World Cup 1 Avoiding It 0
So England lost the quarter final, came crashing out of the World Cup and the press inevitably cast around for someone to blame for the fact that despite valiant efforts by a 10-man team, they didn't beat Portugal.
We miserable sideliners took bets on how long it would be before the England flags came down in the street and off parked cars (about five minutes after the match ended).
Our 93-year-old neighbour was furious with the team. "I could play better than that," she hissed at my partner. Which is a bit unfair as I think that 10-man team did their very best after Rooney lost his temper - yet again - and was sent off.
Yes, I know he was apparently put in the wrong position but the bottom line, surely, is that if he doesn't learn to control his temper he won't be worth his £20 million price tag Manchester United paid for him if every time he plays there's a chance someone's going to wind him up and the fists and then the red cards start flying?
As for the England 'fans' who attacked Portuguese fans in Jersey, throwing bricks at the police in an effort ot hit the opposing supporters... Well, certainly not the best advertisement for the beautiful game. A small number of people spoiling things for the vast majority who might not like the fact that the team lost but moved on, hoping for better next time round.
Then there's The Sun and it's disgusting 'Give Ron One in the Eye" dartboard yesterday (3 July), perhaps one of their sicker 'jokes' of late, when we've seen footballers getting attacked by fans from the terraces with coins, darts and other things in the past. Not very funny - and perhaps a breach of the Press Complaints Code on grounds of harassment and, possibly, discrimination, although the PCC is pretty useless, so I expect they won't do anything.
I started this thread about the World Cup as bit of a joke in a response to an appeal for World Cup blogs from a friend over at Yahoo UK, but over the past few weeks I've come to appreciate the huge sense of social 'togetherness' supporting the England team has generated across England, and seen all the best backing your national team has to offer.
Sadly, there have been some terrible examples of the worst kinds of human behaviious aong with it, and I'd certainly include The Sun's tirade against Ronaldo amongst them.
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