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Friday, 18 June 2010

Football Crazy, Football Mad...

No, it hasn't escaped my attention that we are currently in the midst of World Cup Mania, I'm just not caught up in it like everybody else seems to be. Mr G watches matches between countries he probably couldn't point to on a map, and just when I think that's all over, we've got the highlights of the match we just watched, and then James Corden asking Pixie Lott her verdict on the match we just watched, interspersed with clips of various members of the England Squad playing keepy-uppy
"Are we just basically going to be watching football non-stop for the next 4 weeks?" I huffed to Mr G the other day.
"Pretty much love, yeah" he trilled.

As I have said before, I don't like football. In general, I don't like sport full stop.
I'm entitled to that. My husband does not understand my obsession with shoes. I accept that. It's just the way life is.

What it does mean is that I am a fairly well placed observer of this global phenomenon, and here are some things that I have noticed:

Being a football fan makes it acceptable to approach total strangers and start a conversation.
In our local Cwop this week, a big burly man came up to Mr G, who was wearing a "Gerrard" top, shook his hand and said "I tell you what mate, that bloke, top banana"
"He does realise my husband is not actually Steven Gerrard?" I thought to myself as I watched this charade in amazement.
Evidently he did, as he then backed his statement up with (probably one of the most back-handed insults I've heard since a man came up to me in the Treasury and went "My friend thinks you're fit but I think you're minging")
"Shame you don't look like him though mate, eh?" laughed, and walked off. Mr G, completely unbothered, carried on shopping.

I found myself thinking this would be the equivalent of me going up to someone and saying "oooh that dress is by Kate Moss for Topshop, isn't it?" quickly followed by "Naturally, it looks better on her then it does on you", us both nodding in happy agreement and then me going back to picking out my chocolate.

Next, is the general loosening of the Stiff British Upper Lip.
I embrace silliness on a daily basis. I post pictures of myself on the Internet wearing a burger bap on my head. I go to the KFC in my Pyjamas for a free breakfast. I make my boss give me Hi-5s. People look at me like I'm MAD.

Yet come World Cup time, normally mild mannered people appear to take leave of their senses and just let go. They've got England flags flapping out the windows of their Nissan Micras, blowing vuvuzelas out the sunroof and honking their horns to each other as they drive along Embankment Road at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I'm trying to work, wiping their bottoms with World Cup toilet paper that cost 30p a roll more than normal loo roll, chanting songs in the street with their tops off and a massive England flag painted on their fat bellies, hugging people they don't know. And that's just the local funeral director.

Then there's the crying.
Again, I am not embarrassed to show my emotions. I love a good cry. People think I'm nuts.
I saw a cat get run over once as I was arriving at work, and I walked in the door bawling my eyes out. Everyone thought I was soft. I cry watching sad TV programmes and romantic films. Everyone laughs at me.
Yet for some reason, when England inevitably get knocked out, I can guarantee that I will see footage of grown men in red and white afro wigs, England flags draped round their bare shoulders, shaking their heads whilst looking to the sky, tears streaming down their faces.

And finally, my favourite observation about football mania, is the collective use of the word "we".
It never ceases to amuse me to listen to my Dad, sister and husband dissect an Argyle game, "We scored a cracking goal", "We need to create more chances", "We were definitely not offside", etc etc. All along I thought they had just been sat there watching in the pouring rain every Saturday, paying money that Mr G would moan about if it was for two tickets to the cinema, but it turns out they had actually been playing!

Football lovers of Britain, I applaud you for showing your emotions. I honk my horn at you for painting your houses with the England flag. I tip my coloured afro to you for feeling so passionate about something that you embrace total strangers....

But if someone could just wake me up when it's all over, that would be fantastic, thanks.

1 comment:

  1. You would have to panic if he had a John Terry, Shirt on. Did you manage to score today love with a lump in the throat.