Study Stadium and a common moles | Sports| The USA Print

Study Stadium and a common moles |  Sports

I still get emotional when I hear the classic tune from Estudio Estadio. It is a conditioned reflex. When I was nine, ten, eleven years old, there was no greater weekly conquest than convincing my parents to let me go to bed a little later on Sunday so I could watch the game highlights. That music was the prologue of an hour of total fascination and happiness. Jesús Álvarez, Matías Prats or José Ángel de La Casa recited the results of the day. Sometimes you were completely unaware of them, because that afternoon he had spent playing in the street without any transistor nearby. Others, I had followed in the Carrusel de la Ser or the Sports Table of Radio Nacional that presented the torn voice of Juan Manuel Gozalo (oh, another tune now resonates in my head, that of the program with the best name in the world: Radiogaceta de los sports). But I had never completely memorized the results and, in those years in which they could not be consulted (Teletext did not arrive until 1988), you were always surprised to see them labeled on the screen.

For a time, until the first half of the 1980s, results and standings were presented hand-drawn and the summaries were preceded by a humorous cartoon by José María Fandiño summarizing the context or consequences of the match. I loved those drawings of little men wearing their team’s jerseys happily celebrating victory or falling into an abyss, a qualifying metaphor, literally carrying a bag of goals on their backs, with a rueful gesture. Then technology arrived and the hand drawings disappeared, but some little flags that gave color to the cold metal disappeared.

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When the results of Segunda B were published, I was fascinated by the names of the teams that for me were just that, mere names, but that aroused in my imagination small stadiums of voluntary fans. There were wonderful ones: Calvo Sotelo, Antequerano, Portuense, Jupiter!

Afterwards, the summaries began, which were preceded by a still photo of the stadium where the match had taken place, with the result and the essential data superimposed: scorers, name of the referee, collection. I have been looking at several on the Internet, to awaken the nostalgia that feeds this text. What impeccable narratives, what perfectly written texts. In one of the summaries that I have seen, of a Las Palmas-Betis from 1988, the narrator introduces the images of the match: “You already know the outcome, but the brief story has this chronology.”

The second part of the experience came when we returned to school on Monday and discussed the day, clandestinely during classes and now free at recess. The luckier ones had seen the show; the lesser must be content with the narratives of the former. There was no way to rescue those goals and saves from the past, in those times without internet. Thus, the day went directly to evocation and memory. What happened came to us through the story: we talked and talked to keep alive the facts that, little by little, were becoming detached from reality.

A few days ago, in this same newspaper, the technologist Lucía Velasco stated that “it is not unreasonable to think that on-demand television content in a few years will be created at that time and only for us.” That we referred to each of the spectators who are sitting in isolation on the sofa on the other side of the screen. The image was devastating to me: isolated spectators in a program created for a single use.

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Chuck Klosterman explains in the fantastic essay The Nineties that the cinema of that decade reached such a degree of self-referentiality that the films became detached from the real world. For the author, this was determined by the consolidation of the video store as a means of cinematographic consumption (you could see the same film as many times as you wanted) and it reached its maximum expression in Tarantino. They were movies that were about movies, he explains, movies that referred to other movies. For many of us who grew up at that time, our true homeland is the culture we then consumed. We watched the same tapes a thousand times, which we commented on, recreated and parodied until we knew each line of dialogue by heart. That’s why we divide the world into those who know who Jack Burton, Buttercup, or John Bender are, and those who don’t. For what we are interested in this now: here is the image of a community, the opposite of the isolated spectators that Lucía Velasco predicts.

Soccer for us was part of that cultural substrate. Estudio Estadio gave unity and consistency to the story of football. We all share the same topos, a space from which to generate a community.

Today the entire world (soccer too) is just one click away, and that is, I suppose, an advantage. But it is explored in solitude.

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