“Grandpa: Football in 2042”
You often talked to me about football, crazy parties with friends in stadiums, getting drunk when winning a game, the heavy atmosphere after losing a game, the nice smell of the grass of a field. You would be disappointed to see what happened to football.
You will certainly laugh but I don't go to the stadium anymore, the stadium comes to me! Places with 80,000 seats, as you once knew, no longer exist. Too expensive to build, to look after, to keep cost-effective. The result: mini stadiums of 5,000 seats nearly everywhere, digitised and connected, “business orientated”. Only privileged people can afford to buy a seat. They get a moving seat like the player did in a “modern” theater during your period of time, the moving seat follows each move of the player. When you choose the goalkeeper, you'd better hold on tight when he dives on the floor. Great sensations!
For supporters, it is another story. Today, football is totally digitised. I support my team from home, being in my living room is like being in a stadium. The atmosphere, the game, all experiences and sensations go through High Tech devices. Thanks to my headphones and online devices, I can follow the game as if I was in a stadium. Even better sometimes….It is an immersive experience!
I can follow the game through the eyes of my favourite player! Can you imagine? I am Messi (a great player from your time, I think). Contact lenses on his eyes allow me to see what he sees and senses. All players can live the game this way. I can easily change players if I feel like it. It is just as if I was the player himself. I love this experience!
I can also feel the shots the players take, through sensors. I quickly know if players fake pain… What a great experience! Before, football games could be boring, not today. 100% pleasure, 100% performance! With that kind of technology, players are like androïds.
Micro storage devices are placed on their head so they can make the right move at the right time. On their eyes, they wear multifunctional contact lenses, so they can be very precise while they pass the ball or shoot. They can run faster thanks to small springs inside their shoes. You can imagine how skilful the goalkeeper can be.
Today I am a SF: Super Fan. Thanks to my loyalty and passion for my club, I get loyalty points. I will be able to take a corner during the next game. Yes, I am a Pro from home! Next step, if I win enough points, I could take a free kick, and… a penalty! With High Tech, everything is possible today.
One last thing, Grandpa. Could you tell me who was the man on the field, during your time, wearing a yellow shirt, using a whistle and often interrupting the game? I think you called him a referee. This man no longer exists. Today, the rules are totally digitised. The ball is connected and you know instantly if the ball is in the goal, if there is a handball, or a penalty, without any doubt! Special cells placed on the field determine if the player is offside. Integrated sensors in shinguards check if there is any fault. Players are aware of the computer decisions thanks to headsets.
I remember you didn’t like players complaining about the referee.
Today, this is over. Computers never fail… But I feel like you do. Football is human. The talent of players and their weaknesses, their skills, their limits is what I enjoy the most.
Much love my dear Grandpa,