Why do we all watch football when half of us not really like it?
We have just had the EK Football with its surprising winner Greece. Surely a good Greek Sportsummer this year as it has only just started.
But the fenomenon I wanted to write about is the amazing habit of a whole nation watching football, wearing orange clothes, driving cars that have lions tales hanging out on the back on to the street.. at least that is common in Holland.. when only half of the people really like football. Even people disliking football will be watching..
Why do we do that? I think that media consumption is getting more and more fragmented and we liked that. To have our own communities of interest, our own very special sites. But at the same time there is an emerging need for something to bind us to our neighbours, the parents we meet at school, the colleagues from that far away other department. We want something to talk about, some common ground. Football is such common ground, the orange clothes tell us we all belong together as we support “our” team. I see this need getting stronger. The rapid changes in the recent world order. The treaths of terrorism, the growth of religion fundamentalists (and I mean christian as well as islamic) made the world a less safe place. We want to be safe, it is a very basic need (remember Maslow, the second level of needs). We want to feel bound to a save group. We look for togetherness in something that transcends the difficult religious or political discussion. And football as many other sports is able to just do that. A crossmedia approach would be to underpin this feeling, to establish more common ground. To accentuate the feeling you belong to that group, where you will be safe.
Crossmedia should not be focussed on accentuating individual differences, but group coherence and alikeness.