Monday, June 28, 2010

416 Days In - The World Cup

I don’t want to talk about the football.

Lets leave aside the fact that if I tried to talk about the football here I would be looked at quizzically and then corrected on my terminology. Do Americans never wonder why the rest of the world call their sport American Football?

To be honest I never really did want to talk about the football. It isn’t really my kind of sport - all that overpay going to whiney little boys who cry when barely hurt and feel it is ok to argue with the powers that be if things don’t go their way. And because they are actually men (not boys) this is done in an aggressive, ugly manner.

I just don’t get enjoyment from watching that.

What I do have, though, is national pride; and this helped me somewhat towards mustering enthusiasm for upcoming matches.

It began with this was through a slightly smug smile and me playing my role of: Brit who knows the American’s are clearly no match for the English team. Unfortunately this did not create the rises that I had hoped, and most US citizens seemed pretty complacent in their knowledge that this is not America’s sport and well done their boys who have managed to make it into the group stage.

And then the shame - why did it not continue as it started - those first four minutes. After a while I retreated into the kitchen and baked a birthday cake. Time much better spent.

So came the overall group places; of course we lose out to America - a country that was bottom of its group in 2006 and has very few fans who even watch the sport (we outnumbered them by about 8,000 at our match).

At this point I could be nothing but glad that I don’t have emotional invested interest in football as a sport. But I have to say that the number of yellow cards and subsequent good behaviour was endearing me to it a little.

Watching the disaster that our team seems to be, it was easy to work out that soon we would be matched against Germany.


Well, as far as I am concerned it is our own fault for not getting through our gift-of-a-group in first place, and avoiding the inevitable clash with the Krauts.

Not a favourable history here, and both sides alike (in my experience) love to engage in this football rivalry (there is even a Wikipedia page dedicated to it) .

And while the Americans I know who do watch the world cup are weighing up the different players and their performances so far, and working out that, really, Germany are the better side, and, really, they do deserve to go through; on our 6am drive into the city to join fellow Brits in an LA “pub” all I have in my mind is the 1996 European cup penalty shoot out.

So I don’t want to talk about it. Life goes on, right?

At least we beat Australia in Rugby on the 19th.

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