The Other Man: A World Cup RantJuly 3, 2010 No Comments
I was going to write about the wonders of sport that so many women miss out on, but I was too distracted by the World Cup.
Luckily, women are not as hypnotized by this event so journalist extraordinaire Claire Daly was able to take the reins this week to explain why it’s just a game. (I’m still not convinced).
A World Cup Rant
Thank God we’ve been knocked out of the World Cup. The whole feverish nightmare of pubs taken over by St George flags and streets overrun with drunken football hooligans reminded me of how horrific things would be if the BNP were to be in power.
The irritating buzz of the vuvuzela sounded like a plague of wasps stuck inside the television, and infected every pub in Britain. Even respectable pubs were transformed into dens of red and white flags, full to the brim of red-cheeked swaggering men, making them an impassable hellhole where women were met with a blank stare. Even at a small pub in the backwaters of north London, I was told I had to have a ticket before I could enter the almost empty pub, guarded by a swarthy man controlling the doorway with his large body propped on a stool. He let me in, but just to use the ladies.
No matter where I went, I could not escape from it on the Sunday England were utterly defeated by Germany. In a leafy allotment in the suburbs of north London, wild screams emanated from a block of flats almost a mile away. They must have been screams of rage. My friends (who had never before expressed any interest in football whatsoever) insisted on switching on the radio – my peaceful afternoon was ruined and the screams of fans and the buzz of the vuvuzela jarred with the birdsong.
Even my work colleagues were not immune to World Cup fever. On our annual staff trip to Krakow, most of the team (apart from the more elderly members of the team and me) could be found in a bar staffed by girls in red hotpants, shouting abuse at a television.
Call me unpatriotic, but I didn’t care if we won or lost. The theft of the England team’s pants on the last night of their stay in South Africa made headlines. Maybe there was little else to report – our team proved pretty useless. There was so much hype, but they’re still just a bunch of men kicking a ball around a field, ridiculously paid and spud-faced though they are.
Claire Daly is a journalist and feature writer based in London.