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Dr. Soukup: Longing for Schaffer

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2021-12-23 16:10:25

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Longing for Schaffer
Dr. Richard Soukup | 08/01/1927

Many will have leafed through what was read in the sports newspapers some time ago: Czechoslovakia is boycotting Switzerland. Root cause? The football king Schaffer. It came this way. Sparta had to play two games in Switzerland. The condition was: The football king Schaffer must compete. But Sparta did not play Safr (we will never forgive Schaffer for allowing himself to be called that!) for unknown reasons. Spezi was sitting in the stands in dress and overcoat, smoking his cigaretti and watching. The result: the Swiss paid less than was agreed. Another consequence: Czechoslovakia boycotted Switzerland. A king (if only a football king) had once again given rise to diplomatic complications...
Today Schaffer is in Munich at Ausgeding. Nobody speaks of him anymore, while Zamora, the vanity of vanities, in Spain still mimes the football emperor, even if his ability can no longer keep up with his luck for a long time.
To correct me: Nobody speaks of Schaffer anymore. That's correct. But many think of him. Think of him when they see the games of now, in which mediocrity conquers mediocrity. How to muck around instead of playing, where stoutness is the trump card, not elegance.
Let's take a look around! Where is the Schaffer format still available in Vienna at the moment? Where is the gentleman who would risk playing for the eye? Perhaps the idiots who laughed at Schaffer on his Viennese debut have now got this laugh stuck in their throats! Perhaps over time you realized that the sentence “A loss is a loss”, as much as it may be an axiom in the standing room, is not entirely true. That there are Bummerin who simply cannot put up with the name Bummerl.
Let's think back to the goals that Schaffer (in the truest sense of the word) scored. (In fact, Schaffer achieved: I think he couldn't even pronounce the word "shred.") Were these moments of pleasure? Yes or no? Or when the King played his ministers freely so that one should have shouted with delight and admiration ? Have you ever seen Schaffer lurking, insidiously lurking like so many who we call greats? No, he didn't have to. Cavaliers do not wait for unguarded moments, for favorable situations, they work them out. They do what they want with indomitable calm and security, prefer to evade before they run down an opponent once, still look to elegance in all of this, in a word: they know how to preserve the forms of football society. That is why Schaffer's goals, however fatefully inevitable they seemed, always had something conciliatory and sympathetic about them. That's why they always had applause. Also the applause of the opposing supporters.
And yet Schaffer wasn't a downright favorite. Which is easy to explain. He was king after all. And kings, however affable they may be, know how to keep their distance. His Majesty Schaffer understood that too. Didn't the little boys piss him off, or only because he was much too big for them. (Wessely is significantly smaller, there you go.)
There was a lot of mockery, laughing and grinning about the title "Football King", which Schaffer has by no means acquired. One has joked about it again and again (me too!). And yet one has to say that, although football has been over thirty years now is played and some great greatness has come and gone, Schaffer had neither ancestors nor successors. That should give food for thought, especially since the press and the public are quite generous with the bestowal of endearing names and titles. But one never has thought to create a successor in Schaffer's place, neither in Hungary nor with us, although they have an Orth in Hungary who one could easily imagine that one day they would find out that he had football-royal blood.
Will they even allow a monarch with us in football? For the time being we have the republic and it looks like we won't get a new football king in the foreseeable future. Still, I don't think I'll get the reputation of a football monarchist if I tell His Majesty Spezi Schaffer on behalf of many that we now and then have a strong longing for him.