The Boys Are Back in Cape Town

Oh, yes, England have qualified to the knockout stages. Phew. Didn’t look like the Three Lions had any claws for a while. They’d been so lousy up until now — no heart in the game (too much roast beef and not enough puddin’). Here are lauded some of the best players in the game, and they couldn’t even beat Algeria. But now, with the Scepter’d Isle on the line, they started playing some serious football, looking like they mean it.

I’m not a football fanatic or even a mild supporter, but this World Cup has drawn me in. I think it’s because there’s so much depressing news to rankle and raise one’s hackles about, it’s refreshing to get excited over a simple pleasure like a home team stomping out a rival team. It’s not even patriotism at work, it’s more a feeling of happiness, because competition between nations doesn’t mean confrontation with arms.

And it must be said, football is a real sport: it’s 90 minutes of hard action. Not like US football where it stalls every second for the minotaurs to adjust their groins. And baseball where the pajama boys wait on bases as if they’re expecting a bus.

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