The Euros are not working? No, it’s soccer that’s not working

As a soccer fan for more than a decade, I have finally determined one thing after a week of the opening of the Euro, the Euro is not working.

The Euros are not working? No, it's soccer that's not working

So far, in addition to Eriksen’s accident that made everyone pay attention to a wave of heart-related first aid problems, the biggest “news” of this year’s Euro is actually a somewhat nonsensical off-field events: C Luo in the Portugal team pre-game press conference, removed the two bottles of Coca-Cola placed in front of the bottle, held up a bottle of mineral water, said he only drink mineral water.

The market value of Coca-Cola, the main sponsor of the Euros, then fell by $4 billion, so the two events were quickly and simply linked together, and headlines like “Crow’s move cost Coca-Cola $4 billion” began to appear.

The Euros are not working? No, it's soccer that's not working

This is the awkward situation facing this year’s Euros, with off-field episodes receiving far more attention than the action on the field, with people talking about whether or not Crowder will be punished by UEFA, several players following his move to remove the coke, etc., and not much seeming to care about Crowder breaking the record for goals scored in the final round of the Euros a day later.

Both the World Cup and the Euros have been sporting events with national attention in the past, with each tournament attracting a large panoply of fans and these games becoming the talk of the town summer after summer.

While the attention span of the Euros doesn’t match that of the World Cup, in retrospect there are still popular storylines that break the circle like Balotelli thinking about life at Euro 2012.

Although 2012 doesn’t sound particularly long ago, it is indeed two different eras, when microblogging was still a new thing (the thinking about life stunt was fermented on microblogging), portals and paper media still played an important role in the coverage of sports events, information flow and short videos were not yet born, and we were far from having such a rich form of entertainment consumption as now.

The Euros are not working? No, it's soccer that's not working

After all, a match won or lost and a player’s performance will become a popular topic of discussion the next day, and even in the era of inadequate content consumption, many people will be forced to pay attention to soccer just to not be left behind.

For China’s post-70s and post-80s, soccer has a very special significance, it is the most widely spread and national sporting event in the process of CCTV’s national media platform popularization in China, almost accompanied the memories of two generations of people growing up, and for a long time the special feelings of that generation towards soccer also largely influenced the aesthetic interests of young people towards soccer, but when the post-95s But when the post-95s and even the post-00s have become the main viewing group, the enthusiasm of the post-70s and post-80s for soccer has inevitably waned, and watching soccer is no longer a must for this generation of young people who do not have the “historical baggage” of soccer.

At the same time, in today’s era of highly segmented and serious content overload, everyone can easily find their own interest tribe, and everyone has their own set of complete information system and entertainment, so the pan-fan group no longer needs to throw themselves into the world of soccer, which they are not really familiar with and love, in order to keep up with the hot topics. It’s easier to eat the melons of the rich generation and female netizens than the relatively complicated rules of football, or who hasn’t finished watching the drama variety, brushing the short video and playing the glory of the king?

The Euros are not working? No, it's soccer that's not working

Perhaps to a certain extent, soccer has drifted away from the aesthetics of this era. Not long ago a number of European giants made a short “revolution”, trying to set up a European super league, in an interview, one of the leaders of the European super league, Real Madrid chairman Florentino said directly, a 90-minute soccer match is really “too long “, so now the young people do not like to watch soccer.

This view is not without reason, in the era of short video, a 90-minute movie can be replaced by a few minutes to watch xxx, not to mention a soccer match that may not even score a goal.

Basketball seems to be doing better than soccer in catering to young people who are “cut down to seconds by endless streams of information”.

The NBA is becoming more fast-paced at a rate that is visible to the eye. According to Basketball Reference, in the 2000s, the NBA’s average three-point shot has gone from 14 to 34, the number of rounds per game has gone from 90 to over 100, each round has become shorter, the feedback to the audience is faster, and every now and then there are stories of individual heroism like Durant’s 49-point triple-double. From the event itself to the off-court narrative, the American rhythm behind NBA basketball is clearly easier to reach young people than the European spirit behind soccer.

The Euros are not working? No, it's soccer that's not working

To be honest, as a senior fan, I am very sorry that the attention to this year’s European Cup is so low.

On an individual level, this means that the experience of getting together with friends, eating, drinking and watching soccer is bound to be greatly diminished, while on a more macro level, it is actually evidence that the spiritual attributes attached to soccer are being lost.

