Digital Divide
When Saturday Comes|December 2019
From earnest post-match punditry to being used in actual players’ matchday preparations, the virtual game is becoming increasingly blurred with reality.
Percy Preston

La Marseillaise plays as the camera pans across the teams. Compared with the usual line-up of 11 players, match officials and ball boys, the spectacle is sparse: just two sets of two teenagers wearing tracksuits, each with what looks like a chaperone, possibly their dads. One of the teenagers has their eyes closed, a picture of focus. As the music stops, the players applaud, before breaking off. But we are not in a football stadium and there is no field on which they can now take up their positions. Instead they are in a recording studio in Maidstone, Kent. The players are taking their seats, and we are about to watch them play FIFA.

This is the FIFA eNations Cup, where gamers play EA Sports’ FIFA on behalf of their countries. Representing Argentina are nicolass99fc and Yago, while DaXe and Maestro play for France. The pre- and post-game proceedings are carefully designed to mimic those of a televised football match. As well as the national anthems, pundits and then commentators describe the teams’ run to the final and dissect each player’s playing style. Post-match interviews with the gamers are framed in much the same way as those you’d expect after a Premier League encounter.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WHEN SATURDAY COMESView All

Pirate Transmission

Broadcasters around the world are paying huge sums to screen football, but they will not be willing to invest if they cannot be protected.

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Scandi Drama

Years before it was screened live in the UK, England’s Football League was building a cult following abroad thanks to a visionary broadcaster.

5 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Pot Of Gold

A rare meeting between two local rivals brought FA Cup fever – and a useful financial boost – to one corner of Hertfordshire

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Digital Divide

From earnest post-match punditry to being used in actual players’ matchday preparations, the virtual game is becoming increasingly blurred with reality.

4 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Haringey Ladder

The decision to walk off in the face of abuse has shone a national spotlight on a community club with a progressive approach

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Bournemouth 0 Norwich City 0

Dean Court may have received a Premier League facelift but against today’s visitors the home team fail to live up to their status, although the low-quality draw they play out is still somehow reassuring.

8 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Unknown Fate

Manchester United were not the only team to be devastated by the Munich air disaster – England also lost some of their best players, changing the course of the 1958 World Cup and, potentially, the whole national game.

4 mins read
When Saturday Comes
March 2018

Stars In Their Eyes

From cricketers to athletes, plenty of sportsmen have tried to carve out a career in football – though few have switched disciplines with much success.

4 mins read
When Saturday Comes
March 2018

Sharp End

Torquay United look destined for English football’s sixth tier amid increasing distrust of the motives of their owner, Clarke Osborne.

4 mins read
When Saturday Comes
March 2018

Nice One Cyrille

A raw talent who thrilled crowds, Cyrille Regis overcame vicious racism to begin changing attitudes and inspire later generations of black players.

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
March 2018
RELATED STORIES

FOR TELEVISION, NFL DEAL IS LIKELY A MATTER OF SURVIVAL

The $113 billion deal to telecast NFL games through 2033 is head-swimmingly large — until you consider that the very survival of broadcast networks as we know them may depend upon it.

3 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #491

Q&A with Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney

Coach Ron Rivera, General Manager Martin Mayhew and Executive Vice President of Football/Player Personnel Marty Hurney met with the media via Zoom on Feb. 3 to discuss the direction of the new front office. The interview is edited for space.

5 mins read
Warpath
March 2021

Shoots from the hip

Robby Anderson said he wasn't “genuinely happy ” with the Jets at times

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

What great culture looks like

Throughout the process of the Jets looking for a new coach, a buzzword we heard quite a bit was “culture.”

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

‘We showed we're a winning organization'

Here are some highlights from head coach Sean McDermott’s season-ending press conference.

10+ mins read
Bills Digest
February 28, 2021

Douglas loves Saleh's integrity, passion

QUESTION SESSION WITH GM JOE DOUGLAS

4 mins read
NY Jets Confidential
February/March 2021

‘We have to be a much more detailed football team'

Like so many Raiders fans, coach Jon Gruden found himself searching for answers after the Raiders’ second-half collapse that cost the team a spot in the expanded playoffs.

7 mins read
Silver & Black Illustrated
February - March 2021

NFL's 1st & Future to Award $150,000 on Television Show

The NFL is bringing its awards for novel advancements in athletes’ safety and performance to television.

4 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #483

Forgotten passer proves memorable

FROM WHERE I’M SITTING

3 mins read
Warpath
February 2021

3 big thoughts

CHOOSE A NEW NAME ALREADY

4 mins read
Warpath
February 2021