The Muamba Message

The football world comes together over Fabrice Muamba.
Share |

Real Madrid players wear their message of hope and health to Muamba and Abidal  on their shirts. Image via Flickr.

At time of writing, the Bolton Wanderers player Fabrice Muamba is fighting for his life after suffering a cardiac arrest during his side's FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur. His condition is described as critical; it appears that the rapid response of the medics at White Hart Lane has given him a fighting chance at least. One instinctively recalls the likes of Antonio Puerta and Marc-Vivien Foé, who suffered similar calamities and didn't recover. One remembers more hopefully Rubén de la Red and Stâle Solbakken, who did recover. (Remarkably, Solbakken has gone on to a successful career in coaching, a job not otherwise associated with cardiac well-being.) One thinks above all of Muamba's fiancée and young son.

The soccer world in England and beyond has been duly shocked, and has united behind Muamba. On Saturday evening, Andrea Pirlo dedicated Juventus' win over Fiorentina to him. Yesterday, after scoring for Chelsea against Leicester City, Muamba's former Bolton colleague Gary Cahill displayed an undershirt carrying the message "Pray 4 Muamba." At Wolverhampton, Wolves and Manchester United players led the crowd in a round of supportive applause. And before their game against Málaga, Real Madrid's players wore "get well soon" t-shirts, as well as showing their solidarity with Barcelona's Eric Abidal, who is facing a liver transplant, a year after undergoing surgery to remove a malignant tumor.

It's almost part of the ritual to contend that sport doesn't matter at times like this. Sure enough, some of those reporting on the episode last night, as they and we waited for news, expressed this sentiment. It's more than understandable. However, it sent me back to a fine piece by Richard Whittall of The Score's Footy Blog, written shortly after the death of Gary Speed in November:

Yes, football is at its core a game, the very definition of a trivial pursuit. It’s not going to free an oppressed people or cure a terminal illness. But like art, music, literature, it’s a pursuit to which many dedicate their private and/or professional lives. Its loyalties cross uncomfortably into politics and can reflect our worst, brutal selves. At its best however, football offers something as close to transcendent joy as you can. It’s neither false nor irreverent to add that football is one of many things that gives life meaning, that makes it worth living.

The great Bill Shankly's most famous quote—"Someone said to me, 'To you football is a matter of life or death,' and I said 'Listen, it's more important than that'"—is these days only ever raised to be refuted. But something like this doesn't put sport into perspective; for most of us, it already is. There may be an overbearing lunatic fringe for whom that isn't true; philately probably has an overbearing lunatic fringe, too. But for the rest, sport is never life itself nor an utter frivolity. It's more complex than that.

Amongst many other things, sport is an escape. But it can never be a complete escape, because we can't engage in it without giving over something of ourselves to it, and we can never escape ourselves. There is necessarily a distance between the player and the spectator: not just because the player is likely to be a millionaire mercenary, but because the player makes things happen, while we wait for them to do so. But I would venture that watching sport (at any level beyond having the game on in the background while you do something else) is never entirely passive. Players don't just act as providers of stimuli, triggering variously giddy and despairing responses in us. In the space between us and them is an overlap, a mingling of our respective emotions and yearnings.

You don't even need to know much about the contestants; for example, Muamba's life story is particularly extraordinary. You could stumble upon a game involving people or teams completely unfamiliar to you, and it would still come down to this: you find watching the game engaging, and the players find playing it engaging, and via whatever convoluted routes, the two impulses come together on game day. This isn't merely a performance: it is to some degree an act of communion. There may be a barrier between us and them, but it's semi-porous. And it drops completely, if temporarily, at certain points: when your team has scored, or because of one of those moments of indefinable beauty that seem to be guided by some unconscious force, and thus belong not just to their creators, but to all of us. Even between these times, this awareness of us-and-them exists at the level of a background hum. We may be able to tune it out, but when it turns into a roar, it can (albeit thankfully rarely) be a terrible one.

