Friday, 20 January 2012

Offside Clap-Trap


Driving my bus this morning in the rush hour traffic, the commercial station favoured by the kids squeezed a news flash between an advertisement for a diet plan and a promo for new low prices at Burger King. And the news was.....David Beckham is gonna stay on with L.A. Galaxy. He spoke in his familiar London accent of his hopes to captain the British Olympic team at the forthcoming GAMES. (I will be hiding in France). He seems a decent guy to me but the fact that this small matter filled UK air time testified not to him but to the power of FOOTBALL. Yes, FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL,FOOTBALL and more FOOTBALL. I know that in certain areas of the ex-colonies this noble game is known as SOCCER. 
Portsmouth fan

The game in itself is a reasonable entertainment to me. Some very nice male legs are exposed. The repetitive use of jargon and cliché is a genuine comedy of the "Victory is not about getting the most goals" variety. Last week I heard a team manager comment, "They had a couple of exceptional players. It was them that won it for them, not the team." Ah, I'm glad he explained that.
Southampton fan

All this stuff is harmless enough. Recently vile racist chanting has marred the game and the level of spiky mockery between groups of fans is quite distressing.  I suppose it's all a form of externalised nastiness that real life suppresses. Just imagine some unfortunate office worker who made a small mistake suddenly being surrounded and jeered at. Surely most of us sing more when we are winning In the UK, I have been living near to Southampton whose team is the sworn deadly enemy of the nearby team of Portsmouth. Babies at the breast are told that they are either "Saints" or "Pompey". I guess it's all about tribalism too. I have added a couple of images of fans of both teams. I cannot imagine why David Beckham wants to stay in the USA.

Emma thinx: We only win when we're singing


  1. Indeed. Insightful commentary, Emma!

  2. A brave comment, yet fair, spoken as always with the candor I have come to so enjoy in your writing.

  3. I don't understand "soccer" but I do understand this post - thanks for sharing it. Great writing.

  4. Yup. Winning. I shudder when I think of the post-Stanley Cup hockey riots in Vancouver (my hometown) last June.

  5. I wasn't raised in a sports environment so I've never understood the pull to be crazy over who wins and loses. Ahh, well. Wonderful post, always, Emma.

  6. Great post, Emma! I love sports but never liked the football/soccer variety. Actually I don't really like spectator sports...You know what? I find watching a sport very boring (I play golf and tennis but I can't stand to watch them on TV). So much better to go off practicing the sport instead of watching it! But it does so something profound about our society: we observe and prefer to observe rather than act! Hummmm....


Thanks so much for stopping by. Always so happy to get your feedback. Emma x