Ok so. What happened again last night?
Oh yeah. Our national team put in a piss-poor knockout display, held on for penalties, which they lost and the nation groaned a sigh of collective disappointment while a few mouth breathers decided to have a bit of a fight.
No surprises there. I’ve been feeling that hollow exhalation for years now. Despite my best intentions I still have a modicum of support for the national team. I have no idea why. It’s like smoking, a poisonous and vile compulsion towards self harm. To be honest I’ve cut down on the supporting habit pretty heavily. From the flag-wearing, shirt-sporting, pub-singing posterboy of 16 years ago I’ve managed to bring it down to the ‘watch it on the telly at home in a fug of apathy’ level.
My withdrawal from the England habit doesn’t stem from our failures though. Only an idiot stops supporting a team because they fail. The sort of idiot who doesn’t ‘get’ the idea of supporting. Winners don’t need support. Losers do. Supporting winners all the time is just basking in other people’s glory, which is a bit like stalking them.
No. I struggle to support our national team cos the players and a lot of the fans aren’t very nice people. And because the press & media are so fixated on falsely raising our hopes that the weight of excessive expectation is something of a national pastime.
Take last night for example. Did anyone watch that montage the Beeb ran before kick off? It was like a clip from the finals of x-factor. A series of emotional shorts set to a tub-thumping soundtrack designed to elicit nothing more than expectation, excitement and the secret feeling that we could do it. So much for the national press talking about lower expectations. The minute we lucked out against Ukraine by virtue of a disallowed goal people were already looking to a tasty repeat of the 96 semi against Germany (which we also lost on penalties).
Never mind that we couldn’t beat France in our first game, who Spain comfortably defeated without a striker… Where there’s a national press there’s hope. Except Lawro. If he’d provided the soundtrack to the England warm up montage perhaps the country would be waking up today feeling euphoric that we made it to penalties without conceding 10 goals. Personally I’m secretly relieved. If this is the media with low expectations then imagine what they’d be like if they won? God it would be unbearable. As would seeing John Terry holding the trophy aloft, so let’s be thankful for silver linings.
The timing is perfect anyway, we shift the national weight of expectation onto Murray at Wimbledon. And that should keep us going til the fucking Olympics, which we’ve spent the last fucking year counting down the fucking days to!!!