Without the outbreak of the epidemic in the world, this year’s Euro was originally held in 2020, and last year also happened to be the 60th anniversary of the birth of the Euro, so UEFA made an early decision to hold the Euro across Europe, which is actually a look back at history, because the Euro at the beginning of its birth can be described as resistance, many strong teams did not participate, but ultimately it became a post-war healing Europe’s wounds, an important symbol of the European integration process around the century.

After a year, the European Cup finally opened successfully in 10 countries and 11 cities across Europe. Although there was still a limit of 22% to 50% audience attendance, when we saw that the Budapest Stadium in Hungary could be filled with 61,000 spectators, it still gave people a sense of exhilaration that Europe was united to form a community and overcome the difficulties of the times.

After all, in addition to the epidemic, which is a common difficulty faced by all people, there are many other impacts faced by Europe internally. In the past years, the process of European integration has been constantly frustrated, with Britain leaving the European Union, serious imbalance in economic development, refugee flows and other problems breaking out one after another. The reason is that to some extent, soccer has become the most popular sport in the world.

The reason is that to some extent soccer is the last piece of shame of European integration, and along with the short-lived rise of the European Super League and the reality of the reduced attention of the European Cup, this piece of shame has been uncovered more than a corner.

The Euros are not working? No, it's soccer that's not working

Although talented players continue to be born in other parts of the world, it is undeniable that soccer has always been an important symbol of the European spirit, and the European “transformation” of the game cannot be considered unsuccessful, with the power of capital and modern management methods, the game has taken on a completely different look than before.

In the past, geniuses from South America could still play their talent in their own land, but now, when they are not yet adults, they will be brought to Europe by European clubs to enter the complete and strict youth training system, and become part of the systematic and even industrialized soccer, and this system also determines the existence of Europe in the competitive level of soccer to crush other regions today.

But the other side of this coin of standardized and industrialized soccer is actually diluting and dissipating the legitimacy of soccer’s ability to become the world’s number one sport in the second half of the 20th century. As we have mentioned many times, the reason why soccer was able to reach a peak of attention in the 1970s and 1980s was closely linked to the rising national independence and liberation movements. In those days, the soccer field was a battlefield, and in times of peace, third world countries strove to finish off the old capitalist countries on the soccer field, which was the best stage for nation states to show themselves.

At the time of Maradona’s death, we used to say that Argentines have been happily searching for the next Maradona for the past few decades. But we all know that unless there is another “Cold War” era, it will be very difficult for us to meet the next Maradona. And this is perhaps the reason why in our minds, soccer is getting “no more”.

The Euros are not working? No, it's soccer that's not working

It was a time when soccer was once so popular that it was completely pushed to the altar, but nowadays, when the pre-modern issues of war, nation, ethnicity and ideological confrontation are no longer popular and have been partially replaced by post-modern issues of class confrontation, racial inequality and the rights of marginalized people, soccer, which is firmly bound to those spiritual symbols, will inevitably fall from the altar. from the altar.

The intense rivalry between nations is a thing of the past, and it is the rivalry between clubs within the big five leagues that is the most talked about, and players are no longer posing on the pitch as they once did, as the frequent movement of capital means that players are increasingly intertwined, even as the unsuccessful UEFA Premier League is trying to somehow strip away the connection between soccer and cities and the working classes It is important to understand that this has been the foundation of the game since its inception, but because of the globalization of the game, soccer clubs can survive like a multinational corporation, making a fortune from the attention of fans in foreign countries thousands of miles away.

In terms of popularity and number of participants, soccer still seems to be the world’s number one sport, but in contrast, basketball, which is more fast-paced, has more superstars with their own traffic, and is closely integrated with trendy culture, is obviously more to the appetite of young people of the Z generation, and is constantly shaking the status of soccer as the world’s number one sport.

But in the end, “the world’s number one sport” is probably already a false proposition.

As commercial forces complete the integration and transformation of sports, as spiritual attributes and symbols are stripped from sports, and as a cocoon of information is formed around individuals who are constantly atomized, sports may no longer have the same ability as in the last century to create an infectious enough narrative to appeal to the so-called “generations”. anymore. The number one sport in the world that everyone will unconsciously devote their attention to? No, we don’t care about that stuff anymore.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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