venerdì 25 giugno 2010

Italy: adverse selection strikes again

After the sad show of the italian soccer team in South Africa, there's nothing else to talk about: after all I'm a football supporter and I can't avoid to make some considerations.

Actually it has been suggested and proposed any kind of interpretation and explanation both in sport and in meta-sport terms: surely the quality of italian football as a whole is not the best at the moment. Someone has said that the problem is that there are too many foreign football players: someone else said that the best italian football players have remained at home... Maybe...

It has been said also that the Italian football team today is the personification of the mediocrity of the entire italian society of our times: effectively today in Italy everything seems to be very bad or is giving the impression to be so. We are living in a society characterized by a "total dis-quality".

In my opinion, I think that it should be necessary to re-shape the role of football in Italy. So many times it has been said that in Italy soccer is not a sport, but an industry, a critical item in the GNP definition... I think this a pure madness...

We all in Italy have given an exasperating priority and an importance to football: not only for the presence of football in any space of the media or in commercials but also for a pathological centrality given to soccer in our everyday life. This condition has created a diffused psychosis at social level: many (too many) italian families have been convinced to have at home a potential baby-football champion by the football business world.

Even in may little personal experience I have suffered similar influences. My son played basket and he liked to do athletics and chess but here are considered "jinxed activities": he has been convinced by his classmates and friends to pass to a soccer-school attended by the majority of young people here. He decided so in order not to be excluded because football lived in this way is a tool of exclusion and marginalization. In these schools, football is a rite made of competition, exaltation, fanatism, some time verbal and fisical violence against who lag behind or considered "unable". For us, it has been an allucinating experience also because partents incite their sons to be so strongly competitive against the others. Cars, cellular phones, watches, high fashion clothes: anything is good to be exhibited by these crazy people in this foolish show.

After some weeks we have decided to renounce: all this is against our values. It out of our mental reach.

I wonder if in these schools or centres a sort of adverse selection is actually made: they produce maybe some champions but they are "asshole-champions". Thus it is necessary a moment of calm: there are other sports, other activities, other professional carreers worth of respect and dignity .

In conclusion, the bad performance of the italian football team seems to me as a metaphor of the worst social desease we are living today in Italy: adverse selection. This desease affects everywhere and anything: education, politics, research and university, economy, culture, journalism, sport... This country is unable to identify, promote and support its own talents rather preferring to confide upon mediocrity. Talents are worrying people, they are unpredictable and hardly manageable. Mediocrity is reassuring even if providing low or bad results.

Then just convince mediocre people to be champions: et le jeux son fait...

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