Muamba's collapse was shocking because, well, of course it was: he is a professional athlete, one of our emblems of youthful vigour; it happened in public, in front of tens of thousands in the ground and a worldwide TV audience. But it was also shocking, not to mention dreadfully poignant, because it happened while he was taking part in this act of communion. It may be trite to talk about the "football family", but—and we can extend it to a "sporting family" here—it's nonetheless appropriate. Supporters of both sides chanted Muamba's name. No doubt this was partly out of helplessness: they could offer no practical help, so here was an instinctive spiritual offering. It was also out of empathy for a fellow: not just (just!) a fellow human being, but also a fellow participant.

As Richard says, sport is not life, but it's one of the things that dignify life. And there really is a dignity to it at heart. There's no need to be ashamed of it, or to distance ourselves from it. There is a need, however, to be thankful for it, and for those who commune with us in it. Sport may stop short at moments such as this, but it's what brings us together in the first instance, and it has played its part in dignifying Fabrice Muamba's life. Let us hope that that life has a long way left to run.


Share |

Comments

I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it. epoxy flooring in Los Angeles

I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! best garment steamer consumer reports

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. best rated infrared heaters

“A Life of Leisure”
You dream about it. You work relentlessly to attain it. You finally get a chance to manifest it and unwind. After a moment of cannabis leisure, your senses are quickly filled with a soothing shift into relaxation, pain relief, and pleasure helping you imagine the travel leisure you dream about. marijuana vacations

I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you! تصميم مواقع

Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! implant

A general building contractor, specializing in the installation of custom, vinyl & dual-paned windows & doors. Rancho Cucamonga, Chino Hills. sliding patio door

I am all that much satisfied with the substance you have specified. I needed to thank you for this extraordinary article. putlockers

I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. curling Iron

Design your vinyl lettering online and instantly view all fonts & colors, calculate dimensions and prices.Vinyl lettering is custom made with one day production.
Design your stickers online. Choose from different shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds or upload your own design. Quantities start at 2 pieces.
All vinyl lettering and stickers are outdoor durable and ready to apply vinyl maker online

We do a reviews of product to sell on amazon. This time we review office chairs. best office chair under 150

I truly inspired after read this on account of some quality work and educational musings . I just wanna express profound gratitude for the author and want you to enjoy all that life has to offer for coming!.  gujarati wedding photographer

Great Post, I'm a large believer within posting comments upon sites in to allow blog site writers recognize that additional some thing valuable in to the internet! putlocker online

Thanks for every other informative website. Where else could I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal means? I’ve a challenge that I’m simply now running on, and I’ve been on the look out for such information crazy bulk coupon code

send large files anywhere around the globe. Share big files up to 50GB and store them in your Cloud for Free. Transfer files between devices now! share files

Great post full of useful tips ! My site is fairly new and I am also having a hard time getting my readers to leave comments. Analytics shows they are coming to the site but I have a feeling “nobody wants to be first. garotas de programa caxias do Sul

Fantastic work done here by the writer visit website

I read this article. I think You put a lot of effort to create this article. I appreciate your work. lucknow call girls

Site is a CPA survey for game promo, site as various types of games and the method of getting the points or gems are via online generator on the site, please check the URL for full list of the games, generate free minecraft premium accounts

Chiller,Chiller Soğutma Sistemleri, Chiller servis | Aref
ArefChiller Soğutma Sistemleri;
Bugünsizlere sektörde 11 yılı devirmiş dev bir kadro ve ekiple beraber yaptıkları işle
arkasında iz bırakan bir firmadan bahsedeceğiz.Firmamızın tesisleri chiller

Our Estover site was the first location we opened in Plymouth and our first in Devon! Now we have two in the city it's like the older, wiser brother looking over (it is on a hill in the north after all) it's younger sibling. self storage Plymouth

We sell final expense both through telesales and field sales. We offer our agents free live transfers and free set appointments! See website for more det final expense telesales

I am constantly stunned by the measure of data accessible on this subject. What you exhibited was very much explored and eloquent so as to get your stand on this crosswise over to every one of your perusers. offlease product Canada

I propose merely very good along with reputable data, consequently visualize it: Aziende ristrutturazioni marsciano stafaband

