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Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #780
Worryingly, I find myself becoming more like our illustrious leader.
I loved the tribal thing as a younger man. I still enjoy the day out, but find myself appreciating the game itself a lot more than the fans side of things now. One of the reasons I couldn't get over-excited by this England team I suppose and why I'll go to random games more than following Forest home and away as I have done in years gone by. Plus it's not as good as it used to be, is it?

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #781
You have the four teams that have worked their way to the top of the most prestigious tournament in the world, if we as supporters gave the game the prestige it deserved (third is better than fourth, and that should be a big deal), then we would have a game very much worth watching. But we don't.

Personally I always watch them. As I try (quite hard) to watch all England friendlies, and definitely all competitive matches. I also watch as many competitive high end international and club games as I reasonably can. I like football. Not so much the herd thing, of which there has been too much for the last week (ish).

Leaving aside the psychological analysis of your superior fandom, it is still only a gap-filler. Any losing side in a semi-final is going to be massively disappointed and it almost seems cruel to force them to play another losing side to fight for scraps. Will I watch it? If I am at home, perhaps. Will I clear my schedule to ensure that I can see it? Absolutely not. Third is better than fourth, but does it matter? Not enough to make me go out of my way to watch no. Maybe that means I don't like football, or it could, perhaps, be because I think that it is a largely meaningless match that exists only to fill the gap between the second semi-final and the Final.

Would you watch a third place play-off for the FA Cup or Champions League? I expect so, because otherwise you could be accused of not liking football.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #782
You absolutely misunderstand the thrust of my argument. I'm not a 'better' football fan than anyone that we would recognise as such.  I'm not really a football fan (in those terms) in the sense that I don't really have those myopic overwhelming emotion led responses.  There are teams I care about, and want to see win, and watch with extra interest when they are engaged....but I'm far too autistic to be a fan in the conventional 'good fan' sense.

I'm also no football genius. I enjoy trying to learn about the game, and to see things in the way that professionals see it. I try to see things that I perceive as strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities and threats. I tend to see games as a series of interconnected attritional events, methodologising the process of watching a game, and taking all the 'fun' out of it (I have long since learned to mainly keep these observations and enquiries to myself, having been threatened, or actually having, my head kicked in because of them). I'm very much of the view that I only get it at a superficial level, but probably less superficial than "my granny could have scored that".

The level of commentary and summarising probably annoys me most. When Alan f*cking Green, the fat useless c*nt (or some other), tells the viewing public that 'he really should have scored' when i can think of a myriad of reasons why 'he' actually failed to get his body position right, and mistimed his shot, skewing it out for a throw in, makes me internally rock back and forwards in a rainman style 'quantas' breakdown.

I do pretty well managing to talk myself into going out of the house sometimes, never mind joining in boisterous bonhomie based on broadly slender motivations.

So for me a third-fourth play off game is about as interesting as it gets.  On top of the requirement to play a football game (and football games are incredible feats of team athleticism and organisation), there are a bunch of extra psychological factors that influence and play out for the players (some of whom {don't}want to be there and are more/less engaged than others), under the glare of possibly hundreds of millions of observers. Fascinating.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #783
You didn't say you were a better football fan; you said that other people don't like football and find entertainment only in the bonhomie of mingling with other like-minded idiots. I do like football, just not enough to clear the decks for a game that means little. None of this distracts from the fact that the third place playoff is unnecessary, and you even admit yourself that some of the players don't want to be there (although I would argue that none want to be there; they all want to be in the final).

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #784
I said, and it's obviously a personal opinion, that most people (even those professing quite strongly to do so) don't like that actual process of doing the football. What people appear to like are behaviours and events associated with the observing of the playing of the football with which they imagine an arbitrary connection, and which causes them an emotional response.  Broad brush stroke, sorry if it offends you, but as a generalisation I stand by it.

If you like football, a game of football *means* something, surely? It means a game of football is going on and it is of interest if you like football (I have wandered out of my way many a time when the noise of a football game emanates from nearby, to see what sort of football is happening). It's quite a high level game of football.  There are interesting dynamics at play in it. I can absolutely guarantee you that there are people who are not you, who care more than you might imagine (interestingly, or not, I found myself explaining a bit to various people about Croatian football over the past week. I was surprised that many didn't know they had finished third in '98.  Did you pick up on the comment that Bilic had said to the studio panel that his bronze medal for that event was his proudest achievement in football?). Clearly being in a final is better (you get to play for first - this is by definition better). Not being involved in the tournament until the end, having been dumped out before the last four is worse.

There are some practical and logistical issues surrounding playing off to establish every position in a tournament (more's the pity), but to make a small amount of extra effort to establish a top three seems reasonable and of interest to me. I cannot adequately explain to you why three is the magic number, but I can think of some reasons, and it is. It also serves as an extra event to monetise, and given that football is all about money, it helps fulfill one of the primary requirements of high level football.

Holland,
Germany, Germany, Turkey, Croatia, Sweden, Italy. Not a bad list to be on.  It would mark England's second best footballing achievement of all time.


We probably shouldn't bother. f*ck it.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #785
I worry that 5,6,7,8th haven't been decided either. I propose a knockout, with a 7th and 8th place play off, obvs.
The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #786
I don't consider that a foolish option. The Easter five a side, that later became the supporters club five a side, was played at least for one year where matches were played to determine every team position.

