I’ve just found this photo, and I think it sums up football in one go:
Obviously, dominating the photo is Steven Pienaar, celebrating his opening goal for Everton against Sunderland (in a much more entertaining fashion than the “God is Great” t-shirt), but the depth that the image brings creates a beautiful contrast between the elation of winning, of scoring, and the utter despair of losing, or conceding a goal.
The energy that Pienaar has, literally head over heels with joy is so crisp and focused, and then in the background you have the out of focus, slightly blurry Sunderland ‘keeper and defender, which in many ways reflects how football works: it’s all about the winner in the end; to the victors, the spoils; to the losers, bugger all.
Football really is a game of opposites, elation and despair; or rivalries, red vs. blue; and competition, us vs. them. I love this photo for obvious reasons, but I also love it because it contains the essence of football as much as you can capture it in one still image. Ultimately, football is a fluid game, always in motion, but if you had to choose one frame to sum it up, this could well be it. What do you think?