Monday, June 7, 2010

National pride, or is it?

Well, come Friday it all kicks off, though to England fans Saturday is the important day as we take on the USA who despite the fact that their country doesn't really take football of the proper kind seriously calling it soccer, will be no pushovers either. You'd think though from the national press that the whole of England had gone football crazy and to a certain extent we have, though there are the usual bunch of naysayers and deniers who can't stand the game and the ridiculous amount of hype that goes with it and will usually try and find somewhere to go to ignore it. I'm still waiting for the usual world cup free hotel offer in the MSM, there's usually at least one.
There's also the viral going around about anyone patriotic enough to fly an England flag from their car as having a small dick. No doubt there is a lot of bandwagon jumping going on, it usually happens with people who know nothing about football yet will suddenly become experts every couple of years during the World or Euro cups.
It also annoys the hell out of our Celtic neighbours who didn't qualify yet have to put up with "English" Mars Bars though it's probably more down to a mix up in suppliers rather than a heinous plot to rub the Celts nose in it. But you also have some of the Welsh up in arms over the fact that British newspapers can't tell the difference between Britain and England and why should they be having to read about Rooney and co in their newspapers, though I suspect this is more down to the fact that many papers simply don't do local editions anymore, North and South if you're lucky, the clue is probably in the "National Press" description. Though we even have the Cornish contingent mystified as to why people there would support England (Hint they think/know they are English, so get over it) they're trying to put it down to tourists, but sadly know it probably isn't and resort to having facebook groups showing a burning flag of St George then bitterly complain about the abuse they get from English Nationalists abusing them for doing so. Not as if they'd care to see the flag of St Piran burned symbolically now is it? But they can't see that, it's just the arrogant English stomping all over their "Nation"

Yet the odd thing is, the World Cup does bring together the English Nation, all the diverse parts of it. Those who would support Pakistan/India in the cricket tend to support England in the football because it's our national game. Muslim kids who wouldn't normally be allowed to dress "crusader style" will happily mix with other kids in their England tops and the nation as a whole hangs on the efforts of 11 men kicking a ball around a field and will discuss to death the various aspects of last nights match. If England do well and get past the qualifying stages into the knockout part then the tension racks up again. people will take sickies to watch a match, companies (smart ones) will provide TV coverage in their canteens, even schools will do so despite the disgust of some parents.

So for those who prefer to sneer, remember that it's only for a month and then things go back to normal, the Left will go back to trying to stomp out nationalism everywhere, radical Islamists will foment trouble and demand special treatment. The government will continue to dance to the tune of the EU. The great depression will bite even harder and the government will tax us to despair trying to cover the debts of New Labour. People will stop being so friendly and the nation will look a little drabber till the next tournament when the patriots and the naysayers start all over again.

As for the Anyone but England brigade, fine, not as if we expect your support, so do tie a knot in it and let us get on with enjoying ourselves without the constant carping from the sidelines, we know you don't like us, but frankly we really don't care, not now. And please ignore the ridiculous attempts by the British press to get your countrymen to say they'll support England, we don't support you any more, so why should a Scotsman, Irishman or Welshman support England if they don't want too, not your country is it?

Will England do well? Yes, they'll reach the knockout part at least.
Can England win? Yes, though not easily.
Will England win? Probably not, but they'll make a good account of themselves, doing as well as Italia 90 or better with some luck.

4 annotations:

James Higham said...

We wait with baited breath.

Ed Butt said...

I'm not a great football fan though I would have loved to see England win. Still as Mr. Heskey seems to have put paid to any slim chance we may have had so I shall have to sustain myself with the thought of our north British cousins deep frying English Mars Bars.

Anonymous said...

good blog mate, nice to see the opposite of my blog. (im the Welshman up in arms you linked lol)

James Higham said...

To adapt the old song: If this ain't national pride, it will have to do till the real thing comes along.