Friday, September 12, 2008

Internationals Make Monsters of Us All

What, you're NOT going to honk your horn
outside of my apartment for the next six hours?

International week -- there is something about the raw energy of nation versus nation in football that induces stress headaches like no other sport.

You learn things about yourself. Things that you might not want to face, or admit to in polite company.

I learned this weekend that Canada must band together to remove and replace the Canadian Soccer Association, which, alongside the Conservative Party of Canada and the board members over at CBC Radio, seem hell-bent on reducing Canada to a large, tacky wilderness with little to show for itself but some Celine Dion records and some grainy tar out in the west somewhere.

I learned that I feel tremendous, invigorating waves of schadenfreude whenever Portugal loses in the football. Especially when they're at home. And especially when it's to a team like Denmark, old trusty underrated Denmark with two late and injurious goals in injury time, the same blessed Denmark that humiliated England not too long ago.

And England. I learned that all my hardcore England cynicism will vanish at the sight of a long-promised and perfectly polite wunderkind sticking it to those arrogant Croat bastards, only to return when my left-brain politely reminds me that most of what England managed to do in Zagreb was with a Croatian player in the perma-sin bin, perhaps upset with himself that he hadn't left Joe Cole completely brain-damaged but only gashed and bleeding.

What did you learn? If anything? Probably that you prefer club football.


Steve said...

As a Portuguese Torontonian I can see why you would like us to lose. Our local fans love every excuse to get rowdy during international tournaments, even if half of them don't know a thing about futebol and are only jumping on the bandwagon.
Even if you are a Portugal hater, I still enjoy reading your blog, keep up the good work.

Richard Whittall said...

Well, hater is probably a bit strong. I reserve football hate for Birmingham City.

If its a bandwagon, it sure is a colourful one. Maybe one of these days I'll post up my album of Portuguese Sports Bars in Toronto-- I think I have about forty photographs and they're pretty neat.

Steve said...

Oh please do I am sure they will be interesting!