31 May 2006

Biased BBC and June 18

No, that post is not about what you may have thought, you dirty-minded lefties/righties you. It is about something completely different, and even the Euston Manifesto will not be mentioned here.

It is about football. Not that murderous occupation of Norte Americano imperialists, but the real game. And here is what BBC says under a pretentious headline Beating Brazil:

On Sunday 18 June in Munich, Australia will play the biggest football match in the country's history. The Socceroos come face-to-face with world champions Brazil in the Allianz Arena in a game that could decide their World Cup Group F fate. But how does a country playing in just its second finals prepare for a tie with the five-time champions and favourites to retain their crown?

The answer is simple: start praying. However, the Aussies' coach is full of spunk:

We are not turning up just to make up the numbers, I guarantee that. We've got players who can compete at this level and we're expecting them to do that.

Yeah, sure. That statement meshes very good with the general stiff upper lip attitude
to the Game that poor Brits adopted for the last, let me see, no it cannot be, yes it is - 40 years!

There must be a way to disabuse the Brits from that notion that they are good at this game. Maybe the place to start will be history, since they still consider England to be the cradle of football. Let's see what Wiki has to say about it:

Documented evidence of what is possibly the oldest organized activity resembling football can be found in a Chinese military manual written during the Han Dynasty in about 2nd century BC.

So here. And re the much more recent English festivities remotely resembling football as we know it:

These archaic forms of football would be played between neighbouring towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people struggling to drag an inflated pig's bladder by any means possible to markers at each end of a town (sometimes instead of markers, the teams would attempt to kick the bladder into the balcony of the opponents church).

Dragging pig's bladder to the other end of a town - this is a revelation for me. It explains a lot... No offence, really, but you know how it is with truth. It may hurt sometimes. Now back to the Aussies' coach:

When you talk about Cafu and Roberto Carlos you have to remember their ages - Cafu is 36 now and doesn't play all the time for AC Milan, while Carlos is only three years younger.

That intrepid coach needs some information, and here it comes. This is Roberto Carlos:

Don't be afraid - he does not do it more than, say, 10-20 times per game. And this is his shoe:

That shoe alone could tell many aspiring football players more about the game than a whole gang of coaches. So keep praying, and do not count on any favors. Unless the incredibly fickle goddess of football decides that Aussies, being in general cool and adorable people, deserve a sudden gift.

And re BBC bias: it is completely understandable. I mean, think about all these years of frustration. And the Teutonic minds feverishly working on the Mondial domination schemes. And Brazil waiting around the corner. And the miscellaneous Swedes, Paraguay, not to mention the mysterious Trinidad.

So it is only natural to turn to the only other Anglo-Saxon hope. But please remember, there always will be rugby, cricket and in the worst case you can ask Irish folks to teach you hurling. He he...