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Patriotism, jingoism, xenophobia ..... and BLOODY FOOTBALL!

Posted by Tim on Thursday, June 10, 2004 | Permalink

Euro 2004; England diagnosed with football (soccer) fever yet again.

I was never in to any particular sport as a kid. I was active - I used to run around, climb trees in the woods and stuff - but sports always seemed to me to be too "formal". You have a "position". You have to obey a set of rules to have fun.

I've got no particular feelings towards the actual game of football.
What I don't like is the fact that football has taken over the T.V. schedules for 3 weeks (although not so bad if you've got cable/satellite).
What I hate is the fact that, as an English male, I'm "supposed" to love the game.
What I really hate though is the blatant xenophobia disguised as patriotism that the whole event causes.

There is a very, very fine line between patriotism, jingoism and xenophobia, and I can't help feeling a little disturbed by the amount of St. Georges flags around at the moment - stuck to people's cars, hanging in windows, on T Shirts - suddenly they're everywhere! Patriotism is also a self centered belief. If a patriotic English person had have been adopted at birth by a family in France that person would hardly grow up to love England - so people love their country because they themselves live there!

Even normal fans seem to take it all rather to seriously, and as for the football hooligans - I just don't get it. What goes through the minds of these people?

For fuck's sake, IT IS JUST A GAME!!!

UPDATE 14 June : Trouble erupts after England game [ BBC News story ]
What a surprise. Still, England has only to loose the match on thursday to be out of the competition.


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