As World Cup fever grips the nation, St George’s are displayed everywhere they can be and the country becomes a sea of red and white in support of the boys. Unless you move a few hundred miles (maybe not exactly 500) but certainly a lot, north of the border to a beautiful country called Scotland where I live. Which is definitely not red and white.
Now I don’t pretend to understand football, I know enough to get by, I know that some guys look pretty cute in their kits, (Lee Sharpe in particular if you’re asking) I watch the odd SoccerAm because it’s funny and love to amaze my guy friends with my acute understanding of the offside rule ( I have 5 brothers and when there were not enough sweatshirts for goalposts, little sisters came in handy 😦 ). While I admire it, I don’t get the passion guys have for it, the desire to stand in the freezing cold eating a pie, shouting obscenities at the men on the pitch and crying into a pint when their team gets relegated (actually I DO get the pie thing- nice!). Now, you’ll be happy to know I GET the World Cup, in the same context I get the Eurovision song contest and the Olmpics, it’s a time we get to cheer our country on at something, but I don’t get the rivalry thing between Scotland and England. Why not support your neighbour? Well, it seems there is a reason.
It’s not that I hate the English..
…..it’s a neighbour thing, just as Celtic will never support Rangers, Spurs will never support Arsenal and Man UTD will never support Man City. Location is key, apparently, but there is more.
Every guy I’ve ever spoken to about football, says the same thing and if every guy I’ve ever spoken to says the same thing there MUST be something in it. Apparently, it’s the English Media, the commentators in particular, who seem to over hype the occasion to the point of nausea, chuck in the fact every 5 minutes that England won the cup in ’66 and have memory loss that their first match as Champions in ’67 was against Scotland who defeated them 3-2, (What? I’m just saying!) and apparently it bugs Scotland, a bit.
So as this World Cup begins, as an English/Scottish person living in Scotland I feel a bit cheated.
During the last World Cup I went to London and was overwhelmed to see St Georges flying literally EVERYWHERE. Up until I crossed the border I hardly knew a World Cup was happening. Back home, in Scotland, I had only seen a few Portugal ones. So as I stepped into the sea of red and white I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for myself. Here was all this pride in the nation, an excuse to party and I had missed out!
Most women will probably think I’m crazy as they want to escape football, but it’s a game of two half’s and I’d like to participate a little. Football is not played on paper, it’s live. it’s fresh and for the full 90 minutes, when you really get involved, football can be nail biting stuff when you’re cheering your team on. During the ’06 Penalties shoot-outs I was jumping on the sofa without that little voice in my head saying “would you do that at HOME?” and I’m looking forward to doing that again!
So, I’ll be cheering England on, even if I have to do so quietly.
I’d like to say I have a feeling about the game troday, which I’m watching incidentally with a friend who seconds after inviting me laughed “I’ll be wearing an America top”, but I don’t, as much as Scotland never usually get through, neither do England. They only ever seem to get to the Semi-finals and that’s it, (just my observation. ) So, while we’re still in it, I won’t go as far as wearing an England top and attaching a flag to my car, I’ll wear something red, cheer on England and hope the Media do not say anything to insult my Scottish friends. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about the fans.