Monday, June 26, 2006

Rule, Britannia (sort of)

Well, we're through to the quarter-finals, thanks to one miraculous defensive play that kept out an Ecuadorian goal, and an exquisite strike by David Beckham ... but I don't have very high hopes for the boys, I must say. Four matches with three wins and a draw, and some of the most uninspiring football played at the World Cup so far. It sort of reminds me of the Canadian effort in hockey at the last winter Olympics -- a whole lot of stars but not much of a team. Alas.

Still, it does look like the boys will likely see it through to the semis, considering the yellow- and red-card fest that was the Netherlands-Portugal showdown. At which point, barring a spectacular upset, we get to show down Brazil. Which is where things get, well, tricky. It's not that I don't believe England can beat Ronaldhino and company -- it's just that they ain't gonna do it playing the kind of football they've been playing so far.

I have to say though, part of me -- the part of me not slavishly desiring to see England win at any cost, the part of me just keen to see some spectacular soccer -- is pretty stoked at the prospect of watching a Germany-Brazil final. The Germany games I've watched have been awe-inspiring ... they've played something approaching perfect football at times, and to see them facing down the current world champions on their home turf? Like the music of he spheres. A soccer symphony, if you like.

I was being so productive back here in London, getting a lot of research and work done -- and then the World Cup began. And it occurs to me that the next World Cup in four years comes perilously close to that time when I'll be coming up for tenure. If I don't get tenure, do you think I can su FIFA?

In other news, Britannia rules for other reasons -- namely, my dear friend Jeremy of North London and the booming sonorous voice got married this past saturday, and this humble blog shares in the joy of him and his new bride Chris. Aren't they a lovely couple?

I swear, no one can wear a tux like Jer. Classes up the joint wherever he goes.


kodak said...

Hi Chris,
I'll have to wait for a replay of Beckham's goal to see it. It must be pretty interesting to be in Europe, and England while this is going on. I'm sure the vibe is palpable everywhere. It's simply getting more exciting each day. I'm lucky to see this one, during the the last world cup I was getting chemo, so watched it from hospital, one of Drs. was Irish and tuned in for her country. I also wrote a little blog on the world cup soccer because it seems to be one of the few truly universal events that brings people together in one big vicarious mindset, feeling the excitement of the players and fans. Despite the differences of peoples, religions, cultures, etc., this is one thing that people in virtually every country have in common.
Lucky you to be over there. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly, England are the least exciting team in the final eight - excepting Ukraine, perhaps.

But I do know what you mean about lost productivity. Middle of the afternoon, just when the writing is starting to flow? Ah, Spain vs. France - click!


Chris in NF said...

I take comfort in the fact that whole economies grind to a halt for two hours at a time during the World Cup.

syl said...


so my course registration is today! i'm very nervous...

however i have decided to take witch hunts with sean mulligan and thought of you!!

i hope it's as exciting as it sounds!!

Lesley said...

Haven't you noticed the volume of articles in the Globe and Mail about productivity and the World Cup? I swear, if I read another article about how companies are allowing their employees to watch the games, I'm going to go crazy! Or maybe I'm just jealous that my organization's Toronto office is taking a day next week to celebrate the world cup with a pot luck and a viewing of the game....sigh....GO BECKHAM!