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The wizards at Ankh-Morpork's Unseen University are renowned for many things—wisdom, magic, their love of teatime—but athletics is most assuredly not on the list. So when Lord Vetinari, the city's benevolent tyrant, strongly suggests to Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully that the university put forth a football team composed of faculty, students, and staff—or lose the funding that pays for their nine daily meals—the more-than-usually-at-sea UU wizards find themselves in a quandary. To begin with, they have to figure out just what it is that makes this sport of foot-the-ball so popular with Ankh-Morporkians of all ages and social strata. Then they have to learn how to play it. Oh, and on top of that, they must somehow win a football match without using magic.
And the thing about football—the most important thing about football—is that it is never just about football.