Another Clásico is upon us, taking shape this time as a two-leg Copa del Rey semifinal. Over the past couple years as Real Madrid and Barcelona have played more frequently, I've been getting the feeling that the shine has come off this match-up between two of the world's biggest clubs.
Maybe they have played too much, maybe people just like to complain, whatever the reason there's no doubt that El Clásicos create a stir in the soccer world and draws mixed reactions. So in the name of science, or just a potentially entertaining story, I've reached out to the SB Nation soccer writers and to our readers social media to gauge people's feelings about this latest event.
I expected to get a mixed bag but I'd be lying if I said I expected to get a majority of negative responses. Apparently people are thrilled about another El Clásico, or at least the results of this highly unscientific survey point that direction.
First, lets hear from some of the fine people who write for SB Nation Soccer and our various blogs.
Mark Yesilevskiy from Lion of Vienna Suite explains his fatigue surrounding El Clásico, a feeling that I think is becoming fairly common.
We've been hammered over the head about how beautiful of a spectacle El Clasico is and how it's a must watch for the last half-decade. There seems to be anywhere between five and ten of these match-ups a year and at some point, it gets boring watching the same two groups of players go at each other week in and week out.
Allen Dodson from Villarreal USA touches on Spain's financial issues and the fact that while these games provide great story lines, they aren't always the best advertisement for the sport.
I'm not excited; fundamentally, there have been just too many Clasicos of late, and as the economic and sporting dominance of the big two continues to increase as the Spanish economy implodes, I find it hard to get excited. Plus the overhang of the Catalan independence movement and the historical narrative of the two clubs is liable to produce some interesting moments--maybe good theater, but probably not good football. However, if Diego López is in goal for Madrid, I will wish him well! :)
Phil Pierson from Bavarian Football Works claims that Madrid and Barce aren't even on Bayern's radar.
Slakas, who writes for our Fiorentina blog Viola Nation, thinks about El Clásico and gets sleepy...he also makes a great point about how over exposure of a rivalry can sour people's opinion of it.
Over exposure of rivalries quickly cause said rivalries to seem contrived and trite (e.g. Red Sox v. Yankees), so my comment is....
Noel Chomyn from The Liverpool Offside suggests that he's developed a Pavolvian response concerning this particular derby.
Wait, there's another Clasico coming up? I'm pretty sure I'm conditioned to glaze over any time I see or hear the word now, like a hamster being given a food pellet for pressing the right lever. Only the right lever is also electrified and the pellet makes me feel ill.
Ryan Rosenblatt offered one of the rare positive responses to my question, making the excellent point that we should all enjoy games that involve such a large number of insanely talented players.
I'm just as excited as ever. We may have exhausted all of the storylines surrounding the match, but when the two teams walk out on the pitch, it will still be one of the best collections of talent in the world and one of the best rivalries in the world. More of it, please.
It appears our writers aren't excited but what about fans on social media?
Jason on Facebook says, "For me, I guess it depends on the competition. League play or Champions League knock out/final? Yep, I'm very excited. Copa Del Rey? Not so much."
Jim T., also from Facebook, says, "I think that at this point I am burned out on it. Thats probably because other than Falcao, El Clasico is all you hear about from the Spanish league. Ronaldo and Messi deserve the press but it would be nice if there was more coverage of the other clubs to entice me into watching something outside of the BPL."
Detroit Footballer says, "don't care. La Liga is good but overblown."
Rodrigo Del Campo offered up one of the few positive responses saying, "excited about the game, bored about the same old tired and lazy narrative of Mourinho and CR as villains."'
travis jeremiah is excited because he wants to win his money back, "excited, last one I lost a bet. Wasn't cheap. Viva la barca!"
So what do you think? Are you ready for two more matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona or have you been conditioned to not care?
I myself can understand that people have become jaded about El Clásico but I'm going to shake my head at you for preventing yourself from enjoying any game that involves the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Özil, Andres Iniesta, Xavi...you get the point. I guess the best thing I can say is don't let what other people are saying about this derby prevent you from enjoying the spectacle. After all, aren't games like this part of the reason we watch and love soccer? Why deny yourself the joy because people on social media have conditioned you to think that it's a bad thing?
Ultimately this is all summed up best for the following exchange from Twitter in response to my question: