Very enthralling to see the films of the ’74 West Germany World Cup. Watching these legendary players and teams is such a different experience than it is today, in the times of HD and incredibly high frame rates. The filmic moves of Cruyff and company appear to take us to a mythical realm… who can ignore titans of the sport such as “Der Kaiser,” Franz Beckenbauer, a pioneer in the sweeper position, or Gerd Müller, scorer of 68 goals in 60 games for West Germany as well as more than 500 as a club player. If we were to go back even further, to the first filmed matches, we’d find choppy video of fixed camera angles–goals were recorded by a camera on a tripod, by which a ball flies and you see the blurry keeper’s dive in the corner of your screen, a vague wave of fans in the background leaping to their feet. By the 50’s, we have cameras that can pan, but have trouble keeping up with the action.
Of course, players now seem faster, stronger, more clever, more powerful. Which makes me wonder: how much does the technology through which we interpret the game change the way we play it, as well as imagine it? How does this visual representation of the world’s most popular sport affect other areas of our social consciousness?