Temporality and the Model of Gridiron Football

In the model of contemporary gridiron football, we retrieve the stadium games of Ancient Rome as well as the feudal-political model of chess, albeit both in modified form. While the stadium games of Ancient Rome often were re-creations of land and sea battles significant to the history of the Roman Empire, modern football, by contrast, is entirely in simulation: every play in every game models or describes a battle that has yet to take place — right down to the level of simulated death.

The articulation of these battles is extremely accelerated, as if played in fast forward. Though an entire game of chess is based upon just one battle — a mobilization of Church, nobility and serfdom to protect the King — a football game models a battle on every play from scrimmage, with the sum of these battles allowing a team to capture or surrender territory, reach objectives, and eventually win or lose the contest/war sixty minutes later.

We'll call it temporal dislocation in the former case (ie. the shift from archive to simulation), and temporal compression in the latter (ie. many discrete battles in one contest).

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  1. sportsBabel » instant karma's gonna get you says:

    [...] must admit the contours and perspectives of the volumetric, just as we must admit the unfolding of a particular linear timeframe while play emerges. Imagine this imagined game becoming material — for a moment — and [...]

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