Monday, June 14, 2010

America's 'victory' over England

According to some, football is a matter of life and death. Most Brits, on the other hand, feel it’s far more important than that.

Which is why an awful lot of English people have got their knickers thoroughly in a twist about today’s cover of the New York Post, in which the Americans loudly proclaimed a 1-1 ‘victory’ over England.

“It’s either a joke, or they just don’t get it,” one England fan surmised on Twitter.

I respectfully disagree. It’s not a joke and they clearly get it better than anybody in England does.

I caught the last fifteen minutes of the game in French on my SIRIUS radio and the moment the whistle blew, our Quebecois cousins concluded the same thing as the New York Post: “It wuz zee victory for zee Americans, non? Because zey did no lose.”

Besides, there’s something somewhat ironic about us complaining about this headline: Back in 1950 – on the only occasion the Americans have ever beaten England – the British newspapers were so confused by reports that the Americans had won that they assumed it was a typo; and the daily papers went ahead to report an England victory all the same. That’s considerably worse than reporting a draw as a ‘victory.’

It’s basically just snobbery on the part of us Englanders – magnified because we’re clearly the ones who don’t ‘get it’ - it being that our team definitely came away as losers on Saturday.

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