Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. And Mike McInnes believes, as he explains in his new book, “Homo Passiens: Man The Footballer,” that humans are bipedal just so that we can play the so-called beautiful game. The Scottish author collaborated with illustrator Matt Kenyon just to prove why his theory isn’t quite so wacky after all.
Why did you write this book?
I would like football to be recognized for what it is — the greatest, highest and most artistic, most poetic and beautiful expression of locomotion that humans embody. In an era when football has been corrupted by greedy and criminal behavior, I would like to return the game to its roots and recapture its joy and integrity.
Are you a big fan of soccer?
I am a massive fan of football. As a boy, I witnessed the black and white images of the 1958 World Cup and thought it was the most beautiful and balletic poetry I had ever seen. I was captivated by the complex geometry of passing on the perfectly formed pitches with their grass variations, with the sun slanting across the venerable stadiums, the wildly enthusiastic crowds, the press photographers be- hind the goals, the glorious stadiums, and the wonderful moments of lucid passes, tackles and metaphysical goals. My favorite team is Hibernian Football Club in the town of Leith, near Edinburgh.
Do you think that man created soccer, or did soccer maketh the man?
Bipedalism is insane — profoundly unstable, slow and dangerous. So only bipedal football can explain this selection in our evolution. Why else did the Homo species choose such a stupid and slow form of locomotion?