Monday, July 03, 2006

England mad over World cup loss

Well the English World Cup dream is well and truly over. England played pretty much like it has for the whole World Cup, in which it has always just sneaked through due to the incompetence of the other side in most cases. This time, Mickey Rooney lost his temper and got red carded, then it was extra time and finally penalty shootout. However, in the first half I went to the supermarket – it was wonderful, virtually empty. The only other people there were a tiny handful of well dressed Europeans (note British is not European, for good and bad reasons – they are different, very different). It was the right thing to do, when I got back home it was nil all still and so I did some housework while it was on. The penalty shootout was good to watch without volume on though. When England got one, I could hear cheers from several directions. When it missed, there were “ohhhhhhhhh”s , when Portugal got one there were “nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”s and when Portugal finally won it was a painful extended series of moans.
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At that point, it is reported that the M2 motorway was seen to be strewn with discarded England flags from cars, when drivers heard on the radio that it was over.
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The Sunday newspapers reported it as national tragedy – the Express headline being “End of the World”. The madness continued with the England team flying back home yesterday (you’d think men who were dedicated to the game would want to hang around to watch the semi finals and finals, but no they go home to sulk like babies) and both BBC News 24, Sky News and Sky Sports News channels interrupting regular broadcasts for continuous coverage of their BA plane sitting at the airport waiting for them – then they arrive – plane takes off. Then after an hour or so, plane lands at Stansted, plane sits on tarmac for ages, some of them get out, into cars and drive off. I switched channels and came back later to see news, and the plane was in Manchester!
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How fucking boring!! Seriously! Does anyone really give a flying fuck if you watch their plane – you know a BA Airbus A320 they chartered, like dozens that fly every day – and watch them get on and off it, into cars with their WAGS (wives and girlfriends). On 3 channels? With running commentary about what is going on and what is going to happen, repeated again and again.
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The real World Cup news was Brazil being defeated by France, and it was beautiful. The football superpower and several times champion, showed that it couldn’t hack it – it has played Croatia, Australia, Japan and Ghana, and only against Ghana and Japan did it really show what it had. So England will get over it, Brazil will be crying for the rest of the year. This is because Brazil has nothing else that it has pride for internationally. It is known for crime and environmental degradation, football is symbolically the only known path of social mobility for young men. Maybe Brazil will figure out that it needs a better totem to worship?
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Meanwhile, roll on the semi-finals, and may Germany defeat Italy.

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