It is not my cup of tea. I am not interested. I am interested in what we do that is best for us. That is all. And all the stories around? You can not imagine how cool life is when ignoring them. They are not important. In football, and in the world of news, the next day they will chase another pig in the village, as we say in Germany. You talk about this today and tomorrow something else.”
British football media, especially during the biannual transfer window, is like an ultra-concentrated example of everything that’s wrong with media in general in the age of 24/7/365 “news” you can’t use. Granted, in a field which on most days contains very little substance worth reporting, journalists are forced to get creative in throwing text against the wall of a deadline to see what sticks (I laughed at this recent example, where the writer spends the first two paragraphs acknowledging and half-apologizing for yet another column about a tired old topic, before enlisting Dante’s help in meeting the word count). Still, it’s impossible to not feel contempt while watching journalists run around like hyperactive toddlers, first chasing this ephemeral story, then that one.
But rather than hand out anodyne answers like a beleaguered homeowner on Halloween glumly resigned to participating in the sugar-coated protection racket in hope of keeping his house from getting egged, Klopp always manages to slip a little razor blade of media criticism into his responses. So often, the subtext to his answers is, “This is a tedious question, and you are a shallow person for asking it.” It’s especially funny seeing him call reporters out for their favorite meta-game, asking for comments on irrelevant narratives which they themselves invented to fill out their talking points. And yet, he gives good copy, so they can’t stop coming back for more. “Please, sir, may we have another?” It’s almost as entertaining as watching Liverpool on the pitch.
“And all the stories around? You can not imagine how cool life is when ignoring them.” This little maxim holds true even, or especially, outside of its original context. I’m tempted to print it out and tape it to the top of my monitor.