…though crazy is no longer the word, so far as I am concerned. I’ve become a bit take it or leave it about the beautiful game nowadays, which in some ways is a shame. I miss both sides of the coin: the elation of victory, as well as its flip side, the abject misery of defeat. Nonetheless, it was England v USA in the semi-final of the Women’s World Cup, so, having made sure that the match would be shown in one of the bars down by the waterfront, I put out an invitation to join me there on WhatsApp. It did provoke a minor squall of banter between various assorted Brits and Yanks, as well as others stirring the pot, but actually there was hardly a big attendance: Deborah and another newly arrived US volunteer, me and Jaime (who didn’t care either way.)
It was as well that I had checked it would be shown, as when I arrived with twenty minutes to spare, they were showing a basketball match, but I was assured the channel would be switched at the appropriate time. As you probably know, England lost, but, like I say… meh! I do think my lack of excitement is as much about what has happened to the modern game as it is me getting older, sadder, wiser and less emotionally committed. There aren’t goals any more, but potential goals, which need to be checked on VAR. I know that such technology is inevitable, when there are multiple cameras allowing millimetre measurement, but football should not be about such precision. Call me an old fogey (“You’re an old fogey!”) but I do regret the passing of the day when the opinion of the referee was paramount.
At the end, even the two Americans weren’t especially excited, and I, of course, took the defeat graciously, like the good loser I am. But as some American once said, show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.