Wednesday, 27 June 2012
We Still Believe...
... But I don't get why. Britain is renowned for certain things: tea, the Queen, fish & chips and football. Or "soccer" to Americans. Personally I've always considered "soccer" to be the proper football as we actually use our feet to manipulate the ball. Americans use the term for their sport which I shall henceforth call "handegg". Why? The ball is egg shaped and they pass it with their hands more than their feet. "Handegg" seems much more fitting in my opinion.
In any case, I personally have never had much interest in football since I was a kid. Only reason I had much if any interest then was because growing up in Norwich, our football team was really the only local point of interest that we had to talk about and the only thing of any entertainment for a long time. As I got older, the city evolved and as I matured, I realised there are countless other things that I would like to do for 90 minutes instead of watching 22 men kick a ball around a field, as well as many more interesting uses for said field. I discovered a few of those in my teenage years in my home city as it happens ;D
I can't say that England's football prowess has been particularly inspiring over my lifetime.
The best world cup performance was 4th place in 1990 along with 3 quarter finals, UEFA cup was semi-final in 1996 with 2 quarter finals. When you think about it, we borrow so many players from other countries for our league teams that it's not really surprising. The "glory days" were short-lived and a long time ago. I don't understand why people keep hyping themselves up for every huge tournament and expecting some stellar performance and for England to miraculously win. Given the recent Diamond Jubilee, the olympics and the Royal Wedding last year, you'd think there'd been plenty of opportunities for England to show how much it loves itself, no? I guess national pride linked to sports is a way to unify those who are divided about the need for a monarchy, however the patriotism that's briefly inspired by football usually ends up in rioting when we lose.
I mean seriously
I recall when England was kicked out of Euro 2004. I actually worked in Croydon at the time. I had the day off work (non-football related, just happened to have that day off and mocked my colleagues for their having to work). Steve didn't and I recall him texting me while at work freaking out because of the rioting that was going on. He said that he was having a smoke when it all kicked off and heard the shouting and smashing, got told by security to lock up and get inside. What resulted was the destruction of property by drunk, angry football fans who were pissed that France had beaten England. Nandos was pretty much totalled being a Portuguese based chain and Euro 2004 being hosted in Portugal. On the one hand I'm impressed they made the connection and on the other, not shocked that alcohol made this seem like a valid reason to smash the windows of a restaurant. The next day when I saw the destruction that had been left in the wake of the result, I realised that football really was more stupid than I had already grown to think.
We've become a laughingstock overseas because of hooliganism. What makes me amused the most is that people who get obsessed with football forget that at the end of the day, IT'S A GAME. Football is NOT srs bsns. The world won't change because of a team losing in a sport involving a ball being kicked around a field for an hour and a half. I can understand the interest in countries hosting the damned thing because of revenue generated from tourism and the like, but in all honesty, would you want to go to the world cup if it meant that there was a chance you'd die while you were there? How about Iraq bids to host the next one? After all, there was already football in war zones about 100 years ago now. The thing is, something that brought peace 98 years ago is now something that causes so much conflict. It's been likened to religion and war. We have enough unnecessary wars, why are we making more?