Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mrs Gingerbread, Football Expert

Yesterday, our next-door neighbour finally took down the German flag from above his front door. Last Sunday was the final of the UEFA European Soccer Championship, with Italy and Spain fighting for the title. Germany had come in third place, and only now are the disappointed football fans slowly putting away their black, red and yellow German flags.

Soccer brings out the worst in me. For a start, I know nothing about it and only watch matches of major significance, and even then, seldom sit through the entire thing. However, when plonked in front of the telly, I suddenly undergo a metamorphosis, from Hater of All Sports to Self-Appointed Football Expert. My blood pressure sky-rockets and I find myself shouting at the box, engorged with know-it-allism.
"Look at their defence! Rubbish! A granny with a zimmerframe could get through that!"
"Move! MOVE!!! For crying out loud! I'm seven months pregnant and I could run faster!"
"Off side! OFF SIDE!! Is the ref blind? That was off side!"
(I have no idea what off side is, but it seems to be the done thing to shout this at regular intervals).

Worst still is my misguided sense of loyalty, which actually manifests itself in extreme pettiness. I mean, I always support the Irish team, no matter how badly they play (sadly: badly). Failing that, I support the Northern Irish team (but they're even worse than the Republic of Ireland's team, so my support is not needed there very often.) Then, of course, I support Germany - though when it comes to the crunch and Ireland plays Germany, I have to support Ireland and deal with the almost inevitable defeat. I hold a grudge against any team that beats one of "my" teams, and watch subsequent matches with these teams under a cloud of ill-will and resentment. Case in point: Ireland exited early and ignobly following a defeat by Spain and then by Italy. Germany was kicked out in a match against Italy. When it came to the final, I couldn't decided which team I wanted to win, because both Spain and Italy had beaten Ireland, but Italy had also beaten Germany, whereas Spain had beaten Ireland more thoroughly and humiliatingly than Italy had. It was a quandary of begrudgery.

And, I hasten to remind you, I don't even like football! I happen to believe that the players are all vastly over-paid and the tournament a sponsorship bonanza. Why on earth do I get so worked up? Luckily, though, the European Cup only takes places every four years, as does the World Cup - in two years' time, I'll be able to smart-aleck my way through another half-dozen matches and get inexplicably upset at other countries' football players. On some level, I can't wait.

Oh, and by the way, in case you're interested: Spain won.
The cheek of them.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Ha ha we're all football experts at heart! Question why do we watch it I wonder to myself!