I rented two futbol films last week: Goal! The Dreams Begins (2005) and The Miracle Match (2005)–and was aiming to do some musing about them. The discs weren’t ship-shape, unfortunately, so I was only about to see about thirty minutes of each film. Not surprisingly, I formulated a few thoughts.
I’ll begin with Goal!
As a sport, filmed futbol and ice hockey don’t differ too much visually. In terms of body movement, though, it is much more like tango. It’s all in mastering balance and in the footwork, and interacting with more than one counterpart–be it ball or player–at a time. There is just…I derived very little joy or satisfaction from watching the ball move from the ground to the air, from foot to foot, from player to player. Goal! seemed like a film I would like, so I’m probably going to purchase it in the next few months. Before the year is over.
Click here for the trailer.
Before the DVD started skipping, one of the characters remarks that futbol is “the world’s greatest sport because all you need is a ball and some space.” It’s the “most democratic” because one needn’t be super-human or obtain any additional equipment.
You can see the lines spoken in this trailer.
Assuming that brain-feet-ball coordination is a given, or easily acquired and mastered purely on the motor skill level, then it’s certainly a physical activity that can be performed without much more than a bare minimum of staging area and a ball. Even if one had no opponent, manipulating the ball on a flat surface and designating some other object as the goal net would suffice. Without an opponent, the likelihood that one could get injured goes down.
Perhaps a basketball hoop is harder to fashion out of random objects, but couldn’t one play basketball in the same way one can play futbol? It can’t be done with football or baseball. With just a body, some space, though, futbol and basketball are just games–they’re examples of play (as in “play time”….recess). Without an opponent, a human opponent, the dribbling, kicking, and shooting are essentially just drills. N’est-ce pas? There is no external source of competition. Would internal competition be enough? I don’t think so. Not literally, textually. It would only carry more meaning or count for more as a mechanism within a larger scheme.
There’s a great reference to futbol and sports in general. It appears not long after the narrator meets the subject of the story:
‘Do you know something odd?’ she asked. ‘Both Camus and Beckett really loved sport. Camus was a goalkeeper for the Algerian football team and Beckett was in Wisden for having done something great in cricket.’
“Well, it’s funny how they always went on that everything was meaningless, but then they took sport very seriously, which I think is pretty meaningless. Maybe you need to find life meaningless before you can find sport meaningful’ (39).
A month ago, I had to go a week without Starbux to neutralize a Nike purchase. I’ll have to do it again because of a hoodie.