First of all, this is not a blog that argues that people are racist or a bigot for not supporting England. People are entitled to cheer on whoever they like and wish their opponents every misfortune under the sun. It wouldn't be football otherwise! The Labour Scottish Executive under Jack McConnell tried its damndest to suck all the passion out of the Old Firm rivalry, and to some extent have got their wish. I certainly wouldn't want the same to happen to football's oldest international rivalry.
I'm merely providing some of my own reasons for supporting England or, more accurately, not not
supporting England. I'm familiar with not wanting rivals to do well. I
laugh when Celtic go out of Europe, as do most Rangers fans. Although I
seem to remember Alex McLeish saying supportive words before the UEFA
Cup Final in 2003 and the world didn't come to an end. I've even seen
this attitude when watching Rangers in Europe in a 'mixed' pub, although
the Celtic fans didn't seem devastated when we lost it has to be said!
But the whole Anyone But England (ABE) thing seems more 'hammed up' than
club teams wanting their rivals to lose in Europe. It's like it's
become more important than the Scotland team itself, which is
regrettable in a way. It's certainly the easiest comedy gig in the
world, watching England in a Scottish pub.
'1966, did they win it then?' LOLZ!!
'I hope England get through, so they get pumped out in the quarter-finals on penalties!' ROFLZ!!!
quite endearing because everybody thinks it's the first time anyone's
ever said made these jokes. Rather like people running up to Richard
Wilson and shouting 'I DON'T BELIEVE IT' LMFAOZ!!eleven1
The number one reason for not supporting England is of course, ra English meeja!
yes, those evil bastards, who got behind Rangers enthusiastically
during our UEFA Cup campaign in 2008, whilst Andy Walker and Gerry
McSpew on STV looked like someone had nicked their sweets every time we
got through another round. This isn't the place for going into detail
about the contrast with the Scottish media's attitude in 2008 compared
with 2003, but the difference was obvious to the dogs on the street.
thing about the English media during World Cups is - their coverage
doesn't really bother me. I neither love it nor hate it. I've been
called an 'extremist' for my views but I don't really have strong
opinions on them either way. I can't say I'm mad about Gary Lineker
(glad he's been chucked from the golf) but the way Alan Hansen is
reviled by his fellow countrymen for daring to have a different opinion
merely proves my point. Besides, there are many individuals, such as the
cretins that beat up a child and disabled man at the last World Cup for
wearing England shirts, who couldn't even pronounce media bias. For
these people this is just an excuse to justify unpleasant views about
the English in general. Depressingly, we'll probably hear about such
Let's face it, the English media are trying to
market a product - their World Cup coverage. They're trying to make it
appeal to the widest audience possible, including people who don't
regularly watch football, and the best way to do that is to hype up the
coverage of England and exaggerate their chances. And it works - even in
Scotland. For all the remarks like 'I'm turning off the telly as soon
as they mention 1966', how often do people actually do it?
annoys me that I'm expected to share a sense of faux outrage. As a
libertarian the idea that you must think X because you're part of group Y
really doesn't sit well with me, and the Scottish identity can be quite
stifling like this in many ways. I don't really follow international
teams apart from Scotland, England and occasionally Northern Ireland -
although I loved watching Holland at Euro 2008 and they are my second,
or perhaps first equal, preference this time round (plus, thanks to the
Advocaat era they have excellent Rangers credentials). I'm used to
watching English players week-in week-out for their clubs - think
Rooney's fantastic - and am probably more familiar with them than most
of the Scotland team, so this plays a big factor in my support.
forget that when Scotland participates in World Cups (long time ago I
know) we do have our own coverage, at least for the Scotland games. Our
pundits are free to use 'us' and 'we' to their hearts' content, and of
course there is coverage on non-sporting programmes in Scotland. This
could be extended to tournaments where Scotland hasn't qualified, but
wouldn't be justified in my opinion. A waste of resources and many would
be crying out for the return of Motson and Tyldesley after hearing BBC
Scotland and STV's efforts. Remember Sandy Clark?!
this really satisfy many people? I think we love to be outraged and the
problem is not that the coverage isn't Scottish enough, but rather that
it's English at all. Scotland at least has a national identity in
broadcasting terms, but we seek to deny this to the English.
good reason to support England is the nation's financial dire straits
(the nation in this case being the UK). Supposedly, the Republic of
Ireland's World Cup run in 1994 did wonders for the economy there. What
better way to boost GDP than a nation of happy workers celebrating World
Cup victory? Of course, this wouldn't be the case in Scotland but the
economic effects would be felt - one nation under the pound sterling
after all. And of course, we all want the coalition government to succeed, right?
brings me onto my next point. Rarely have I felt less in tune with my
fellow Scots, who voted Labour in droves despite them leaving the
country's finances in a mess, doing nothing for the poor they claim to
represent and lies and corruption in the West of Scotland going back
decades. The SNP are not much better although at least they stand for
something, despite me disagreeing with it. This chimes in with my
earlier comment about Scotland being quite stifling of different
opinions - we're the only country outwith North Korea that doesn't even
tolerate a centre-right party. It may be a petty reason, but England
winning will piss off a helluva lot of Labour voters!
Still, at least my choice of World Cup team isn't quite as unpopular
as my vote at the election. And I may well bet against them. Going out
in the quarter-finals on penalties seems like a good tip. By comparison,
I would never bet against Rangers or Scotland.
And there may be
one thing that could yet sway me against the 3 Lions. That James Cordon
monstrosity I heard on the radio this afternoon. Inflicting that on the
Scottish people should be a crime. And the song's pish an' aw.