"..brankár, beci a tak dál
dnes se pujde na fotbal."
ivan blatny – brno born, czech poet.
"..goalie, backs and all
today we’re off to watch football."
FC Dosta Bystrc "B" : Sokol Chrlice
P r o l o g u e:
The two teams brighten
up the soccer field in their kits. One team in red, the other in blue
and yellow stripes. The acting can begin. There are a few spectators in
the stadium waiting for what will come. Mostly old gentlemen. No real
fan-club paraphernalia. It’s quite chilly. In the Czech Republic it is
very popular to be an amateur actor or an amateur soccer player, so in
every village you have both amateur theater groups and soccer teams. It
is also quite common to be member of both groups. Each game is a
premiere and you never know how it will end: it is like going to the
theater without reading the text of the drama; you are excited and
eager to see how it develops. The famous German director Berthold
Brecht said: "Man muss ins theater gehen wie zu einem Sportfest." (We
have to go to the theater in the same way we go to watch sports). We
shall see. "Je to jako v divadle za dobry vykon si vyslouzís potlesk!"
"It’s like in the theater, for a good performance you earn applause !"
Pavel Nedved, Czech soccer star.
When you glance through the newspaper’s sport pages, you may notice
that the commentary and reports on soocer are full of expressions which
you would rather expect to find on the page with the theater critics.
So what does soccer have common with the theater?
The parallels between theater and soccer will become clearer, once we
have compared the terminology of the basis structure of these
stadium = stage
player = actor
team = ensemble
coach = director
kit = costume
substitute = stand-in or deputy
Soccer players and actors are both playing in front of an audience,
which is mostly expecting a dramatic game with many events and a happy
end for the heroes (in soccer the hometeam).
Of all team sports, soccer is the one in which you can most clearly see
a story with its classical structure. That is the reason why soccer is
the most popular sport in the world.
A c t O n e
At first there is an
exhibition, the players are testing the quality of their rivals by
gently tackling from behind. The game continues, but after a while it
is still a very bad match with no thrill, most players have forgotten
their lines and they are not able to improvise, the coaches and some
spectators begin to fulfil their roles, prompting the players and
"Warum gehen die Menschen ins Stadion? – Weil sie nicht wissen, wie’s
"Why do people go to the stadium? – Because they don’t know how it’ll
turn out." Johannes Rau, German prime minister.
It s time for another beer and one shot of home made plum brandy, the
older spectators are sat in the pub for the whole match, watching a
motorbike race on eurosport and occasionally checking what’s going on
out on the pitch.
The half-time break is a possibilty for the coach/director to change
the outline of his idea, players discuss the first half and listen to
In today’s philosophy and aesthetic discourses, the leading slogan is
anything goes, so every soccer player is an artist and every soccer
match is a cultural, aesthetic act. Most of the players want to be the
director of the match, to decide the course of the game.
A c t T w o
The match is getting
better and better, the players have found their roles and for the
spectators there is something to watch. In this part of the match, we
are waiting for a move. And it comes. A fortuitous situation, nobody
knows where the ball is, suddenly a player from the red team cries
"Goal!" That’s it, 1:0 for the red team. The match becomes attractive
and exciting. The yellow-blue-striped team wants to equalize, but then
the finest act of the game comes: a combination of one touch passing
and the ball ends up in the net: 2:0 for the red team. If an actor
assumes another person’s identity, the same can be said for an amateur
soccer player. They have their idols, for 90 minutes they try to become
their idols. It’s quite clear that the player who just scored is
currently acting Patrik Berger (a famous Czech soccer player). They are
wearing the same images as their idols. It looks so cool. We have seen
two goals and two yellow cards, many excellent saves from the
goalkeepers, some greasy and unfair fouls. It was a good game for the
2. division amateur match. The spectators are mostly satisfied cause
their home team won. Everybody is going to the pub to celebrate or
drink away their sorrows. And on the board stands the result: FC Dosta
E p i l o g u e:
coach of the defeated team didn’t accept defeat and insulted the other
coach, they both began to scuffle. Then the players of both teams came
and dragged them away from each other. It was only a game, don’t be
stupid they said to the coaches. The teams were both sitting in the
stadium pub, drinking beer together and watching eurosport. The final
whistle. The curtain falls. The match is decided.