Let me start by saying I am not a football fan, not at all. I’ve never understood it, never cared for it, never had any interest in it. So if any of the information I disclose is incorrect, please feel free to bring that to light because I’d hate to misinform or offend with my ignorance. With that said… let’s get into it!
This World Cup tournament has opened my eyes up to the magic and the joy that a sport can inject into people. I’m strictly speaking about England, I’m not sure if it’s the same across the globe. It seems that football, at a pretty bleak and depressing time for many reasons, has brought people together. For these last few weeks there has been nothing but a sense of community and belonging amongst everyone and that’s really special.
“It’s coming home”
This song/chant is everywhere. It has been absolutely inescapable, and I didn’t really get what people meant. I assumed it meant we’d be bringing the World Cup ‘home’, but in hindsight, it seems to mean that we’re coming home with pride and an achievement we haven’t been close to replicating since 1966.
Truthfully, no one I have spoken to ever had any hopes or expectations for our team. We haven’t performed in previous football tournaments or leagues and no one really seemed to give much of a second thought to it. But then they won, and they did it again, and again and again. And the excitement and the buzz that was created was electric.
Yes, some of us behaved poorly and without any regard for others. Like those who ransacked an IKEA when we beat Sweden or the daft cow who thought jumping up and down and damaging an Ambulance was clever. You’ll get a village idiot/mob where ever you go, but if you look past the act itself, you’ll see this was because they were completely euphoric and pouring it out in a primitive (but very stupid) way.
I noticed my neighbours, who never speak to each other stand, and have a chat over their fences. Strangers would nod and smile at another wearing their shirt. Towns were decorated with the flag like a badge of honour (Kettering even spray painted their mini roundabouts). Flags hung in windows and on cars in support. People everywhere would gather to watch their team do something they never expected. It united people from all walks of life and was a cause to celebrate. For the first time in a long time, we forgot all about the doom and gloom of the threat terrorism, Brexit, recessions, knife crime and everything else that sucks.
We all connected
We had a dream, a tangible dream, and we were all rooting for it. Fan or not and as an outsider looking in, it was hard not to be taken in by it. I really hope this communal positivity lingers and reminds us of what we can be, what we can do and how we can live. We may have fallen short, but regardless we should be proud of our team and each other. It‘s really amazing what Football can do to bring people together.
Until next time ♡
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