SPOTLIGHT | JURGEN KLOPP
photo manipulation by nacrowe
my dad recently clued me into a recent segment of an episode of MEN IN BLAZERS, which is AMERICAN TV SHOW about all things world football, errr, SOCCER for all you hapless cretins out there. my family was overseas in AFRICA and the MIDDLE EAST for the better part of two decades so being intimately aware of EUROPEAN FOOTBALL just came by osmosis. the fact that a show like this exists stateside is a god send for any yankee curious about sports that actually matter beyond our borders.
this segment was based on interviews with current LIVERPOOL FC manager JURGEN KLOPP about his philosophy towards coaching and life in general. you'd think he'd double-down on stale platitudes regarding winning and success, but what he said was essentially that effort has value. he didnt say winning has value, but rather effort has value. winning can be the end result of short cuts, cheating and other unenviable and other actions that diminish and dehumanize the perpetrator, but working hard and giving something all your honest effort is really all that can be asked of someone and is success in and of itself.
even jaded me was a little shocked by this admission. i don't think my AMERICAN brethren really understand how obsessive people are globally about EUROPEAN FOOTBALL. it's beyond our petty little rivalries (YANKEES/RED SOX, LAKERS/CELTICS, PATRIOTS/EVERYBODY) since you will find people in small PERUVIAN villages following attentively along to LA LIGA games on crude makeshift radios a continent away. sorry, our sports don't compare. for a coach of a top-flight PREMIER LEAGUE team to espouse effort over winning is pretty revolutionary given the stakes of his position.
but he would counter that look back on his career in the distant future, he sees the relationships and stories that he shares with his former teammates and players he coached are what would be valued most, not a trophy. any title would just be the end result of teamwork and, again, effort.
i just think that in a modern global capitalist construct where exploitation of labor from underserved communities in forgotten faraway places robs us all of our basic human dignity in favor of social network-assisted materialist, clout-chasing bullshit; that in that space there are some that focus in on human effort as deserving of our attention and respect is heartwarming. naive probably, but indicative of a space i'd prefer to inhabit.
almost like that famous PAUL MCCARTNEY line in ABBEY ROAD where he states "and, in the end. the love you take is equal to the love you make." we all are the summation of the stories we tell each other. go make them.