One does not simply consume football, but lives and breathes it. The football experience is a visceral event; one in which tragedy and romance have inseparable and intertwining roles. A game of football basked in history, tradition, and honour, is the rightful heir of Ancient Greece’s greatest orated tragedies. They are our contemporary theatrical renditions of life and its highs and lows.
For if football is the most popular sport in the world, it is due to its ability to act as a microcosm of the human condition. Football fans, whether for club or country, have felt at one time or another: joy, sadness, anger, exhaustion, ecstasy or grief.
The essence of football, and its 90-minutes of unpredictability, has never been about winning or losing, it was never about silverware or notoriety. Of course, these are welcome bi-products, but the authentic football experience is that of experiencing the human condition within a controlled and time constrained environment.
If football is a reflection of the society that surrounds and populates it, then it is no more immune to the changes to which society succumbs to. We reside in a malleable world, and our lives are susceptible to influences and changes. Each one of our lives when brought together constitute the society that we live in. Therefore, society is also a malleable concept — for ever adapting to ecological, political, and most importantly, technological changes.
Undoubtedly, our lives, and therefore society, has been shaped by the progress (and not necessarily in a positive way) in technology. Our everyday activities have been altered thanks to our increasing accessibility to technologies, and in turn this has fuelled our ever growing dependence. This statement also rings true in the football arena.
One of the most pervasive alterations of the football experience by the technology is on how we “consume” football. We are the first generation of football “consumers” with an abundance of content; scarcity is no longer an issue. Our centres of attention have also shifted in accordance to the overwhelming access of footballing content. As a consumer, I tend to favour the short YouTube highlight clips of the latest fixtures over longer formats, such as Match of the Day for example, which tend to include…