The philosophers’ football match is a television skit of the Monty Python comedy group that was broadcast by WDR in 1972 in Monty Python’s Flying Circus show. Philosophers “fight” in a soccer match. Sounds interesting, right?
This is a play about the fictional soccer final of the 1972 Summer Olympics which takes place at the Munchen Olympic Stadium between the “German philosopher football team” and the “Greek philosopher football team”. In 1982, the play was included in the Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl series.
According to commentators, the German team in the semi-final defeated England with the famous trio of midfielders Jeremy Bentham, John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. In the game, instead of playing football, the philosophers played in a circle while thinking about philosophy, which confused Franz Beckenbauer, the only true footballer. In the match Nietzsche was shown a yellow card after criticizing the referee – Confucius. The only goal of the match was scored by Socrates in the 89th minute with a header from a cross from Archimedes. Karl Marx objected to the goal because he thought Socrates was in offside.
The list of comedians is as follows: John Cleese as Archimedes, Eric Idle as Socrates, Graham Chapman as Friedrich Hegel, Michael Palin as Friedrich Nietzsche, Terry Jones as Karl Marx and Terry Gilliam as Immanuel Kant.
Germany team: Gottfried Leibniz, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hegel (captain), Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Schelling, Franz Beckenbauer, Karl Jaspers, Karl Schlegel, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger.
Greek team: Platon, Epictetus, Aristoteles, Sophocles, Empedocles, Plotinus, Epicurus, Heraklitus, Democritus, Socrates (captain) and Archimedes.
Germany replaced Wittgenstein with Karl Marx in the second half of the match. The coach of the German team is Martin Luther. The referee of the match is Confucius. The two referees are Thomas Aquinas and Augustine Hippo.