The interpretation of sports (1 of 2)
adam at pmel.com
Thu Jun 27 06:24:01 MDT 1996
Sport, like many other activities, is a response to alienation which
is itself alienated. And, like other alienated products of our labour,
the alienation is never uncontested.
So, in the UK, football is THE working class sport. Nevertheless, the
sport itself is a commodity, and becomes nothing more than the vehicle for
the selling of other commodities.
So, people in Manchester really do go into terminal depression if Manchester
United lose ( except if they're city supporters, in which case they have
an inane grin on their faces for months ) , and really are happy if they
win. They feel it's "their" club more than they feel that their work or
their personnal relationships are "theirs".
Nevertheless, Manchester United is a business. It is a limited company. TV
deals are more important to it than supporters. The supporters are charged
astronomical prices to get in, supposing they can get hold of a ticket.
Manchester United brings out a new strip 3 times a season - and all the
kids want their parents to buy the whole thing, which costs over 100 pounds.
Recently, they brought out a grey strip which the players couldn't see -
and promptly dumped it, leaving all those kids with a strip which wasn't
even worn for 1/3 of a season ( including my partner's cousins ).
Football clubs have started selling insurance and savings plans.
But, there is a constant battle over this alienation. There was opposition
to Rupert Murdoch buying the rights, so that only people who forked out
for a sattelite dish could watch it on TV. There was an outcry over the
grey shirts I mentioned. Fans organisations themselves have by and large
driven the Nazis off the terraces ( the ANL got an excellent reception
at the recent England matches ).
Finally, in every revolution, the terraces empty. Mind you, no one writes
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