Sport as a metaphor.
There are a lot of examples out there. If you have a look, they are gorgeously narrated.
Instead you’ve landed here and have to put up on this very first post that wants to avoid petty philosophy and rhetoric in order to be a kind of buffet like those at the opening of a store. The one where the 94% of attendance won’t come back as they are interested in scrounging a measly sandwich. The result is not guaranteed and no one will be refunded, let’s set things straight. 94% of the readers won’t come back here, I already know.
Why you have landed here it’s only on you mind. Hopefully.
Why I have opened this hole of the Internet, who knows, who knows what you’ll find, you can vaguely guess by looking a bit here and a lil there. If you don’t like what you see or if it’s not comfortable to navigate, be assured I feel the same. Everything is wip, maybe you’ll come back here and it will be different. Or there won’t be anything. An Internet hole that could have opened so many times, in so many season, but if I’d continued to evaluate what and how to do I would have never set for anything.
Instead it appears exactly during the season.
If it appeared last year you would have found few words on the following Champions League runner-up Juventus. A domination from every point of view in Italy, within few months, at a quarter of the way, laid 12th with 12 points. Every forecast and consideration have been completely wiped out. Such as those that at the time stated they had given up and were out of the game – tac – looks like experts made a miserable scene, again. Comeback with no hostages on the record and everyone talking about Juventus’ hegemony.
Everything happens in a season.
There are 13 matches leading to Christmas and you bring in 2 miserable points. You struggle until April looking at the bottom of the barrel: you cash in 21 with 7 wins, abdicate only to Chelsea and place +6 above relegation. While the Italian queen is dressing up for the new European campaign, you decide to entrust to a renegade of their football.
Claudio Ranieri? Really?
So their Royal bandwagon sticks in the mud, the refugees settle one after another the lauded Portuguese prophet, the engineer that was able to make a car work only once thanks to an Argentinian who did not get along with Europe, the professor who has never tied the know even with Gavroche, the Dutchman who has always something to teach the world, and the only ones who should learn – the players – apparently do not get it. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, we are talking about a British Campaign that opens the door to all the sports / life metaphors you want, covers, documentaries, reality shows, films, articles and comments everywhere.
Don’t you want to dedicate 5 lines to a Leicester who’s been trailing United for 40 years and it’s now ridiculing hundreds of millions spent?
A month’s time and it’s all over. You pack, close it and then, someone, will start again and keep on going on. Start over now and then, 20 years have passed for Kobe and he has to take note that his season is over too. What happened, happened, what is done, it’s done. What he’s done it’s enough to rank him simply as the best guard after MJ. Shock in the daily routine for the fans, trauma and disorientation as those who had become accustomed to the advent of autumn, the championship’s beginning, but also the spring rush, attached to the radio to hear “Juventus on the lead, one to zero, goal by Del Piero” like a weekly ritual.
In Rome they are ready (in fact, they are not) to enter the date of Totti’s last match in children’s books, after the fall of the Roman Empire. Or before.
Consider someone else, the season is warming up and for a Kobe out of the door there’s a Mick Schumacher introducing himself in the international motorsport feeling immediately the first place. Wonder however, whether and for how long it might last. In few years he might end up with the same impact as Ralf. Guess at the moment temptations to make poetry on Schumacher’s family is jumping on a lot of pens.
This is how a season goes. You’re in a Japanese team, worldwide brand, engine crafted at home under Mt. Fuji. However if you check they don’t get a win since Senna era. To be precise the last win is recorded in Australia, 1992, with Gerhard Berger while the Brazilian retired. The team finished last but third. Ahead of others not so noble nor equipped Japanese that leaves the championship after four races, of course no point on the table, and ahead of some rookie Indians that go figure if they don’t bring home a beautiful collection of retires. No points of course.
What do you expect to do there, you’re with Barrichello too, the Ranieri of Formula One. Ok, comparison without much thought but it’s just for a laugh. 28 old, apex of the career, and you feel not much more then a tester or development driver. By the end of the season Honda leaves, handover, you don’t move. What would you ever expect to do? Win the championship. Let me shake hands with whoever had the guts to bet and lifted some paper. Ross Brawn too of course as he has took over a team for pennies to sell it after an year for the delight of his bank account. And his wife.
