Les gens qui ne rient jamais ne sont pas des gens sérieux

Be who you are and say what you mean, those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind

Saturday, July 01, 2006


'Is that the English fans singing?' M's dad asked, peering at the tv screen. 'What are the words?'

I confirmed that it was English fans and that they were singing the national anthem. M translated 'God save the Queen' into Polish.

M's mum walked into the room in time to hear the end. 'Which Queen?' We explained. 'Really?' she asked, an impressed look on her face. 'She must like that. All those people singing for her.'

She walked back into the kitchen and I heard her telling M's sister the news; 'English football fans sing about God saving the Queen' she relayed.

M's Dad shook his head in wonder. 'They love their queen.'

I focused on the match again, trying to imagine the kinds of places my English friends would be watching the match from. I was pretty sure I was the only one watching from the Polish countryside, a lone Angielka among Poles.

The match dragged on and on. No goals. We managed to have dinner while keeping one eye on the match; remark on the fact that it was a Catholic country against a Protestant one; wince at the missed attempts by the English side; discuss various topics centred around the English including their apparent inability to excel at team sports; tut disapprovingly as Rooney made a fool of himself and got sent off; sigh at the inevitability of penalties and take a deep breath before the first was attempted.

When our goalie kept going the wrong way and theirs kept saving, the end was hardly a surprise.

I sat on the edge of the sofa, M's hand squeezed in mine, watching the tears run down the faces of players and fans alike. M's mum even came in to see if I was ok.

M, however, seemed somewhat oblivious to the emotion and disappointment associated with England having been knocked out of YET ANOTHER World Cup. He turned to me with a twinkle in his eye; 'looks like the Catholics won...'

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Blogger Edd said...

Booo! We woz robbed!

12:05 am  
Anonymous gs said...

One fundamental problem with the way the World Cup is organised is that there are many more teams that get eliminated compared to the number of teams who end up winning (1). I am trying to think of a solution to that problem, but so far it's proving a tough one... Maybe football fans prefer to lose really. They seem to expose themselves to that probability on a regular basis.

Tell the team who finally wins that they are really the losers? I'm not sure they'd believe it was true.

Quoique... if it's Portugal that wins I think Ronaldo might come to regret annoying Rooney and winking on camera as he contributed to Rooney's red card. He has a whole season to play in front of England fans in the coming year... getting knocked out isn't so bad.

Mind you, the Brazilian fans I saw tonight were not in the mood for any of this talk. What space-time warp allowed France into Brazil's football stratosphere?

So who do we want to win now? Germany? on the grounds that Klinsman represents internationalism and modernity? Or Portugal on the grounds that they couldn't beat England at football? Note that I am not taking account of their religion...

It's only a game.

12:53 am  
Blogger Becca said...

Yeah I felt for the Brazilians too. Most looked seriously in shock.

The problem with Germany winning is that my german friends will laugh at me too much.

I don't know any Portuguese however so it seems a little perverse to root for them.

What about France? ;-)

9:56 am  
Anonymous Kinuk said...

I say France all the way. Christiano Ronaldo is a dung beetle. That game seriously harshed my mellow and ruined the evening.

1:46 pm  

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