I imagine there are a lot of pouty footballers out there today, lower lips protruding and quivering over England’s loss in the World Cup 2018 bid. Awww…I guess Beckham can bend it but not necessarily persuade it.
Chin up, England. You have the 2012 Olympics! Isn’t that exciting? Isn’t that enough? Sure, you designed a rather ugly and disappointing logo and mascot for this very important and global event, but we’re not holding that against you (much)!! My sweet home Chicago recently lost its 2016 Olympics bid, but, you know, in these cases we have to pick ourselves up and, as your own nation’s slogan went at the outset of the second World War, “Keep Calm And Carry On“…you remember, the one advertised by your Ministry of Magic, I mean, Ministry of Information?
But I shouldn’t tease. Though it’s difficult for an American expat in London to get what the big deal is about soccer, I mean, football, I can obviously equate it to the sporting frenzy in the States over basketball, football, and baseball. Wow, can those competitions bring out the worst in mankind, the drunkest and most ornery states of being. So I won’t giggle as much when I hear your chants outside my window as you parade from the pubs to Chelsea Football Club, nor tremble too much when I see how much security is staffed at one of your games, I mean, matches. And I believe you all remember the tragic extremes to which football fandom extended during that Liverpool FC match of 21 years ago at Hillsborough, which crushed and killed 96 fans. So keep calm…
I’m already concerned enough about what London will be like during the Olympics, not even certain if I still want to be living here for it (not to dissuade you if you’re moving to London at that time!). Sure, hosting these major events is an honor and generates much revenue for the cities that host them, but you have to also consider the toll it takes on the locals that have to coexist with the traffic and chaos of it. And whose taxes have to pay for it. It was unpleasant enough for me to experience the 2010 World Cup in the pubs…So, I reckon one event promoting world unity for the decade should be enough of a serious point of pride for London, rather than another that seems to generate more anger and attitude that separates us. But that’s just my two cents, I mean, pence.