Unseen Academicals tells the story of the faculty of Unseen University being forced to choose between (only) three meals a day and playing a game of football, as tradition mandates the game in exchange for their large financial endowment by a wealthy family. The wizards soon learn that the local version of football (similar to the actual game of mob football) is very violent and deaths are common. Thus, in collaboration with the city's tyrant Lord Vetinari, they set out to make new 'official' football rules, which includes forbidding the use of hands and mandating the use of official footballs as opposed to the makeshift balls the street games use. The book includes a satirisation of the Mallard ceremony performed at All Souls College, Oxford. It also is a parody of Horsefeathers.
Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork – not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing when you drop them. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else.
The prospect of the Big Match draws in a likely lad with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt. (No one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt, which worries him, too.)
As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed for ever. Because the thing about football – the important thing about football – is that it is not just about football.
Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!
- Mr. Nutt: John Rhys-Davies
- Mustrum Ridcully: Brian Blessed
- The Dean: Ian MacNeice
- Lord Veterinari: Charles Dance
- The Librarian: Andy Serkis
- Rincewind: David Jason
- The Luggage: CGI
- Also Starring Jason Ritter as Ponder Stibbons