I only stopped it because it was difficult getting the 7/8th playoff played.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #787
The problem is that your generalisation is just simply wrong and deliberately patronising, which I'm fully aware is because you like a good row.
Like I've stated twice already, I do like football, and it has nothing to do with your assertion about liking what surrounds it. Clearly I don't go to the levels of people such as yourself as I don't really have the time, but feel free to cling to your moral high-ground (which I know you will). I like watching the game itself and also enjoy watching a good tactical battle, although clearly I could never hope to attain the mastery that you have achieved.

As for the play-off game, I'm very happy that Bilic counts the third-placed medal as one of his greatest achievements, but I still maintain that two teams of players who have been through a long and tough season, using all their athletic abilities that you so admire to the max, followed by a very intensive schedule of matches involving extra time and huge mental strain, could probably do without yet another game which is not really necessary. If medals are to be dished out then give them something for being losing semi-finalists. Personally, I think they should be rewarded with at least a bit more time off before they face another long season.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #788
I don't consider that a foolish option. The Easter five a side, that later became the supporters club five a side, was played at least for one year where matches were played to determine every team position.

I only stopped it because it was difficult getting the 7/8th playoff played.

There's an easy solution: Instead of bringing another 16 makeweights into the tournament, have various different playoffs to decide the rankings. Extra matches, and guaranteed TV audiences even for the big teams that crash out early.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #789
....another game which is not really necessary.
Who says it's not necessary? It is needed to determine the third placed team.  It's the culmination of two years qualifying, an intense tournament involving group and knock-out stages, and having gone to all that trouble it would be unsatisfactory not to have places to show for all the effort. It is as necessary as doing the thing in the first place, or not, depending on your point of view. It's this constant assertion of your value set that I find baffling in that (and yes, I am tweaking it a bit for the sake of an argument, but you know...) you seem to be going out of your way to prove my point. The football doesn't matter, we win it, or we f*ck off because we have better things to be doing. Irrespective of the status and the rules of the competition. You don't care, so you find it impossible to believe that anybody else does. It's meaningless because other people have told you it's meaningless.  Nobody cares. Momentum and then absolutely not giving a f*ck is everything.

...or maybe, just maybe...football is interesting of itself?

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #790
I won't watch the third place game, no interest. I might have the final on but I'm fishing Sunday and won't rush to pack up now.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #791
Football is interesting, of course, but I don't think it is necessary or unsatisfactory to have third place unresolved. I can suffer it in all other tournaments, and every other sport manages, so I'm sure the World Cup would survive. Of course, if it's simply for your pleasure, then fine. But to accuse others of not liking football because they feel more than a little deflated by falling just short of the chance to compete for the top prize and therefore being less interested in a match that is much less meaningful than even the semi-final is more than a little churlish.

Perhaps if I could watch as dispassionately as you then I would get it. Then again, I wouldn't enjoy it as much so what would be the point?

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #792
You're conflating arguments. What I'm currently arguing against the third place playoffs being meaningless. They are not. That's just your opinion. Another argument thread here is that many (a majority?) of people don't actually enjoy football as such, more the social aspects that it's a focus for. The is intersection on the Venn diagram of these sets of people but I'm not presuming that you are in both. Just that some people clearly are. I'm not suggesting that one has to watch every game, or ascribe them equal value. I'm saying I find the notion of having no interest in coming third, in one of the most prestigious sporting contests in the world, that occurs infrequently, where few top sportsmen are able to compete in four such events, meaningless.

Its an attitude I find baffling, as I find the lack of interest and tolerance in international football in general baffling.... And there are people, not just me, for whom it is more than meaningless.

I find the insular approach to English kick and rush basketball club football, to the detriment to any other form of the game, very odd. Its football for short attention span demanding babies.

... And no. Pretty much every Olympic sport has some sort of third place resolution.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #793

I think the third place game is there for the fans who traveled for the semi finals and found themselves not much to do if their team didn't progress.  It would at least make the travel a bit more meaningful.

Wifey blocked the last second trip to Russia for the semi finals but a client (who happens to be quite mad), offered to use some of his company air miles to get me to Moscow for the final if I could snag a ticket.  This mercifully never occurred as I am quite sure France would have pillared us.  The experience though would have been something.

If indeed I had somehow managed to finagle the semi final, I would have absolutely hightailed it to St.Petersburg to see the third place game because it would involve travel and another city and frankly another game. 

This has been a great world cup and wifey being insane wants to go to Qatar which sounds sh!t but then again i said the same thing about Russia and loved this year's addition of the beautiful game. 

Chicago: Open to options. 
If running is bad for your knees try hanging out with Russ and Tricky for a night.

Re: The World Cup Thread

Reply #794
I think the bronze medal game, sorry, 3rd place playoff game does serve several purposes for the teams involved. Firstly, as Chicago mentioned, fans may have travelled some distance and booked accomodation/time off on the off chance they were in the final, so it softens the blow but most importantly it gives the teams (aside from the World Cup winner) a unique opportunity which is - go home from the World Cup off the back of a win. If there is one thing that will set you up mentally going forward it would be finishing on a sort-of high. As a bonus it gives the manager the chance to give a few more players World Cup experience who may not have figured.

It also gives us a glimpse of what the final could have been like, which in this case would be two attack-minded teams going at each other so should be fairly entertaining.

Added spice is that with Belgium beating England in the group, they have a chance to do the double over them which will spur them on and probably be a point of pride for the England camp.

I'm actually looking forward to the 3rd place game as much as the final. Should be an entertaining one.
The inside of a Halex Three-Star table-tennis ball smells much like you'd expect it to