There'll Always Be An England  

Fallic40 54M
3214 posts
6/8/2006 8:02 pm
There'll Always Be An England

I'm England til I die
I'm England til I die
I know I am - I'm sure i am
I'm England til I die

England til I die
I'm England til i die
I know I am - I'm sure I am ‒
I'm England til I die

Well, tomorrow is the BIG day. It’s not as BIG as Saturday, of course. But the start of the World Cup is pretty fuckin’ huge (pronounced “yooj” if you come from where I do). “Of course,” I say with an arrogant sniff, “it does not really begin until England kicks off at 6 am PDT on Saturday morning.”

Now football of the kicking the ball with the foot variety (not to be confused with the 350lb behemoths running into each other at full sprint variety of American) is not a big sport here. Many theories abound as to why this is.

Could it be that in this ADD nation, a sport that plays non-stop for 45 minutes with a 15 minute break and then non-stop for another 45 minutes is just too much to handle? I mean the NFL packs an entire 4 minutes of actual action around advertising, cheerleaders and drunken fans flashing their man boobies into a spectacle totaling out to about 4 hours per game.

Perhaps it is the fact that the US is just too big for soccer to thrive. This is actually the theory that I buy into. Who really cares about LA playing New York? Do you? I know I don’t. 3000 miles is just too much to over come. That would put my beloved Tottenham playing Dynamo Kiev in the Ukraine. Yeah, we would all be going on the train to see that one. I just love what they have done with their drunk tanks.

There are 6 divisional rivals within 20 miles of Spurs ‒ of course that makes for intense rivalries. Soccer excels where you have a compacted environment. It is cathartic for those who go to watch. You go to sing, cheer and generally prove that you are superior morally, physically and socially than the opposition support. It’s a dog eat dog world in there.

This brings us back to the World Cup.

I have a long list of games that I plan to watch. I have a vast quantity of beer to drink. And there will be endless conversations over the next month about everything from what a wanker a certain referee was to the brilliance of the tactics employed by the Iranian team when they played Mexico. Everything will be dissected as it is played out on the world stage.

And all Americans should learn how to participate in watching what Pele calls “the beautiful game”. You have a really good team this time around. A good friend of mine from college is the goalie for the US team and is considered by many to be the best goal keeper in the world. If he plays to the limit of his abilities then scoring on the US will be difficult. This is a good thing as three of the most potent attacking forces in football will be shooting at him: the Italians, the Czechs, and the Ghanaians. The US group is the “group of death” for this tournament.

The best way to watch the games is in a bar with several hundred newly made friends. If you want to have some real fun, then go to a Mexican bar and watch Mexico play (a word of advice: wear green) or go to an English pub and watch England play (do not brag about your Irish heritage either).

If you have to watch games on ABC or ESPN, then I would suggest having the appropriate music playing and turn off the commentary. Commentators are pricks no matter what nationality they proclaim. Enjoy the phenomenal “joga bonita” Nike ads featuring great players in the world cup. Put on some samba to watch Brazil play. I swear that they really do move to the rhythm of the drums. Put on a little bit of Wagner to watch the Germans play their brand of efficient and meticulous football. Put on Waltzing Matilda and crack a Fosters to watch the Australians play ‒ they play just like my old, hell raising, team.

It seems that every country’s national team embodies its particular ethos be it the beach soccer brilliance of Brazil, the gaucho machismo of Argentina, the flamenco flame out that occurs from Spain, or the bland technical brilliance of the Dutch. I had always wondered about the Italians. They do not play football like a Ferrari, or even like a beat up old Fiat. However, the Italian league is in the middle of a crisis that makes the steroid scandal in baseball seem trivial. The Italian team is just like its government: corrupt.

And what about England, you ask?

What about them? I think that it can all be summed in the English national chant, “We’re number 2, we’re number 2”. After all, it would hard to be modest if England won it all. So once again, the England team will go into the tournament as a favorite and flame out in the quarters. And everyone will say, “Quarter finals, jolly good. I say, well done Brazil, wellllllllllllllll done indeed”.

For me, that is when the World Cup can begin as I finally relax and sit back and enjoy watching the US fight its way into the semi finals. As long as England is still alive, I will be tense, and bitchy, and highly strung. I know that my team will strive to prove to me that they are the biggest underachievers in sport. My heart will not be broken; my faith will not be tested; after all, qualifying for the Euros starts in September.

And now, please stand and salute Benny Hill style:

There'll always be an England
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.

Fallic40 54M
1858 posts
6/11/2006 6:06 pm

England 1 Paraguay 0

Of course it wasn't the best of games but it is 3 points in the bag and with Sweden and Trinidad tying, England is in control of the group.

And as for England's performance, I am convincing myself that they were conserving their energy for later on. Yeah, that's it. That's what they were doing.

_Safira 55F
11260 posts
6/12/2006 3:18 am

Viva Los Estados Unidos ... Siempre!

But England can ALWAYS be #2, anywhere she DAMN WANTS TO BE!

Pele' ... Pele' ... Pele'!!! (Oh right! How old am I???)

Safira {=}

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