There was a time when televised sport served to keep us focused and entertained, states that may seem like the same thing to us, but they are not. It’s a bit like saying it and doing it, I don’t know if you understand what I mean. The fact is that entertaining us was entertained by that Christmas Tournament that public television offered us live every year, taking advantage of the fact that the calendar and good intentions always blew in favor of it, which for that reason acted as a local in its own tournament, in its country. and not to mention his RTVE from that time. And how is it that, in addition to being entertaining, it kept us focused? Well, it would be enough to point out that everything was an invention of Don Raimundo Saporta, eternal example of an orderly person for those who insist on the theory that Spain is a country forged under the protection of a football and basketball club: Real Madrid.
Saporta must be recognized for his overall vision and daring that was unmatched at the time, in addition to many other virtues. When no one in America dreamed of the evangelizing potential of Christmas Day or similar, he had already set to work so that basketball would rival the cult of the Lottery Jackpot, the birth of the son of God or the arrival in Cybele of the three Magi of the East. In the middle of the last century, no more, no less. And with the entire Franco regime against it, always following the version of this new history of Spain that lately seems determined to equate Madrid with the Communist Party or the unruly maquis. “If I wrote my memoirs I would have to lie,” he used to joke when asked about such a possibility.
That Saporta invention experienced its period of maximum splendor in the 80s, including the milestone of bringing the USSR of Sabonis and Chernenko to confront it with the Madrid of Corbalán, Felipe González, King Juan Carlos I and that Spain that would soon vote majority to remain in NATO. It was what the brains of the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) were beginning to exploit as part of those patriotic plots that caused so much talk in some editions of Wrestlemania: good guys against bad guys, us against them. How round would that edition turn out when in one play of the match, Arvydas Sabonis hit it with such force that the board burst into a thousand pieces. “Let him pay it, let him pay it!” booed the old Sports Palace. “I break the board, but Real Madrid pays the board,” the Lithuanian center would respond when asked. They were good Christmases, good fights, good times.
That emotional void has been filled, in part, by the NBA and a Premier League that have perfectly understood the importance of weaving all kinds of ties with their potential consumers. And what better way than to establish a family relationship perpetuated year after year in the homes of millions of viewers, a tradition in the style of Thanksgiving and the NFL or the Christmas Tournament itself that ended up falling into oblivion due to lack of you want it to be of interest. It is a fight in which LaLiga is not expected at the moment and that the RFEF is trying to take advantage of with the new dates of the Copa del Rey. Let’s say it’s a beginning, even with so many months ahead for a final to be glimpsed.
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