Claim FREE gift card codes,you can generate free codes daily with our site @ http://bit.ly/2xVKoEn You can generate FREE codes such as ($10 $25 $50 $100 AMAZON GIFTCODES, PSN GIFTCODES, STEAM GIFTCODES, PAYPAL CASH CODE, ITUNES GIFTCODES, GOOGLE PLAY GIFTCODES, XBOXLIVE GIFTCODES, STARBUCKS GIFTCODES, EBAY GIFTCODES). This codes are %100 safe to use and they will in no way get your accounts banned or suspended, to get your free codes now visit http://bit.ly/2xVKoEn free itunes codes

Benvenuti nel migliore sito in Italia su come eliminare le formiche da casa. Qui scoprirai tanti trucchi e prodotti per eliminare definitivamente le fastidiose formiche. prodotti formiche

Browse through the big collection of movies and tv shows on Gomovies,123movies you can watch for free in HD. 123movies gomovies

Watch Movies and TV Shows for free from the neverending database of FMovies. f movies online

Belize24 is offeringjourneys through Belize and overnight stays for individual travelers from Germany. Belize Urlaub

We are a car rental local company stablished and serving in Casablanca Morroco, offering high standards of quality in service and affordable rates everytime you rent a car with us. Car rental is our savoir-faire (know how), quality and excelence, serious and respect. Exceptional prices, new cars, we deliver cars any where in Morroco, Casablanca, Marrakech, Agadir, hotels, aeroport تأجير السيارات

หางานทำ หารายได้เสริม รายได้พิเศษ งานเสริมรายได้ หางานพิเศษ งานพิเศษรายได้ดี งานทำที่บ้าน งานพาร์ทไทม์ งาน Part time งานฝีมือ อาชีพเสริม รายได้ดี สร้างรายได้พิเศษ

This is very useful, although it will be important to help simply click that web page link: bokep jepang

I might suggest solely beneficial in addition to trusted facts, and so find it: paleo diet

le Clenbuterol est un produit vétérinaire utilisé par les femmes pour maigrir et par les pratiquants de musculation pour être et rester sec. clenbu

It is quite beneficial, although think about the facts when it reaches this target. instagram views

Within this webpage, you'll see the page, you need to understand this data. auto shippers

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.! http://artcreative.me

The Discovery House provides the best drug and alcohol treatment centers in Los Angeles to those looking for help for a drug or alcohol addiction. We provide a resident-based approach to recovery, and our experienced staff uses a combination of proven techniques to help residents achieve sobriety. 12 step program

المسافرون العرب افضل دليل للمسافر العربي للتعرف علي الوجهات السياحيه في مختلف الدول  المسافرون العرب

Free download video bokep online indo HD mp4 bokep

Agora você pode comprar seguidores brasileiros e reais em seu Instagram com a SolucoesNXS comprar seguidores reais instagram

With nearly 20 years of experience in water, mold, and smoke damage restoration,PuroClean Disaster First Response has earned a reputation as "The Paramedics of Property Damage." We do more than clean up after a property disaster. water damage

Best website design & custom development company. We offer wordpress professional services, mobile development, affordable web design services & ecommerce website affordable web design services USA

Retrouvez tous nos costumes skinny ou slim fit pour une élégance à tout épreuve. Dandy store est une boutique pour homme dans le centre de Grenoble proposant des marques Danoises. prêt à porter homme

The site is a blog which answers questions about becoming a deliveroo rider. deliveroo rider

We give a review list of portable saunas that can be bought online. top portable saunas

Discover the best MLS realtor residential open house ads, listings, marketing, advertising and sign solutions. Visit OpenHouseDay.com MLS residential open house listings

Discover the best corporate and small business human resource solutions consultancy. Learn more at Acaciahrsolutions.com hr solutions consultancy

Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. hp spectre x360 review

看護師の転職、求人、募集は「看護師転職・求人の成功の秘訣を徹底比較」。業界No.1、合計80の看護師転職サイトを徹底比較しました。また、現役看護師による体験談や成功の秘訣などのワンポイントアドバイスがご覧になれます。 看護師求人