A season of around five years ago. Ambrosini doesn’t miss that header, the ball is in and Cagliari sacks Allegri. Wonder what that season would have been, his story, mine and yours too.
Wonder how many similar episodes happened and will happen. Wonder how many seasons we played without even notice it. Wonder how petty rhetoric is spreading from your screens because of these lines.
Who worked hard day and night looking for the right tactic, the alchemy and the best couple of strikers, those who had to deal with bad-tempered and arrogant chairman, transfer sessions without money or with a conspicuous budget rained down from the sky. Those who introduce themselves at the starting lines with the ambition to get their hands on a trophy, without even hiding it, those who know it will be just a struggle to avoid relegation too soon, a race to postpone as long as possible the already granted verdict.
Different and unexpected seasons, year after year.
Players coming, players leaving. The training camp, managers called desperately to save the unsalvageable, predictable unsurprising results, then the plot twists, the so-called fairy tales. The Cinderella who suddenly appears out of nowhere. Attending stadiums, fans, getting to know people, even if only briefly, passing just enough time for a loan of a market session, just enough to participate in a storming dressing room. The idol been sold because you (they?) need to make cash. The inevitable sacrifice.
The regrets “if I had known before”. That deal, that match, the substitution done or I could have done, that lineup have I have chosen, the press conference that handled differently would not have lit a fire, that trust and faith not repaid by a player, that sign that I had not caught. The fear of making mistakes, to do or not do, the illusion of being in full control of the locker room and the match.
But what does it matter, it’s always referee’s fault, because yeah, there are rules, but they only apply to me, look at what others have done, how do you not see it, when the day it will be applied to everyone…
Thank goodness you didn’t care about that championship, it was supposed to be smooth, a transition one, instead you have to bear the pressure of the result even if you’ve already done more than expected.
The player who says no, then you see him leaving. It takes the plane in tears to play in another league. Who knows how his season will be. Who knows how yours will be yours. Who knows if you’ll play together or against. But who cares, you have to think about your own, players change, teams stay. Did you make the right choice? Did he make the choice? Well, I might keep an eye next season and see how things are going, in the market transfer you’ll never know.
Every season is a news. One opens, one closes. And another one. Yet again. And again. Rinse and repeat.
If you’re here it’s because you’re looking for the perfect tactic, the go-to players. Forget about one click solutions, the shopping list to have everything at once. They don’t spark any interest in me, they’re the wrong ways to approach, masked and deceiving solutions. The next time you’re again at the starting point and in the end you won’t enjoy the game at all.
If you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.
Football, sport, it’s a smithery, it’s comparing, reasoning, questioning. Without these premises it’s non understandable and it doesn’t develop. I leave photocopies and replicas to others, there is a reason why Sacchi did well only once. I focus on where and how to look, on the method.
In front of a choice I do not tell you what to choose, I tell you how to choose. I don’t tell you who to put in your lineup, I talk about how to evaluate those at your disposal.
Then you will do your choices. As it should be.
Nous sommes nos choix.
And in a season we make a lot of choices, perhaps the opposite of everything we think analyze, believe, told someone. Without even realizing it.
So at the end
Everything happens for a season.
It counts what we choose at the moment, for that season. You can plan in the medium/long term as much as you like but you have to go through this season in place first. Results are needed now and the situation you are is the result of your decisions in the past. About the next season, everything might be changed, everything might happen now, the unexpected, you’ll have other premises, another evolution. We’re gonna deal with it when it’s gonna start. If it will be granted. Meanwhile you’re on the clock, on the sideline, standing still under the rain, and you have to choose what to do, take the decisions to win this match.
You’re playing under a storm, what are you gonna do, waiting for it to pass?
Learn to play. Under every condition. And enjoy this match, you don’t know if you’re gonna have the chance to still be in charge. With the same enthusiasm of the first. With the same enthusiasm of the last one.
Let me wish you good luck for your season and welcome to my club.