squealy has posted 34 links and 1262 comments to SportsFilter and 9 links and 812 comments to the Locker Room.
Through a glass darkly is my normal method for regarding England games. Yesterday was no exception despite the early start.
10.30am is an uncivilised time to begin drinking for the day. This hardly explains why I was walking to my local at 10.00am with a can of Carling in my hand. Met some female England fans on the way down with similar luggage. They said they'd cut out the middle-man and stayed up all night.
Now our local is one of those lovely multi-racial boozers where everyone gets on fine with each other though keeps more or less to their own territory. It used to be 3 rooms before they knocked it all through (some say they should have gone one step further and knocked it down, but what do they know?) People still sit in those "rooms" despite the lack of walls - black geezers playing cards and dommies, "normal" white working class people and OAPs, and the strangely bohemian collection of graduates, communists, anarchists, grebos and crusties that we seem to specialise in round here, all in separate parts of the pub.
Anyway today is completely different. Virtually 100% white, 90% male and mostly apparently half-cut as I roll in the door at 10am. The landlord informs us over the PA that "we won't be bloody serving during the game so stock up now and at half-time." The table across from me has 8 lads sat at it. Each with 3 pints. It is 10.15am. Is it just the English who behave this way? Even before kick-off I have managed to collect the final 3 tokens I need for my "free" Carlsberg England shirt. Very nice it is too, if you like that kind of thing.
Game went by in a fairly drunken blur. I meet a Blues fan who shows me his tatoo of the club crest, someone had pointed me out as another Blues fan. This is Nottingham remember. Nice man, crap tattoo. England score, pub descends into a chaos of jumping, flailing jubilant people. Sweden equalise and you could cut the silence with the proverbial knife. Lets face it, England played poorly particularly in the second half. However, they still get a round of applause at the final whistle. I am sitting applauding a tv set. Not for the first time I fear for my sanity.
Numbers drift away during the Spain/Slovenia game. Only 6 of us left for the final whistle, and I'm 6 pints to the worse. Lots of people sat outside soaking up the glorious sunshine and more lagers. I stagger home to find both our internet and digital tv connections down, so I install a game (GTA III) and spend a pleasant, if drunken 2 hours driving aimlessly around, splattering pedestrians. The lager takes it's toll and eventually I go to bed for a "nap".
Woken by the phone at 8.40, curtains wide open, light streaming through the window. Oh fuck I think, looking at the clock, I've missed the Croatia vs Mexico game. "What are we doing for the games tomorrow", my mate asks? "Tomorrow?" I say, "what's wrong with the games today?". Silence, then laughter as it dawns on him and then me that I think it's 8.40am on a Monday and it's in fact 8.40pm Sunday. Back to the pub then for the rest of the evening, after all it's a Bank Holiday. Worryingly, at least 10 people who were there for the England game are here. Even more worryingly, they seem more sober than I feel. An argument breaks out between 5 middle-aged women and the landlord. Voices are raised, fists are raised, people are barred. Ain't it great to be English?
Oh yes, I support Birmingham City.