A Game of Two Halves: Football Fandom, Television and by Cornel Sandvoss

By Cornel Sandvoss

Specialist soccer is likely one of the most well liked tv 'genres' all over the world, attracting the help of hundreds of thousands of lovers, and the sponsorship of robust businesses. In A video game of 2 Halves, Sandvoss considers football's courting with tv, its hyperlinks with transnational capitalism, and the significance of soccer fandom in forming social and cultural identities all over the world. He offers the phenomenon of soccer as a mirrored image postmodern tradition and globalization.Through a sequence of case stories, established in ethnographic viewers study, Sandvoss explores the motivations and pleasures of soccer lovers, the serious bond shaped among supporters and their golf equipment, the consequences of soccer intake on political discourse and citizenship, soccer as an element of cultural globalisation, and the pivotal position of soccer and tv in a postmodern cultural order.

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Extra resources for A Game of Two Halves: Football Fandom, Television and Globalisation

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All my life. As a little boy, well, as long as I can remember, my dad used to take me to the ground. (Hilmar, Bayer Leverkusen fan) In these cases the fandom of Chelsea FC or Bayer Leverkusen reflects certain forms of inherited social and cultural capital, in combination with geographical location, which to a certain degree is determined by the former two. Yet in other cases – and notably those when first contact with football is made through the media – the initial reasons for supporting a particular team are largely independent of geographic factors: I remember, as a child I used to have the Shoot magazine, which is a weekly football magazine, and whether I just liked the colour .

While I return to some of these themes in the following chapters, it is the notion of articulation that is particularly relevant in football fandom. Fans, as Fiske (1989a: 7) argues, ‘draw sharp and intolerant lines between what, or who, they are fans of and what they are not’. In other words, fandom is a matter of taste. Pierre Bourdieu, in Distinction (1984), has famously explored processes and patterns of taste in modern societies, and his enlightening analysis of taste also has much to offer for our understanding of (football) fandom.

Whatever, our most successful period was really in the ’60s and the early ’70s, when we kept building very talented, very successful young squads and then dismantling them and then building another one. And you could only keep doing it for so long before the thing collapsed. So maybe that reflects Chelsea fans’ lives. (John, Chelsea fan) The diametric opposition between these two accounts is remarkable. Both accounts tell us more about the reader (the fan) than about the text (the club). Both interviewees describe the foundations of their own fandom, which in turn reflects their self-images – a process that John acknowledges.

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