Woopeedoo it’s the World F*ckin Cup!
I really couldn’t care less about it and yet everywhere I turn it seems to have infiltrated my life except within the sanctuary that is Chateau Grump.
Apart from a brief spell when I was 12, I’ve never really gotten into football. For my American brothers and sisters reading this, I’m referring to soccer of course.
“Engerland, Engerland, Engerland!!!” That’s what you hear people over here shouting at the top of their drunken voices. They are, of course supporters of England. However they appear to have added an extra syllable to the country’s name. I have no idea where that came from and it’s not something I endorse.
You don’t hear other countries doing it do you? Mind you It actually sounds like, “In Grrr Land,” which is perhaps the kind of aggressive and macho impression our nation’s patriotic football supporters want to give. If someone from another land asks an English football fan where they are from, ignoring the football shirt and St Georges Cross painted on their plate like face, then being told, “In Grrr Land,” they will not only be left wondering where that is and searching for it on Google but they will also probably be too intimidated to potentially attack them. After all, football is synonymous with violence and hooliganism. This therefore is a clever tactic for preventing any scrapes with any opposition. It is an English supporters equivalent of a squid’s ink! Or a skunk’s fart.
This works because Grrr Land clearly is a place of masculinity, aggression and warriors. You could probably call it the modern day Sparta. And much like Sparta whereby, as depicted in the film 300, the men had abs, beards and capes, in Grrr Land, nothing wreaks of “Warrior” more than an overweight man with a sweat on, a kebab and an England football shirt so tight you can clearly see his flapping man breasts and slightly erect nipples that are trying to escape in completely opposite directions.
Oh well, it doesn’t matter now. England are out. As much as the patriotic will scream for them, glued to their TV’s and jump with jubilation at every goal they score, they will also completely slate them on social media when they don’t perform. Facebook and Twitter awash with criticism and abuse towards the English football team. But it’s okay because we can all support Andy Murray at Wimbledon again now!! He will be the focus of our support.
I don’t condone anyone who watches the sport, of course not. It is after all “The Beautiful Game.” Although having watched five minutes of a highlights show I found myself frustrated. As much as I can appreciate a man’s skill as he controls the ball around opposing players, accelerate at lightening speed and shoot with power and accuracy to score a goal from twenty metres away, I lose all respect for these men when they just fall over all the time in dramatic fashion.
They do this to pretend to have been fouled by the other player. To pretend they have been a victim of foul play, having been struck or pushed by the opposing player. All to trick the referee and gain a free kick or a penalty.
Fundamentally, this is cheating. Yet they get away with it. It winds me up when for example a player called Gino Ginelli is running alongside Lou Rollio and then with the slightest twitch of his fringe on a £3000 hair cut, he flops to the ground holding his face. He continues to roll around with the agony you would expect from someone stepping on a landmine. Hey let’s make the game interesting! You know what I’m thinking!
Give it a few years and you’ll see the award ceremonies offering nominations for best supporting actor. “Bradley Cooper for his role as a drug addict in the movie Crack, Jack and Slack; Morgan Freeman for his role as a gynaecologist with a soothing voice in the light hearted film adaptation of the popular Novel, Crack Sack and Black; And finally Roberto Flange for his dramatic feigning of injury during a football match against Real Madrid.”
But no other sports get away with it. You don’t see Chess Grand Master, Gary Kasparov having watched his opponent move their bishop to C4 suddenly clutching his face, falling off his chair and rolling around on the floor claiming to have been struck by his opponent do you?
And yet this cheating is an acceptable part of the “Beautiful Game.” It’s complete bollocks.
The complete polar opposite of football is the sport of Rugby, where physical contact is part of the game but not only are the players exceptionally strong, fast and deal with anything such as being stomped on, gauged and tackled heavily by a big bloke, anything that is pulled or ripped off is just taped back on and they get on with it. I’ve got the utmost respect for those guys. Shows footballers for the cheating pansies they are. A world away from earrings, fringes and falling over!
Just this week a Player for Uruguay, Suarez, bit another player. He BIT a player! WTF!!?? He’s been banned for 4 months. Shouldn’t he have been banned altogether? Well it was his first time… oh hold on, no it was his second. Actually, it was his third. Ah the Beautiful game. A multi-millionaire footballer who gets to play a game for a living and has the honour of getting chosen to represent his country, a role model for youngsters around the world, bites a player and gets a four month holiday. I wonder if the Insurance world would give me a four-month holiday for biting an insurance representative from a competitor? There’s a tubby guy with a Direct Line badge I see on the train to work. I am calorie loading at the moment.
Oh well it’s not as though I can comment too much because I don’t really know much about football (Soccer if you’re American). This can prove difficult in social scenarios. It’s such a big part of British culture that if you meet another man in a social situation you are almost always asked about which team you support. Unfortunately, it seems that for many men they have nothing else to talk about because all they do is go to work, drink beer and watch football. That is why when I tell people that it’s not for me, the conversation is deader than dungarees and I see that look in their eye that says, “You are not a real man.”
“You’re from Birmingham? Villa or Blues then?” I get asked from time to time. “Neither. I’d rather pour bleach down my pants and boil my egg like head than have a season ticket to watch a bunch of overpaid ponces run around, spit, slide through that spit and fall over in an attempt to cheat during what I can only describe as a shallow game which has degraded over time from when it used to literally be working class men from the immediate area playing for the local team for pride rather than the money; who would have a beer with their supporters before the match, play without pretending to be fouled and cheating by flopping about on the ground like a fish when Norris on the opposition didn’t even touch him; and after the game share a beer with the supporters before catching the bus home; probably seeing a fair few of those same supporters in the factory on Monday morning. A world away from the multimillion pound industry that it is today, where good role models seem rare and it’s all sponsorship deals, fast cars and pop star/ model trophy girlfriends or wives who you know wouldn’t look at some of the players twice if they were just milkmen. Have I mentioned they fall over a lot?” Well that’s what I’d like to say. I just end up saying, “I don’t really follow football.”
But I came up with a plan to help blend in with men who follow football to avoid any chance of being labelled “Feminine”. Thanks to the 1990 England World Cup song, World in Motion, from New Order. You see, it features a rap from one of the England players at the time, John Barnes. Now I’m not saying that they went for a racial stereotype here, but they picked John Barnes to do a rap section who happens to be black. I don’t know if in their ignorance they thought that John was able to rap naturally with rhythm and flare. John really couldn’t. But still he did his rap and this is what I refer to and utilise to try to blend in with other men who happen to like football. The particular lines of the rap are as follows:
You’ve got to hold and give,
But do it at the right time,
You can be fast or slow,
But you must get to the line,
They will hit you and hurt you,
Defend or attack,
There’s only one way to beat them,
Get around the back.
There were other lines but John seems to go on about himself in a little self indulgent way. Stick to the football John!
I know what you’re thinking, ‘Was that written by Lennon and McCartney?’ You’ll be surprised to learn that it wasn’t. I know, I was as surprised as you probably are now.
So when in a social situation with real men, and the conversation is rooted to football based matters, I try to slip in the odd line from John’s rap or even a slight paraphrase of it and let me tell you it works a treat. “Oh yeah that foreign player eh? Holding and giving at the right time! Phwoarrr! I’m on my 37th pint! I’m such a bloody bloke! Yeah, trouble with In Grrr Land was that they didn’t get round the back did they? No wonder they didn’t beat that foreign team, Barcelona!”
Here’s that song. Please note that Grumpy Young Bloke accepts no responsibility for any offence caused by the sight of a shit mullet or bad miming.