So far, I have not been all that enthused by the Euro 2004 European Championship football tournament being held in Portugal at the moment but finally, it appears, the sporting event has sparked into life. This evening, Croatia came close to beating the former champions France, in a thrilling game. Earlier in the day, England, who lost their first game in the last minutes to France, managed after some hiccups to overwhelm Switzerland.
All to the good. I must say that watching some of the matches has reminded me of why, despite my annoyance at the antics of highly paid sportsmen, I still love watching football, and why I despise those who think it is amusing to sneer at we plebs and our love of what Brazil’s Pele called the “Beautiful Game”.
Take this piece of drivel from an anti-sports snob, for instance:
The players are even more loathesome than the fans. All professional sportsmen are more or less imbeciles, of course, but only footballers manage to be so utterly charmless with it. They are essentially overgrown spoilt children, diving and rolling around pretending to be injured, and practically wetting themselves whenever someone scores. There is a general, and sometimes quite fantastic, ugliness. If I had my way, I would have them all shot.
I wonder if the author of this piece would like to pass on his profound thoughts to one of the England team? Seriously though, for all that I despise the moronic behaviour of certain England football “fans” causing mayhem, I also despise a certain kind of anti-sport snob who imagines he or she is being terribly daring and original by sneering at the pleasures of the ordinary guy and his enthusiasm for team sports.
Oh well, come on England!