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Tikka Mezzala

(FM20) All That is Clay

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Hello, FM Stories Community!

I am a newcomer here. I only joined the forum very recently and was delighted to stumble across a space dedicated to writers and people that like to add a bit of creativity to their Football Manager experience. I have been very impressed with some of the stories on here and it has inspired me to have a go at writing my own FM Story. 

Before I embark upon my project I should make something clear: since we are approaching the time of year when a new Football Manager comes kicking and screaming into the world, I'd like to situate my story within the world of the future instalment of the game. That means that I won't be receiving input for my story directly from the events of the game until after the release. My reasons for choosing to do this are twofold: I don't want to get into writing a story that in all likelihood would end abruptly when the new edition of the game arrives; and I would like to use the time before the release to create a bit of a backstory. 

I hope that my contribution to the community will be in keeping with the high standards already set by those who have been writing here for some time. 


Best Wishes,


Tikka Mezzala. 




Edited by Tikka Mezzala

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"All that I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football." 

- Albert Camus


I've done nothing today. Well, not nothing, but nothing productive. All of my actions have been aimed at staving off the bored depression that always threatens to encapsulate a person in my predicament. I tried reading (an activity I consider to be productive), but my attention span wouldn't stretch beyond the musings of loose acquaintances on Facebook. Refresh, scroll, refresh, scroll, refresh, scroll, phone down. Look for something to watch: boredom. Pick phone up, scroll, refresh, scroll...the same process repeated throughout the day. By late-afternoon/early-evening I feel light-headed. My lack of movement brings on a feeling that would vindicate substance-dualism: my mind feels as though it is coming undone from its physical shell and retreating into a nauseating, unstable world of pure thought. The only physical sensations that reach out into this immaterial universe are a faint pain in my lower back caused by slouching, and a sore head brought on by dehydration. 

The remedy for my sluggishness: spicy instant ramen noodles. I always maintain just enough energy to get up off the sofa, boil the kettle, rip open the packet of noodles and put them and the hot water in a bowl. Sometimes I think the dry noodles resemble a brain. When the boiling water is added and they soften and come apart, they resemble my brain. I have been living off of ramen noodles and other 'instant' foods ever since leaving home thirteen or so months ago. Before my involuntary independence I used to imagine myself in the kitchen chopping away at peppers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, heads of lettuce and other colourful symbols of health. The only colour in my daily meal of waking life comes from the spice packet that I add to my noodles for flavour. Thankfully I don't eat to stay in good health; I eat to write. 

In the evenings, after dinner, I utilise all three-hundred-and-eighty-nine calories of the ramen noodles, and sit down to type. At the moment I am working on a philosophical tract about the ontological commitments of association football. So far I have managed to establish that football is committed to the existence of free-will:

"In the mind of the football-person(s), all possibilities are open before a boot has been tied and a ball kicked. The betting man may calculate the likely outcome by surveying all known facts ahead of kick-off; he remains a gambler, none-the-less, because chance is an element in the constitution of his world. The very idea that the outcome of a football match may be pre-determined is so egregious to the football community, that titles have been stripped and heavy fines implemented for those who are deemed to have been involved in the heinous crime of 'match-fixing'. 

I have been attempting for the past few weeks to establish a novel concept that I have dubbed 'spectator idealism', but any time I sit down to elucidate the idea, the details of it slip out of my mind. All I know right now is that it has something to do with the existence of football as a game depending upon it being perceived as such. Hopefully I will have a more concrete explanation in the coming weeks. 

When I have exhausted my creativity for the evening I switch from Microsoft Word to Football Manager. In the world of the management simulation game, I bounce between believing there is genuine chance involved and believing that the game is fixed against me. Surely it would be stupid to trust a computer to play fair when I am competing against it? Even though I know that certain things are hard-wired, and that my computer cannot simply write its own rule book, I still approach the game with caution. The proof is beginning to mount in favour of the 'fixed' hypothesis: silly mistakes from goalkeepers and defenders, an injury list that would shame a team of Derk Boerigters, and a world class striker that doesn't score goals. I begin a new tract on the philosophy of Football Manager:

"In the mind of the Football Manager enthusiast, all possibilities are shut before 'continue' has been clicked..."







Edited by Tikka Mezzala

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