My lack of knowledge of sport and sporting matters is almost legendary. Interestingly though this seems to exist not only in my waking hours but also at a subconscious level. My mind is so uncontrollably (and unprofitably) busy that I often wake feeling that I have not actually been asleep and resting but rather living a parallel life. These two factors came together last night when in my ‘other life’ I was being asked to play for a football team! However this team was not one of the usual 5 or 11 a side. This team had 8 players per side, a number which even I recognised as abnormal. My quizzical expression received this explanation. ‘It’s like a normal five-a-side team but with three extra wicketkeepers!’
You may have noticed that there was a football match yesterday – but being neither a football fan nor English – it doesn’t affect me much, though after ten years living in Italy I was happy with the result. However what I did find irritating was the way in which the media handled the event as ‘something of importance to ALL of us’ which was ’uniting us in this difficult time’ Really ?! Leaving aside that grossly inaccurate assumption, to read on the BBC site an article by Phil McNulty Chief Football Writer with the headline ‘as Italy spoil ‘coming home’ party’ was spectacularly wrong. A party is normally held to celebrate something that has been achieved, NOT something that is simply ‘a hope’. ‘Spoiled our party’ sounded like a small child, with a pouty lip, whingeing ‘It’s not fair…..’
Italy won. England did not.
‘The train was packed and I was wedged between an Italian woman who meditated before playing chess on her iPad, and a large American woman who fidgeted and sighed for the entire 1 3/4 hours.
Arriving in Rome we are heading down the Via Nazionale– a five lane one way road when the traffic is brought to standstill by a 70 ish man dressed in football kit who demonstrated his ability to keep a football in the air by heading it for about 5 minutes! Nobody tooted, shouted or complained.’
‘Everything I learned about morality I learned from the football field.’ The words of Albert Camus, great existentialist writer and amateur goalkeeper……. lucky he didn’t see the World Cup Final………..