Monday, July 02, 2012

Football vs Shoes

After a tense month of country squaring up to country, passions enflamed by old rivalries and a need to restore national pride in these ailing times, Europe is getting back to normal. Obviously I'm talking about the football (that's "soccer" in the pidgin of North American.)

And when I say, "getting back to normal," I mean except for those people who understand the appeal of tennis or link their country's worth based on getting gold medal in synchronised swimming or stick throwing.

It's fair to say synchronised swimming doesn't enflame the passions like football does.

Football tends to divide people into two camps.

There are some for whom as soon as the championship starts, they dress up in extra large versions of their team's uniform, they paint their face like a flag and wake up chanting "Olay olay-olay-olay!" or something equally meaningful.

All of which shows people can be proud of where they come from and/or the country that has given them somewhere to live.
Greek Tragedy. Source:

At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who say. "It's only football." "It's just 22 overpaid men, who love themselves a little bit too much, kicking some air wrapped in leather up and down what could be a perfectly good car park."

All of which are fair points. I've been told, during halftime, Cristiano Ronaldo has his hair styled. This may or may not be true, but doesn't seem ridiculous.

However these people will always let themselves down by having something they, themselves, irrationally get over excited about. Often it's shoes.
Shoes of the type people wear on their feet. Source: flickr/uggboy/ 

They see a new picture of a pair of shoes on the internet, designed by Jimmy Shoes or Patrick Socks or Christian Leggings (or one of those fellers), and they scream, "Oh my god Oh my god Oh my god! A new type of shoe! Olaaaaay!"

Failing to get the irony that "they're only shoes." They are small strips of leather you stretch over your feet to help protect them. Designed by an overpaid fetishist and made by scared, starving children.

My favourite sight during the world cup is often seen in bars showing an England match. There'll be at least one big, big guy. He'll be wearing the largest official top they sell, that comes to half-way down his belly. He'll have a huge beer in one hand and some sort of meaty, fried snack in the other. He'll be breathing heavily from standing up for 20 minutes and he'll be shouting at the screen at a player who has run the whole length of the pitch only to lose the ball to two very aggressively determined defenders, "Get off! Get off the pitch! You're unfit!" Right.

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