whatever happened ... ? ⋆ An Old International

whatever happened … ?

A little post to say I’m still alive and that things are still running at An Old International. There is an urge to state some obvious things, however.

As we reach the halfway mark of 2024, some remarks about writing and the future days of this little enterprise seem appropriate. This year has been slow in terms of writing: since January there have been a mere five posts on here which indicates that either my drive to write about football has vanished and/or that time has become scarce. The short answer: both are the case.

For an observer the state of the game has become something of a bore. Top-flight football, that is, i.e. Premier League, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga. The reason being is that the teams at the top are almost always the same. This season in the Bundesliga has been an exception but surely, Bayern will bounce back and suffocate any potential rival come next season. The same is true for France, as even without Kylian Mbappé Paris Saint-Germain look set to dominate the league as they please because they have the money and UEFA does nothing against the Qatari owners.

The Champions League is no longer interesting; it has not been in years, to tell the truth. The group games throw up the occasional surprise, yet the final stages of the competition are contested by the usual suspects, i.e. those teams which already dominate their domestic leagues.

correlation between estrangement and civic engagement

I am fed up with the disdainful treatment of fans – as customers by clubs and broadcasting companies which consider supporters as a herd of cows to be milked as much as possible and as latent troublemakers by law enforcement agencies – beggars belief.

Respect is a word that no longer has any value by those who govern football

Even my team, FC Magdeburg, currently playing in Bundesliga 2 no longer evoke the urge to write something about their performances in the league.

I fell in love with a sweet sensation
I fell in love with a simple game
I gave my soul to a new religion
[…] Black Rebel Motorcycle Club “Whatever Happened …”, 2001

It’s not over

However, there are things that still stir me, that provoke a written reaction:

  • it is the history of the game with its myriad of tales of success and failures and almost miracles
  • any contemporary issue that touches upon wider society, such as identity, human rights, …, you name it
  • a closer look at tournaments and especially issues such as media coverage, language

As a teacher it is often impossible to react instantly due to the schedule at school. Often ideas for posts remain as drafts with the promise of one day being published – a promise that too often remain unfulfilled, sadly. However, there is still life in the editorial HQ of An Old International business will keep going but at a different rate.

© image credit: Sanderson, R., Prentice, M., Wolf, L., Weinstein, N., Kasser, T., Crompton, T., “Strangers in a Strange Land: Relations Between Perceptions of Others’ Values and Both Civic Engagement and Cultural Estrangement”, in: Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 10 – 2019, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00559

Good writing does not come by chance, so consider a little tip:

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