Every Loser Wins!
So yet again we have failed to win another international football tournament. Surprised? No, me neither. Penalties again!
Do you know something, we were never going to bring it home either, because we are England and we are winners at being runners up.
As a nation we always support the underdogs don’t we?
Look at programmes like ‘The X Factor’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, as soon as that sad music is played with the contestant revealing their tragic lives, we immediately want to support them. Sometimes we continue to vote to keep contestants on shows where they are clearly not the better dancers or ice skaters etc, but because they are so bad and get a rough ride with the judges, we actually want to see them again and vote in our millions to keep them safe!
Therefore, when it comes to sport why don’t we just accept this and move on?
England is usually the underdog, especially in football championships, so why raise our expectations only to have them dashed? Instead we should just go into each match not expecting too much, and then if we were to do better than we expect, it would be a bonus! However, because the British press ‘big’ the England team up so much, as a nation we let ourselves believe we could win. What we need to do really, is accept that this is not 1966 all over again (as gets mentioned every time!), and we are just not that good at playing at an international level.
Therefore, I think that what people don’t want to see end is the social element that the England World Cup or Euros dream brings with it. Like it or not, these events bring people together more, and what with the sun shining as well, we English feel happier and enjoy feeling this way. Friends and fans gather together to watch the game, flags are put up in windows and on cars, houses are painted, faces are painted, football shirts are worn and football songs are played again and again, giving us hope that maybe, as in 1966, we could bring football home.
Wimbledon is another example. For years we all cheered Tim Henderson on and every year he would bow out before the semi finals. Nowadays, we have Andy Murray attempting to raise the championship cup for England. And he didn’t manage it this year. Maybe he will in the future. Who knows. All I do know, is there’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders!
I think why England always feels sad whenever we are knocked out of tournaments, is that we are actually grieving. We are mourning the end of the euphoria that sporting competitions bring to the nation which, for us English at least, goes hand in hand with the social aspects: the drinking and the sense of being united with each other. All of which usually happens over a pint in the local boozer!