The crying game!

PUBLISHED: 11:56 06 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:25 06 May 2010

The England team after the penalty shoot - out

The England team after the penalty shoot - out

WHILE the rest of the world settled down for an afternoon of football last weekend, I studiously made plans to avoid the beautiful game . I headed off to the supermarket figuring (accurately, as it turned out) that it would be quiet, and then settled mys

WHILE the rest of the world settled down for an afternoon of football last weekend, I studiously made plans to avoid the 'beautiful game'.

I headed off to the supermarket figuring (accurately, as it turned out) that it would be quiet, and then settled myself out in the garden with a magazine, where again I enjoyed a bit of peace, with not a lawn mower to be heard.

I did, however, catch the final few minutes of the game and to my surprise, found myself getting more than a little wound up - at one point even shouting at the television - and generally feeling quite out of sorts.

It wasn't, however, Rooney getting sent off or the England boys sealing their fate to come back to Blighty that got me going, but people's reactions to all this.

I mean, please, get some perspective.

Apparently we'd defended quite well in that match so I guess it was a bit of a shame that we lost, but really, it's hardly the tragedy of the century.

Yet on the football pitch, in the stands and no doubt up and down the country, men, women and children cried.

They sobbed and hugged each other, they looked as though the world had come to an end the second Cristiano Ronaldo hammered in that final penalty.

Maybe I don't get it. Maybe I'm just not entering into the spirit of things, but I find the reaction of the crowds and the players entirely disproportionate.

Currently in the world we have an explosive situation getting worse in Gaza, we have a G8 summit that we should all really be paying attention to about to happen in Russia, and - on the very day people cried about the football - two British soldiers died in Afghanistan.

These are all far more pressing issues and far more worthy of our time and our emotion.

I truly fail to see why spectators and fans got so upset, and while I have a little bit more sympathy with the players - everyone wants to do as well as possible in their chosen career and is disappointed when things go wrong - I still think Ferdinand, Terry, Beckham et al need to get a grip.

We all suffer professional disappointments but you don't see barristers crying in court because they've lost a case or even journalists bawling because they've missed out on the scoop of a lifetime.

The World Cup as a bit of fun, as something to get involved in, to follow and get excited about is possibly fair enough, but a tragedy worthy of floods of tears?

I don't think so.


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