Corinthians and their kids put on a show against a great rival. Crowded stadium, enchanted night, rout, screams of olé – a catharsis for Corinthians and Corinthians fans.
At the end of the game, Mantuan, who made his best game so far and was essential in the construction of the victory, gave an almanac sheet, as they say, to Kaiky, a Santos defender. The boy from Santos didn’t fight back with a boot, but he went there full of courage to warn Mantuan that these things are not done.
Soon after, Adson, the young star who plays with enormous intensity and joy, made a splash over the defense and then he got a hit.
What I heard next was criticism of Adson and no mention of the kick.
How exactly is a well-placed dribble an offense to honor?
To echo this absurdity is to collaborate so that toxic masculinities continue to exist and it is, at the same time, to give a cart without a ball in everything that football represents.
What would you say today about Garrincha’s backward dribbles? No need, my son. Less so, Garrinchão!
Every day football offers us many performances by men weakened in their masculinities, whether on the fields, in the stands or at the round tables where they spend a lot of time triangulating with inside jokes, praising the strong arm of their colleague, evaluating who among them is better this or that; given over to public territorial disputes.
Many of these tables are actually a masturbatory show for the viewer. It is assumed that the audience is made up of people just like those at the tables – and this is not true.
Sometimes, even with a woman present at the debate, we witness this endless exchange, perhaps even to give a dislocation to the female figure who dared to get in there. They would rather be among them, and some can’t hide it.
All these ingredients are part of the recipe for fragile, toxic masculinity. It is the same rope of toxicity that, when properly stretched, at the end of the day legitimizes slapping, abuse, harassment, murder.
A dribble full of aesthetics and magic doesn’t make anyone less a man. Only a shaky masculinity can give a legitimate maneuver any kind of stain on honor.
Football is also the fluff, the sheet without a goal, the backward dribble, the shouts of olé.
Wanting all actions to aim at objective and calculable efficiency should be the desire of an insurance company manager and not of coaches, directors, commentators, fans.
Football exists in the step of standing on the ball with no apparent intention other than to call the opponent to dance.
Adson, for example, at the time of the flurry was holding the ball in the attack field. Taking a goal from Santos was not in the plans. Ensuring the extended scoreboard yes. Why can’t he do the trick and call the crowd to scream and ecstasy? Why can’t he be legally disarmed? Why is the Mantuan sheet offensive? What do the offended feel?
Freeing football from this fragile and toxic masculinity, stripping the game of this short fuse syndrome, is a task for the new generations: the boys and girls.
I end with an excerpt from a book by Alan Watts: “Learning the Human Game” or, in free translation, “Learning the Human Game”
“In music, nobody makes the ending the goal. If that were the case, the best conductors would be the ones who played the fastest; and there would be composers who would only write endings. People would go to concerts to hear only the last chord — because that would be the ending.
Same with dancing—you don’t look for a particular spot in the room; where you should go. The purpose of dance is to dance.
Now, but we don’t see this being translated by our education into our daily life. We have a school system that gives a different impression. It’s all series — and what we do is we put a kid in a hallway with a series system, like, “Come on kitty, here here here?”.
And you go through kindergarten, and that’s great, because when you finish, you go to first grade. And then, see, first grade leads to second grade, and so on? And you leave elementary school and go to higher education – is it accelerating, is the thing coming? So you go to college, and then you go to graduate school, and when you graduate, you go out into the world. And you get some occupation as an insurance salesman. And you have a goal to hit. And you will hit it.
All the time, that thing is coming, it’s coming, it’s coming — that big thing, the success that you’re dedicating yourself to.
So when you wake up one day at 40 years old, you say “Oh my God! I’m here! I’m here!” And you don’t feel much different than you’ve always felt. And there’s a little sadness, because you feel like it was a prank call. And it was a prank. A terrible trot.
They made you lose everything. Because of expectation.
Look at people who live to retire, saving money. And then when they’re 65, and they don’t have any energy left, they’re more or less powerless, they go and rot in a community of senior citizens.
Because we’ve just betrayed ourselves all the way.
We thought that life, by analogy, was a journey, a pilgrimage, which would have a serious purpose in the end. And the goal was to get to that end. Success, or whatever, maybe heaven after he was dead. But we lost spirit all the way.
It was a song, and we should have sung it, or danced, while the song was playing.”