Friday, 4 June 2010

Let's support England in the World Cup

After all, they're our nearest neighbours and dearest friends, and they've never won it before, have they? No, no, laddie that was a Swiss referee and a Russian linesman. England is, after all, the greatest footballing nation in the world - although they are so modest about it you would hardly know - and they play beautiful and graceful football with good manners and great sportsmanship. Pip pip for our boys in white with the three scrawny leopards on their chests, and if we need any more inspiration, let's turn to their national bard:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height.
On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war.
And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start.
The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

The game's afoot indeed - mind how you go!


Andrew said...

Three lions on the shirt....quintessentially English until you point out that they're,well,actually French (whom the English hate).


voiceofourown said...

Much as I hate the brow-beating that tries to shame us into supporting England, I'm not sure we should go down this road Calum. Tongue-in-cheek or not, I'm sure that Scotland would behave no differently in similar circumstances

In saying that, I simply don't see why it's self evident that we SHOULD support England.
In a footballing context, there is no Britain.
We have seperate leagues, seperate governing bodies, seperate national teams.
As in most cases, the other local team is your natural rival. (SHOULD Celtic fans be browbeaten into supporting fellow Glasgow team Rangers against Hibs, say?)

Is it because we happen to be in a political union that we SHOULD support them?
Does that mean I SHOULD support Germany against Norway? (or France against Brazil?).
The arguments don't hold water.

As in club football, when viewing as a nuetral, I'll support the team that tries to play the kind of football I like to see.
That's why I prefer Arsenal to Chelsea or Spain to Germany.
So come on Spain.

Anonymous said...

I agree with voice.

I'm Scottish and proud of it, but I lived in France and I love it too. Clearly my loyalities after Scotland would have to be to a country I love, rather one that I am reluctantly joined to by political "union" or, some would say "domination".

After that, I'm fond of Switzerland and Botswana, Laos and Greenland... so it's going to be a long time beofre I get to England....

Whatever, I won't be embarrassed into supporting England in any tournament.