Life is a Football Game (part 1)
el Dios del Fútbol, Maradona. And Live Is Life.
I often get a call or request for advice, mentoring or coaching. I am no coach nor have any real time for mentoring. However I love my friends, enjoy my business partners and love solving business puzzles. Hard problems always gets me. It’s like a harpoon someone throws at you and the fish is caught and eventually grilled. They know!
Sometimes, I think about how our brains & thoughts completely took over our feelings and bodies. We seek all these mentors, elders, readings, all the blogs, books or podcasts, go to all these institutions. We are almost completely shutting off our feelings.
Like killing Buddha sounds great in theory but impossible to do in practise.
What happened to those children — laughing, exploring, feeling and living in the moment?
Imagine watching a Football Game and slowing everything down to — a one single frame.
All there is to life is the Game at that moment — life IS the Game. In that exact frame, in that exact moment, only that one moment.
Everything that ever happens is hidden in ONE single frame.
No city no game. No game, no frame. Long ago people needed to settle the city. There isn’t settle like settle. Maybe it was conquer or it was a land capture. If they had captured the land — maybe they had to defend it all that time. Was it with guns or rule of law — or both?
Someone needed to build the city, the roads, the houses, the stadium, the roads, the whole infrastructure down to a water pipe or bacon & eggs in the morning. One also has to design the stadium. Probably there had to be a concrete plan. No money, no stadium. Where did the money come from?
Well, the city is built, ok. Maybe it was not the first stadium, who knows. Maybe the old owner is the new owner. The owner may run it himself or herself or even using a management company. Someone also drafted the shareholders’ contracts and someone is doing the bookkeeping & accounting. Who is running it anyway?
It looks like people really liked the games — since the newest stadium can fit 50,000 people at once. They must really love the games or performers — or they were just sold on games long ago.
Ok, we have the city, the people, the money, the strategy and the plan!
Do we have the talent & nerves?
Dieu du futbal Zidane, German commentators, English subtitles, Italian and French players and fans. The whole world in a pot..
Time to Build!
It looks like no small feat: getting the right people, with the right financing structures and partners to start the design phase. The amount of permits and approvals required go to hundreds eventually. Finally we can start building our stadium and later finish off exteriors & interiors. And then, and then just getting people and the team for an opening day. Hurray!!
Boy, that does not look that easy! The amount of planning, bodies, the contingency plans, the negotiations with city, district or county, the delays, the nerves, injuries, the sweat & tears. The amount of physics and statistics, or the safety protocols. And the manpower & the machinery! One’s head would surely blow up.
Despite sacrifice— The Game is worth all the obstacles!
We continue building. Someone else needed to build & equip the interior from the entrance gate locks or lockers through thousands of chairs to a simple water bottle. How many chairs? Who are the suppliers, how trustworthy are they? There sure must be some payment conditions. What is the contingency plan? How do we manage inventory? Now imagine someone forgets to take care of the exterior plans. Not good, not good at all.
Questions, questions, questions..
If we want to make money — we need to invest the money. We probably expect some return on it as well. From setting targets, utilisation rates through ensure transmission rights sales up to the marketing and maintenance costs. We probably want some regulars, some great performers, some big events, some small events as well and also a practice base. And a great video & audio.
Who do we want? Everybody — families, couples, friends, grandparents with kids, we want the whole world under one umbrella. No matter the origins, profession, nationality, religion, age or hobbies. Except — pretty sure people do not take 5 year old twins to listen to Metallica or it’s quite unreasonable to take them to US Open finals. Unless you’re rich and your babysitter called sick.
Why are we even making money?
Once there was nothing. There were no movies, no vacations nor any video games in 18th century. However it’s quite obvious — in some shape and form — there were many alternations of those free time activities, competitions or venues and shows where people gathered from time to time. The old bread & games..
What was the first game in the history of mankind? Maybe a man on man, maybe a fist on fist, maybe one person ended dead. Or maybe they were playing and throwing apples at each other. Maybe..
If you’re curious enough — the search is clicks away.
But — but how do you know what you find out — actually happened?
What if the First Game was a man meeting Death, and he froze or got eaten by a bear?
What if the First Game was a man watching animals at play?
What if the First Game was a mother and her child?
Who knows, maybe. We don’t really know — or do we?
What if the First Game was God creating the Universe?
We do not really know, do we?
Back to the Godlike Football Game. It hasn’t even started yet. Well, first we need to get people in. Different event different people — but definitely quite a lot of them.
What are we selling, what do they think they are buying? And what’s the real value?
How do we get them is one things — while getting them into the stadium — is quite another puzzle to solve. As Omar Bradley said “amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics” — we need to make sure the transport system to our amazing Stadium is as smooth as possible. And being able to handle 50,000 people coming at once. No small feat. Josh is on point here.
So, why do people come to games? Does it matter?
Maybe some wanna see live entertainment, some just wanna kill free time, some wanna see some action, get some dopamine, maybe some wanna take kids off the TV and take them out. Maybe some wanna see their friends, maybe some are friend’s of the crew, or the friends of the players and coaches. Maybe some coming to watch peak performance, live. Some come for fun & joy. Maybe some do not even know why, they just go with the flow like fishes in a pond.
And maybe Some,
maybe Some — come to see the Life or Living itself!
Eventually we want everyone just in the right place at the right time from a kid with an iPhone through the player #10 to the security & digital crews
We sold the transmission rights, the Game has to happen!
We also want to create amazing memories that will make people come back for more. We may also want to become an oligopoly in the town or broader district or country. “Top practise and top live performance is us”. Can we also double the transmission rights revenue while triple cash flow at the same time? Margins do matter. And there is not much margin for errors.
From a small village settlement to a chair at the Game.
Well, the city had settled long ago, the stadium is finally built, the teams or the performers have practised for years, fans have smoothly moved from parking lots — through the security gates later buying coke while taking pictures —and finally getting to their seats.
Finally! The Game Starts!
Not really, not yet.
We did not even talk about dinosaurs, Steve Jobs or the Ancient Rome and how it all fits perfectly into one single second, one single frame of the Football Game.
The results when everything fits together perfectly in the Universe:
Next part is more interesting, it’s more about feelings, people, relationships love, life and living. Kids laughing, endurance, belief, mental and physical toughness or the circle of life where nothing changes and stays the same for millennia.
To be continued..
Inspired by a long conversation with an Islander..
p.s.: love to jazz with curious people in any shape or form. Feel free to hit me up on twitter.