The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: The patriotic circus. The discussion was initiated by jk1921.Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!
"Soon after that we had the Euro 2012 football: cue blokes dressed in crusader gear and an ad campaign proclaiming ‘we’re not supporting a team, we’re supporting a nation’. We Brits could be united in suffering, knowing that the England team would inevitably be knocked out (but we all know that losing well is also an aspect of ‘Britishness’)."
Such cynicism! The Three Lions only went on penalties to a tough Italy team that advanced to the final. Had they survived the penalty shoot out--Germany was clearly beatable! Who knows what would have happened in the final?
And here we have the timeless conflict between the "realists" and the "optimists" in the world of sporting fandom. The realists (know to their opponents as "chicken littles") and the "optimists" (known to the other side as "sunshine pumpers") will never come to an agreement. Its a clash of absolutes. But even the realists have to admit that the start of each new season brings back that glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, this time is our turn for glory!
Seriously, we can learn a lot about how capitalist society is able to reproduce itself--despite all odds--from the world of sports. Many people just can't bring themselves to admit that there is no hope under this society and will cling to any minute suggestion that things might improve in the future. The start of each sporting season is like the beggining of a new administration following an election. There is a honeymoon period where the benefit of the doubt is generally allowed. Anyone who questions the new administration (the home team) is accused of cynicism and secretly craving defeat. Sure the honeymoon wears off when it becomes evident the new team is as lousy as the old one--but there is always next year or another election!
What is the deal with the UK football team for the Olympics? Is there not some controversy regarding the Scottish and Welsh FA's refusing to allow their players to suit up for a combined UK team at the Olympics? How is that playing into all the campaigns about "Britishness"?
Just quickly jk: there's a big campaign about "Britishness" that's ongoing and intensifying with the Jubilee and Olympics. I don't see it resonantly greatly among workers.
We know what would have happened in the final (more or less)' Spain would have won. They gave a supurb exposition of the beautiful game - better than watching Brazil.
Hope springs eternal in football and though the start of the season brings possibilities you have to stick with your team through thick and thin.
I haven't seen too much about the Olympic football, but the manager of the British team, "Pyscho" Pearce, has come in for some stick for his stupidity regarding Arsenal and for not picking the "man of the nation", David Beckham.
I've seen bits about arguments with the Welsh and Scottish FA's, and there are elements of nationalism here - which are very strong campaigns against the working class - in this context of "Britishness".
What an odd juxtaposition--seeing the Spanish football team triumph, while the nation's economy is poised on the brink. I wonder if there is a connection there? Perhaps, they could get some of their footballers to kick in a little to save the banks? Now, there is a reformist illusion for you.
I liked the part about the British being known for "losing well." This was summed up by Rooney and company actually applauding their defeat on penalties! Such class from someone generally regarded as a hot head.