Well Ireland’s out and we’ve won something for a change!….the wooden spoon! It is funny being in England for the last few weeks during a major footballing championships. Typically up in Scotland you’ll walk into a pub where, see England’s playing Germany and find its full of Germans (or at the very least lots of people cheering on Germany). The following week, again when England’s playing, it suddenly seems to be full of French, or Algerians. Now as a neutral, you’d almost swear the Scots don’t want England to win or something…..
But that said, and I mean no offense here, but that national anthem they play before the England game god save the queen sort of does my head in, can’t ye change it to something else? After all its actually the British national anthem not the English one. Its this sort of blurring the lines between Britain and England that really winds up the Welsh and Scots, not to mention confusing our geographically challenged neighbours across the Atlantic.
Of course purists would say, then it needs to be Jerusalem, based on a William Blake poem. While I’d agree, let’s be practical, you can’t sing that drunk! and the thought of ten thousand English football fans murdering this song before each game fills me with dread. Furthermore, there’s a lot of religious references in there which will inevitably peeve somebody. Plus some of the lyrics will confuse the hell out of the Germans (Ze Englisher’s Vant to bring Jerusalem 2 ze English country zide? Vas is tis? Didn’t ve try zat in 1940? :no:) who may get the wrong idea. So maybe not.
Rule Britannia? Would probably wind people up the wrong way also (ruling waves? Belgrano? Argentina? on the cultural insensitivity meter that pretty much goes one notch below painting cartoons of Mohammed on the side of that black square thing in Mecca :no:) and I suspect FIFA will say no (unless ye bribe Blatter anyway), and of course its also a British song, so definitely out.
That really boils it down to the Vindaloo Song. It represents core British values (I had a cuppa a few minutes ago, thinking of having some cheddar cheese and reckon I’ll have a curry tomorrow night). While again it will confuse johnny foreigner, it will do so in a nice way (the German team will be still scratching their heads tens minutes later trying to figure out what all that was about, giving ye the chance to snatch an early goal). Tho again I suspect those blokes at FIFA and the FA will say its too silly a song for a national anthem (then again have you ever heard the lyrics to some of the other national anthems? they ain’t much better! indeed some should count as outright xenophobia).
I’m reminded on this point of Mark Thomas who once suggested using the Imperial March theme from Star Wars as it will scare the shit out of people. I’d tend to agree, but again this would offend certain religions (Jedi?) and again the suits would never agree to it. Anyone got any other suggestions?….other than the other “god save the queen” song :>>
Dive of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Now having witnessed Ireland playing both Spain and Italy (well the highlights of the Spain match, as I didn’t watch it live…thank feck!), we must address the issue of diving in football. Many fans will argue it ruins the game. And I agree, but that said it does take a fair bit of skill, both in agility, grace and acting to pull off an effective swan lake dive.
I therefore propose a solution, alongside the golden boot (top scorer), golden ball (best player) and glove (goalie) awards for tournaments we introduce the sugar plum fairy award for best diver. The
unlucky player in question will get a pink ballerina dress, shoes and a fairy wand, which he will have be forced too the honour of wearing for every match in the proceeding football season.
My suspicion is that this would solve the problem, in a slightly more humane way than the bloke in the pub the other night suggested (that divers be sent off at once, kicked by all the other players, and then just after he’s disappeared out of sight down the tunnel a single shot rings out).
Battle of Gdansk
The fifth wheel
Also, what exactly are those guys behind the goal (dressed in Yellow, I assume ref’s of some kind) supposed to be doing? Given that goal that wasn’t for Ukraine v’s England I assume their job doesn’t involved telling if the ball actually crossed the line or not, I mean what was the guy doing? Checking his text messages? On a tea break? And while Brit’s might be smug about dodging a bullet this time, remember what goes around comes around. Sooner or later he’ll miss a goal ye score, of course it already happened as I recall last world cup.