Let England Shake
Finally a day without soccer. An entertaining World Cup (how has it been for you?) has, from my perspective, been sullied by being pitied or mocked for my nation’s early exit by some of the locals. It’s a disgusting feeling, truth be told, particularly when I’m being pitied or mocked, not by a fellow fan, a true believer, but a bandwagon jumper who doesn’t understand the basics of the game.
Still, I am sure that my misplaced optimism regarding England will return once the Euro 2016 qualifiers come around because following England is like a mother experiencing birth amnesia; the body releasing extra amounts of oxytocin during labor (or in this case, exit at the group stage) that we forget just how intense the pain was and so are willing at a later date to go through the whole thing again.
I am not, however, being a good guest and cheering on the United States. It is pure bitterness on my part. To misquote Morrissey, “we hate it when our friends become successful – and if they’re American that only makes it worse.” If there was an American version of the Tebbit Test I’d fail miserably (I think a point I made in this blog during the 2010 tournament).
Intellectually, I agree with the writer Teju Cole who tweeted “any occasion that situates the US as just one among many nations, and not necessarily the most gifted or interesting, is a wonderful thing,” but reason doesn’t stand much chance of competing with more bilious thoughts.
Ah, jealousy, it’s a terrible thing.
At least cricket is unlikely to ever really take-off here.