Soccer fans the world over had a crazy week debating the Super League. Whether you live for the beautiful game or not, at the core of the story is the idea of artists, patrons, and the ceremony of performance and presentation.
Davo from the Men In Blazers podcast put it brilliantly (emphasis added):
This is a fans game. These are clubs. These are clubs that used to play against each other with nobody watching, then people started watching and they joined the club, and they were part of the club and part of the supporters’ group, it’s a ceremony of some kind. It’s a ceremony that takes place between players and fans.
Whatever you’re doing, making, or patronizing – respect the ceremony. It’s the most important part. It’s what gives it meaning. It’s what everyone shows up for.
If you lose the ceremony, you lose the soul.
If you focus on the ceremony, you can make magic.
Over and over and over again.
Here’s footage of the Chelsea fan protest-turned-celebration when the news broke their club would pull out of Super League involvement. Watch and listen closely. This is the power of the bond the ceremony creates:
And, for posterity, here’s James Corden giving a heartfelt explanation of why we should never let greed triumph over sport: