A few years ago, I was reading Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch, and I remember him quoting William Alan Durban, then Stoke manager. One of the most famous quotes in football, he said, “If you want entertainment, go and watch clowns.” I don’t remember why he quoted him, but I have my own interpretation. Everyone says football is a beautiful game and that it needs to be played beautifully, from the pinpoint crosses to accurate passes and clinical finishes. I’m just disappointed because some people seek entertainment in football and even dare to describe playacting indirectly in a positive light. For what? For being disrespectful and unprofessional for entertainment purposes? Does that even make sense?
We don’t really need characters, but real players in the United Football League (UFL). Players that our children can look up to and admire should they choose to become professional footballers or simply fans of the sport. We want kids to play proper football—no cheating, no flying kicks, no nonsense. In my opinion, if you want to be the best team or player, then play like one. There’s a reason why they say football is a battle of skill and courage.
There are rules, and we should play by them; they are not meant to broken. We want the UFL to showcase teams that can set a good example for children and encourage them to play the sport. We should be all for fair play and professionalism as early as now. We only give credit when it is due and rightfully earned.
Sure, there can be characters to spice things up in the league, but nobody should condone blatant and repeated playacting, diving, or simulation. Scoring goals is the name of the game, and players can dance, do a backflip, or cartwheel to celebrate the goal. I guess these instances (aside from the quality of the game) are considered entertaining, but stop looking for amusement and unnecessary distractions. As much as the league needs ways, conventional or not, to attract new fans and supporters, I hope they will not sacrifice the Laws of the Game in order to achieve that goal.
I read that one official said Coach Reid looks like Winnie the Pooh. Funny observation, thanks for sharing. You can imagine Coach as the Disney bear all you want in your own world, but in the end, I hope, Coach should be judged and remembered for what he has done for the club. It goes the same way for the players, managers, and staff.
If I were a player, I wouldn’t want to be remembered for my accent or looks, but for my sheer brilliance. I don’t want to be just a character in your story; I want to be remembered in history as a committed professional football player with a serious work ethic.