Existentialism And The English Soccer Fan


Yes, I nearly fell off the elliptical when I saw that ball go in the net, and to answer Boris's question:

"What was the thought that followed the yelp?"

I can respond with four words: "Oh no! Not again!" Alex Massie seeks some kind of solace and ends up with Camus:

"All that I know most surely about morality and obligations, I owe to football."

He was a goalie. But Gideon captures the basic idea:

One of the masochistic pleasures of watching England, however, is the sheer familiarity of the narrative. We build the team up, we convince ourselves that this time we’ve got a real chance, the team get off to a decent start and then it all falls apart. It’s like having a recurring nightmare. And I think the players are as spooked as the fans - you can see their self-belief collapsing, as soon as things start to go wrong.

Even the headlines in this morning’s papers contained references to past disasters that did not need to be spelled out. One tabloid screamed, “Oh No, Not Again.” But my favourite was the News of the World’s front page - above a picture of the hapless England goalie, Robert Green, was the headline “Hand of Clod”. All fans will instantly get the reference to the infamous “Hand of God” goal with which Diego Maradona eliminated England in 1986. Seems like yesterday.

My dad's verdict? The Americans were an impressive bunch of players.

(Photo: Robert Green of England, as he walks off the pitch at full time in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between England and USA at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 12, 2010 in Rustenburg, South Africa. By Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)