2012 July | FREE

Archive the month of July 2012

July 30, 2012


Some days ago I obtained French citizenship. Not a big deal, things are made pretty easy for long-standing German residents in France and their French counterparts in Germany. And apart from voting rights it does not make a big difference anyway.

As it happened, following a surprisingly nice and unpretentious ceremony at the Préfecture, my boss discovered me on a photo in the local newspaper and together with the rest of the school’s management board, she decided to offer me a spontaneous welcome gift: a jersey of the French national team.

Her kind gesture reminded me of the recent UEFA ‘Respect’ campaign with its rather original ‘Exchange your jersey’ video clip. And I very much like the shirt itself – very classy and elegant (which are adjectives that have yet to be earned again by the team that wore it in Ukraine).

But while it is a nice idea to exchange jerseys physically, is it also easy to do so mentally? In other words: can you emancipate yourself from the powerful ‘socialisation machine’ as Brazilian anthropologist Roberto da Matta once called football, describing it as a ‘highly complex system of communication and essential values, where a group’s continuity and cultural permanence is ensured’. (1)

Post by : Albrecht Sonntag in the category : Identities, Posts - No comment

July 3, 2012

The last man standing: A tribute to the goalkeepers

“The goalkeeper is the lone eagle, the man of mystery, the last defender. Less the keeper of a goal than the keeper of a dream.” – Vladimir Nabokov

Goalkeepers traditionally wear Number 1 in their jerseys. It is not a  coincidence. They occupy a very privileged but also potentially risky role in football. They defend the goal, and they face each and every member of  the opposing team who want to put the ball in his/her net. One cool move by the goalkeeper can boost the confidence of the team or one silly mistake can bring the whole house down. No one on the field stands so equally close to being a hero or a fool. As, Emrah Serbes, a popular Turkish author, writes in one his short stories, while other players chase the ball, goalkeeper is the only one that stands against it.

Post by : Özgehan Şenyuva in the category : Competitions, Identities, Posts - No comment