begins to decline. The existence of the most recent fans has been demonstrated, as their condition indicates, they have done so with their disappearance. They are the same ones who have accepted that the machinery of the industry considers them needless, and they are no longer present in their natural habitat, the stadiums.
As already mentioned, this vision of football is still one more example of the conception of social organization that prevails nowadays. We are facing a society that demands data to understand things and is governed by the scientific paradigm. In this context, techno-football is born, a sport that goes from using technology to sheltering it. The computers are then in charge of determining the transfer market, and the interpretation of the game has been replaced by simple data reading. How can it be that it has seen its aesthetic appeal reduced so markedly in the era of more information about the game?
This reduction of the athlete to be considered a mere biological phenomenon has eliminated the importance that context and culture had in the configuration of the football player. This, in turn, allows talent globalisation. This biological reduction as a form of egalitarianism has opened possibilities for players to succeed anywhere in the world. However, at the same time, and as in any globalisation process, it has caused game standardisation and the elimination of cultural and differentiating features in different parts of the world.
Nietzsche being the coach of the nihilistic team, his best player must be Zarathustra. “I am the one who is driven to improve himself constantly.” Nietzsche’s superman will become the super player within this idea. Superman is a superior being, free from the values of the past, that is, those that link him to a behaviour model. He is autonomous, aggressive, and a legislator since he is his norm. He is beyond good and evil. Superman represents the supreme aim of humanity; life. And, therefore, the super player will be the greatest exponent of the game.
The greatest of all super players is Lionel Messi. Nietzsche presents superman as the result of 3 transformations. The first thing to overcome is the camel state; this would be represented by the players who live under the inquisitive conception, to later be able to become a lion and fight for the freedom that the coach restricts with his religious game model. “The ultimate goal is to become a child. Superman is not a terrible character; he is a child. Why does the rapacious lion have to become a child? The child means innocence, and forgetfulness implies a new beginning, a game, a wheel that moves by itself, a first movement, a saint that says yes”. As thus spoke Zarathustra.
To become superman, according to Nietzsche, it is essential to accept the death of God, in the case of football, the death of the classic dogmatic coach and the only representative of knowledge. This fact, in turn, allows the release of a wave of highly talented players who nowadays not only master the game but the sports industry revolves around them.
CATEGORY: MARKETING, COMMUNICATION AND MANAGEMENT
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