The World Cup has kicked off in South Africa this week and England started with their usual stumbling drunkard style of play that resulted in a 1-1 draw with the United States. Of course the nation is now convinced that the team will crash to a humiliating defeat against the first decent side they come up against, causing the pound to fail, the overthrow of the monarchy by Vikings (again!), and the immediate sinking of Britain – only for it to pass into mythical legend alongside Atlantis and Luxembourg (what do you mean it’s a real place?).
So here for all to see is the British psyche in all it’s fragile glory. The Americans were not expected to get a result by the bookmakers or pundits (and to be fair without our goalkeeper helpfully throwing the ball into the net they might not have done so) but I’ll happily place a bet that the American team certainly thought they would.
On paper it was a sure-thing. England’s players are some of the most lauded in the world, not to mention best paid, while the Americans boasted only really two truly impressive players (Donovan & Howard), but football – like life – is very rarely about individuals. As a team the US ran harder, harried the midfielders, marked our world-beater Rooney out of the game by players who can barely get games for their teams, and pretty much knocked the confidence out of our glass heroes.
Could this be the classic English trait of stoic and resigned defeat bubbling to the surface? The never-say-win attitude that has served us so well for so long. It really is depressingly predictable….and so wrong that it must be stopped immediately.
You see over the years we’ve created pretty much every sport that really matters (sorry US chums but in a global sense it’s true) – Football, Rugby, Cricket, Darts and Snooker (ok those last two don’t count), but now get regularly trounced by all those awful foreigners who have taken our beautiful games and turned them into ugly things that require skill and mental toughness. Long gone is the gentlemanly pursuit of honour bound sportsmanship, replete with a glass of Pimms and servants to do the running. Now each participant is expected to carry their own weight and exert themselves until they actually break a sweat – how undignified!
So, as we seem to now lack the baser nature of the Italians, Germans and Brazilians at football, Australians and Sri Lankans at Cricket, and the Australians (again) at Rugby I suggest that we call time on these sports for the great unwashed and instead turn our attention to something more befitting of our national characteristics.