Behind Closed Doors #3

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen 23052020 : Mainz v RB Leipzig 24052020

As the phenomenon of games being played behind closed doors continues I will document the situations in which I experience the matches. Listening to the resonance of the empty stadium seeping into domestic space and then, in turn, imagining the thousands of domestic environments in which the game is being watched, returning to the stadium, resonating, filling the stadium with domestic noise and action.

…the collective song and intoxicating sound of the crowd does not just provide an accompaniment to the beautiful action of the players, but is the sublime matrix out of which play emerges, the force field that energizes the action, taking the form of competitive song and counter-song, strophe and antistrophe. This is why games played in front of empty stadia, say as a punishment for the fans’ racist behaviour, are such an abomination. A game without fans is a kind of category mistake; a mere training ground exercise devoid of sense. The key to football is the complex, configured interaction between sublime music and the beautiful image, Dionysos and Apollo, the fans and the team.

Simon Critchley What We think About When We Think About Football (2017 : p.70-71)

Raphael Honigstein, Christoph Biermann and Archie Rind-Tutt discuss the return of the Bundesliga on Steilcast: https://theathletic.com/podcast/163-steilcast/?episode=19

Raphael Honigstein: So Christoph, you saw the games in a variety of guises, as a fan of football that you were just watching like any other fan would have done then I guess you watched the Revierderby because you are interested in a professional sense, and you were a spectator as one of the lucky ones at the Union, Bayern, game… Christoph Biermann: so, the first one, watching it as a fan worked to some extent because in the end it’s my team playing football, in the end winning 3-0 against Heidenheim… My team played well. To an extent I was happy, it felt like 30% football or 40% football there was so much lacking, but still there was some kind of emotion about it. It was more difficult to watch it in a professional sense later on as I watched some of the Revierderby… sometimes I had difficulty to concentrate actually so the football was not so bad, it was not as good as normally, but it was not so bad. Without all the things around the football match you can say it was pure on the one hand but there is so much lacking around the football match and I felt that I really had to fight to concentrate and that was easier on Sunday evening at the Alten Försterei where Union were playing against Bayern Munich. I was inside the stadium and kind of enjoyed it but I would put it like that, if it would be a one time experience I would have found it interesting as a novelty and then say, okay that was interesting and lets get back to the normal stuff and I have my doubts how this will change over the weeks because we are stuck with this now for nobody knows how long and that will be pretty difficult actually. Archie Rind-Tutt: Köln against Mainz I experienced in a colleague of mine’s car… he’s a Köln fan and he was punching the car seat in front when Köln scored and he was punching the car seat in front when Mainz equalised as well… When I was in the stadium in Frankfurt later… it felt really quite odd… I too found it difficult to concentrate on the game. All the sounds around it you noticed a little bit more, whether it was the technical crew jokingly trying to start a Mexican wave… or the sounds of the airplanes landing at Frankfurt Airport five miles down the road…

Saturday afternoon, finding mugs in the cupboard, kettle on – making a cup of tea, tidying, brilliant little back-heel, listening to the sound of football resonating in the empty Borussia-Park, applause, scattered, it swings behind for another corner, fridge door, tea caddy, teaspoon in the sink, stadium announcer, clatter of plates, he’s scored in some big games this season Leon Bailey, dishwasher, milk back in the fridge, crisp packets in the bin, the stadium erupts – players shouting – then subsides back into the quiet, the drone of the city resonating around the stadium, washing up in the sink, motorbike, they’ve not been quite as good at looking after the ball in the last twenty minutes Bayer Leverkusen.

Borussia Mönchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday, making lunch, frying, squeezing ketchup from a near empty bottle, voices raised in the stadium, a coach claps, the sound reflects back at him, talking about the football with Herb, filling glasses with water, Mainz are alright aren’t they?, they are struggling, …and a yellow card as well for the challenge for the former Chelsea defender, tidying, is that Kevin Trapp?, apart from that free-kick was Roberto Carlos a good player?

Mainz v RB Leipzig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.