Real Football, and How Best to Understand It

Wealthy owners of European football teams thought they could enrich themselves by breaking off from the existing system of associations of clubs. They called it a Super League.


Within nanoseconds, the fans freaked out, and in the space of only two days, the Super League, irretrievably consigned to an early death, perished, with one major player in the doomed effort blaming Boris Johnson and other Brexiteers (


This caused us here at AP to ask ourselves what the wealthy owners of the European football clubs, including several Americans, were thinking.


Could it possibly be that they were thinking of The Almighty Dollar? (It was Washington Irving who coined the term in 1837.)


We Americans who recognize that European football is a much safer as well as much more enjoyable sport than American football are accustomed to hearing about the glories of teams such as Real Madrid (full name: Real Madrid Club de Futbol), without realizing, until we googled the name, that in the Spanish context, Real means only one thing: Royal.


And then we Americans, to the extent that we remember anything about the founding of this here nation, realize (pun intended), oh, yeah, a mere couple of centuries ago, we fought a war against a monarchy that was oppressing us from the other side of the Atlantic.


Next, our highly overworked research staff discovered that Real Madrid is not, by any means, the only soccer team whose name begins with Real, because they quickly found out about Real Tamale United, a football club based in Ghana which, interestingly enough, has appropriated the name of a food item well known by lovers of Mexican food.


It gets even more interesting, because Tamale, in Ghana, has nothing to do with tamales, but its denizens are subservient to the Dagomba King in Yendi.


Into all this fascinating discussion jumped our Chief International Correspondent, associate solitary reporter Larry Theis, an impressario of world-wide renown.


“SR,” he texted us, “it’s all about the money, but at the same time, we humans seem to have a fascination with royalty, even though royalty in many contexts demands subservience to a king or queen. Some of us need to be told what to do ."