Sunday, June 27, 2010

That Other Football

Making friends with a man from Bristol (England, of course) means you really must watch World Cup football, and I did.  Good show, United States.  I enjoyed that bit, really.

But you would think ESPN, which hails from Bristol (Connecticut), could find an American crew fluent in football, all the better to ignite the sport here.  Nope.  The best it could do was to prop up cardboard analyst Mike Tirico, whose sole task was to inquire of knowledgeable Englishmen their opinion of things.

Don't get me wrong, Paul, I love the English accent, I truly do.  Never mind, "What accent?"  You know the one.  And that fabled reserve, which certainly got England through the war in unruffled fashion, that's a swell thing, too.  What Americans, for instance, would call "unparalleled triumph," or "division championship," or "survive and advance," the English are content to call, "going through."  Bit of an understatement, that.

So when England's catch-up goal against Germany was waved off by some blind, syphilitic, idiot referee who should have been made to buy a ticket into the stadium, I rather expected the English play-by-play man to become agitated enough to exclaim, "Bloody 'ell!" which is the only English swear-word I know. (I think "Blimey" has lost much of its impact in today's world, don't you?)

Bloody 'ell, what a classy way to send someone off.  So much better that "blind, syphilitic idiot #$%^&-ing referee $ %^&-hole."  But that's football.

So anyway, the record to date stands thusly.  The US whupped England in 1776 and again in 1950, and it happens that the two teams have not met since.  (Let's not get into that bit of bother in 1812.)   And in this year's World Cup they tied their first-round match, whereupon the US team won the round by means of some devious arithmetic that only Englanders understand.  Thereafter, both teams were dispatched in the second round by Ghana and Germany, respectively.  As I see it, the US continues to enjoy the advantage in this great rivalry going back 234 years.

If that doesn't draw a "Bloody 'ell," nothing will.



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