Monday, 14 June 2010

Flags and Vuvuzelas

Weeks of build up enabled us to speculate, stress, argue and dream. It's the last one that is the most damaging though. Carried along on a wave of misplaced confidence the flags started appearing about a month ago. After Saturday's performance I wouldn't be surprised if a few have been surreptisiously removed. Some have travelled so far that they are already tatttered and forlorn. It's not difficult to see parallels with the England team each time you drive over a little piece of plastic and cloth on the motorway.

I'm happy for anyone to stick the flag on their car of course. In fact the more Asian cabbies that do it in Bradford the better as far as I'm concerned. My colleague overheard some bloke moaning about 'them' taking 'our' flag the other day so if it's pissing off the Nazis, casual racists or plain old ignoramuses then that's fine by me. Even if I didn't feel a bit uncomfotable with it (as much on 'cool' grounds as anything) I'd still not do it as it seems to invite misfortune on the pitch. I used to stick a scarf out the car window on the way to away games but stopped that when I lost my treasured, childhood scarf on the motorway after opening the wrong window.

On Saturday we got ready for the game and I annoyed the boy and wife (formerly known as girl) by blowing on the vuvuzela I brought back from South Africa- especially loudly after the early goal. I should have known that England could only manage roughly 4 minutes of good play.

It irritates me no end when the 'pundits' discuss pressure being brougfht to bear by broadcasters on FIFA to ban the vuvuzela. You may as well ban the England brass band, giant flags or the army of midwinter shirtless Geordies at St James' Park. All are irritating but they are part of a much stronger fabric than the type used to make the little crosses of St George.

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