Right. I'm cured.
England are crap.
Shan't get excited again.
For the one good moment in the match, Gerrard's GOAL, ITV HD managed to blip off and showed us a shiny car instead. Hopefully the fuckwit responsible was taken out and hung by his pants on an active pylon . Green's schoolboy fumbling fingers act however was shown a thousand times over. Because we all needed that forever burned into our heads.
What have I become? A moaning football blogger? Shoot me now!!!
And so I shall go back in time to my wilderness years - when I pretended that only boys liked stupid old football and found it funny when England always promised so much, suckered the poor lambs in and then gobbed on their dreams. I used to skip about the house during a penalty shoot out. I used to chuckle at the back pages. I was a most superior being. And had no wrinkles. And no lucky shirt.
And then it started calling again some years ago..... some familiar and welcoming sound drawing me back. I'd walked away YEARS ago. I'd left home - no more Grandstand all day Saturday and curtains drawn every big match. I was a free spirit. What WAS this compulsion to turn back and re-enter the fray?
Was is soppy nostalgia? Maybe hunkering down in front of Match of the Day was a weird across-the-worlds communication with my Dad? I started listening out for Charlton's scores every Saturday after he died and added their well-being to my portfolio of personal responsibilities. But would still list Chelsea first. Why? Was I still 7 years old? Was this a regression or an adulty opening up of acknowledgement for what was truly my inheritance? Eurghhh....
Or did I just like hanging out with the boys down the pub? (Was it simply my tightest shirt?)
All this is like SO not cool. I'm a tired wheezing old pants-folder now. What do I need this crap for? If I want to be regularly disappointed I just look in the mirror. I've grown out of glossy magazines - tried to buy one for my traditional birthday treat the other day and found them ALL so dull. I am very rarely impressed with films these days - give it 10 minutes and switch off if it doesn't grab me. Unshockable in front of the MTV naked grinding videos at the ice rink. Implacable in the face of other people's children's achievements. Even my famous twitchin' eyebrow doesn't raise at the sight of 10 Downing Street. I am above such cheap distractions. My god I can even do family occasions without hiding in the toilets these days. Surely I can rise above the Bloody World Cup!
But it kind of IS life and death. Football. It was the soundtrack of my childhood. It was important to the males in my family and so it held an entrance to their world. My Mum may have called me in from the garden one sunny afternoon to sit me down in front of Rita Hayworth in Cover Girl - a crucial moment in my cultural history, and educated me in the ways of Busby Berkely, Judy Garland, Fred and Ginger etc, but football was the background hum of the house. It seeps in. I still watch Hollywood musicals (and watch them - still - ie not moving a muscle) with a great big smile. I watch football with a scowl, with continental gestures, with overblown language and flying cushions. Life and death.
And that diary of matches that coincide with your own events just weaves it into your own personal tapestry ever more. I mean I have to listen out for West Ham's results now too after my brother died. Another personal responsibility. I take each defeat as an insult to his memory. I still haven't actually forgiven them for losing the FA Cup Final 4 years ago - I knew he was watching and couldn't believe they didn't make the extra effort. That was the last FA Cup Final he ever saw - and it couldv'e been HIS team lifting the trophy! Useless bastards! But if they just got themselves back up there I imagined life itself would get less shit. This is how football gets you. This is why so many men devote themselves to it. It's for their old Dad. They get to rant and scream about stuff and call the world a wanker and noone thinks it's not British. And if 'we' won!!!??? Well - old Dad is 'up there' happy - and that's a better religion than most.
The last World Cup Final was a weird one to be sure. It was the day Thuglet was born, and the day my brother died. A very odd sort of day. We still watched the match tho'. What else was there to do? Less dramatic reactions perhaps. We'll be on holiday this year when the final takes place. Which is probably a very good thing. A different scene. Cushion throwing back on the menu. (Dammit I said I wasn't going to get excited again!) Although it's usually a more civilized spectator scene than the early rounds seeing as how England won't be playing. Don't gasp at my lack of faith. I told you I'm cured!
Now my Monkey Boy's at a football tournament this morning. Set off with his Dad bright and early. No slo-mo hero shots coming out of the tunnel - more of a scramble with a clip round the ear trying to skid out of the gates, but I bet Rusthall FC (Tunbridge Wells) will have more sparkle and fizz than South Africa. They sell Refreshers at the club house. And noone there would dare chant 'eez a cunt, eez a cunt, the referee's a cunt'. At least not after I was asked to leave at Langton Green's Football Fiesta last month. And this afternoon it's back to the rink for their End of Seasons competition - Minx in action in all her pink and black shimmery glory.
This is the real stuff. Where the spectators look at their watches every few minutes and tell the competitors to stop being silly in front of their friends.
Kids having a laugh.