Club versus Country

As I mentioned last week, I watched the England match at a celebration event for The Great Football Giveaway. A lovely house in the idyllic Wiltshire countryside; a stone vessel of Pimms; fridge full of beer; and wine from well above knee-level in the supermarket. To be honest, I don’t think you’d find many of those wines even in the supermarket.

With England leading one nil approaching half-time, the Jackal turned and said “this is just boring isn’t it?” (meaning the match, not the event I must add). If we were watching Derby in the same situation during a lull, we would be thinking “let’s keep it tight, there’s no immediate danger here, how long until half-time?” As it was, we were thinking “shall we play table tennis? Is the fish and chip van here? Where’s Simon?”

Simon continued his late season habit of missing goals and seconds later, America had brought some life back into the match.

Post-match in the toilets, someone said “it’s not the worst result in the world ever” to which his mate replied “it is the worst result in the world ever”. I chimed in with “you should try losing 4-1 at home to Scunthorpe”.

There are a lot of fanatical Rams fans (and fans of other clubs) who are also fanatical about England but there is also a huge swathe of armchair fans across the country who rarely attend a match but go loopy at World Cup time – like people who never go out crowding the bar on New Years Eve.

The big philosophical question for me is: if someone can be born and live in Derby yet still choose to support Man Utd. or Liverpool, why would I be immediately glassed if I used the same logic and chose to support Brazil or Spain?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do support England but I can’t treat every game like the play-off final. Maybe its the thought of supporting players I’ve spent the last year wishing misfortune on as I must admit, I had full-on World Cup mania in 1990 when Wright and Shilton were involved. Or maybe its just supporting the Rams has bred an underdog spirit out of kilter with the in-yer-face England circus.

I mean, would you honestly begrudge Algeria a result on Friday after the complete injustice of the Africans Spain ’82 elimination? Don’t worry, I won’t be saying it in public on Friday night!

S Spaceram


Posted on June 14, 2010, in General Football and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I have a mate who is a diehard Wolves fan, as is his father. Both born in Wolverhampton though now live away. However, my mate refuses to support England because nationalism is bad apparently. So he has decided to support Holland. His reasoning is good; Holland have a tradition of great players, playing great football, wearing some smart looking kits and supported by some hot looking ladies too. But his decision sits uneasily with his non-decision to be completely regionalist over Wolves.

    He’s never got into fights over it, and certainly has never been glassed, I think mainly because other fans find his stance so confusing. I’ve known him for years and I still struggle with it myself – it just makes no sense to me! Oddly it also makes no sense to my mates who don’t support the team local to where they were born or even live.

    However, one thing the vast majority of my mates agree on is that we are more involved in supporting our clubs over our country.

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