The difference between worth & value, an argument against modern football.
- The best of everything to do with people’s humanity is being turned into merchandise
- Experiences associated with the sport, what football is and the values that keep it upright X
- How these values are being corrupted, the commodification of players, monetization of fans, destruction of personal relationships, a distinct lack of ‘stories’ that grasp our attention and the pricing out of certain socioeconomic classes (Ironic considering that players often come from these beginnings.
- This industry is becoming a bubble, one that must pop – Gamblers fallacy?
- If this has happened (Neymar) what is next? – Slippery slope
- The sport in its current capacity hasn’t existed for long enough for a destruction level event to occur, therefore this is the reason that people aren’t concerned.
- The only reason this has been allowed to happen is that so many people accept the current system (attacking the bandwagon fallacy but be sure to use a fallacy and emotive words to appeal to the audience.)
- Keeping people ‘hooked’ the spectacle of the sport has outgrown the actual substance.
Why is a life worth living?
I believe that the value of a person can be determined by the merit of their experiences, not the size of their bank account. This fundamental difference between monetary worth and the significant value of raw emotional, visceral & personal events is what provides the incentive to pursue happiness.
I love football, this is no secret. Waking up at ungodly hours of the morning to watch grown men kick an inflated piece of plastic has consumed more of my life than I care to admit. I continue to do so simply because I see football as the perfect way to pursue these unfiltered experiences, a microcosm of life, all of its beauty and burdens boiled down to twenty-three people on a field. This may seem extraordinarily silly to the uninitiated and I can understand why but to me the conflict, the continuous battle for control presents an opportunity for empowerment I fail to find elsewhere in life.
This is precisely why it tears me apart to see the most crucial parts of our humanity, the vital things that make us feel alive, the personal connections, investment of energy and the thrill of raw emotions being turned into merchandise. Clubs are working their hardest to ensure that absolutely anything and everything that can be monetized will be. Football is and always has been a form of escapism, it allows people to shift their focus away from whatever problems they might be facing and become part of a collective, a voice that can be heard over the monotony of everyday life.
Clubs have realised this and begun preying on the vulnerabilities of their supporters, recognising that they are emotionally invested clubs raise ticket prices by ludicrous sums and ensure food inside the stadium costs an arm and a leg. Fans of the sport are being exploited by the same clubs that they have loyally supported for years, football research firm Copa 90 conducted a study discovering that over 50% of fans find their enjoyment of a game impacted simply by the price of the ticket, devoted supporters are being priced out of the stadium by the same clubs they helped build from the ground up. Now I know that the example of football won’t resonate with all of you but what I do know is that nothing crushes a person more than having something they love corrupted, slowly whittled down from what it once was in front of them, powerless.
This is why this level of greed disgusts me, the monetization of people, destruction of personal relationships and players becoming goods that are shipped around the world to the highest bidder has corrupted the game I love, elevating the spectacle of the ‘beautiful game’ to a point where it greatly outweighs the substance. The attitude of fans is simply not reflected by those responsible for decisions at the next level, a sentiment expressed very eloquently by football historian Charlie Smith.
“Fans are the guardians of the club’s heritage, you can never rely on clubs because ultimately they’re a business’. They’re not interested in the history, they’re interested in where the next pound coin is coming from. Fans see clubs differently, they see them as continuing parts of their lives, they understand the identity and they cherish that, they want to protect and preserve it.”
Ultimately football and the principles that drive its culture forward are founded upon brotherhood, a sense of community, in the past fans felt that they could connect with the players, they provided inspiration and hope in times when these were in short supply, football wasn’t a $100 shirt, it was lifelong friends, football wasn’t players earning half a million a week, it was a sense of purpose. It wasn’t a game played by Qatari billionaires, working class people their pawns, it was a game that everyone could play, regardless of race or background. If you cared enough about those 23 men and that piece of plastic there was a family waiting to embrace you with open arms.
I still believe that football can be all of these things, it’s simply wandered off of the beaten path, strayed from the precious values that give it purpose, a reason to exist. Our affinity with the status quo has lead to the acceptance of a destructive ideology, that money is the purpose rather than just the means to an end. We’ve become intoxicated by dollar signs and shiny arches when the only thing holding this game up, the only thing holding any of us up, the only thing that makes a life worth living is people…..
The point I’m making with my speech today is that a game I love is being corrupted by greed. So much more important though, the point I’m making is that the widely accepted idea that monetary worth defines your success is wrong. If I’m asking you to do anything it’s to invest in experiences, invest your time in people and in the things that make you truly happy, because what else really makes a life worth living?