We are now three days into our Yorkshire trip and I am certainly getting my dose of windy days. We went up to Almscliffe crag yesterday and it was blowing a gale. One of my girls got caught slightly off balance and was blown over – she was quite pleased about that. Not many of her friends at school will have been exposed to the sort of wind that can blow you over. We spent a couple of minutes with our coats stretched out above our heads leaning into the wind – something I had done as a kid countless times.
I was in quite good spirits as the England football team had actually managed to beat Germany day earlier. Even more of a surprise was that they came from 2-0 down to end up winning. Apparently this had never happened to Germany before. Well I didn’t mind – I have spent most of my time in Germany seeing England being really disappointing and Germany being surprisingly good.
Even though I do have a lot of time for my chosen home country, I draw the line at sport. I don’t exactly know why because I was never a fanatical sports fan but no sooner had I moved abroad, than I became another hopeless England fan. And like every England fan, I know that the last time we won the World Cup was in 1966 – 4:2 fair and square.
Since that tournament, the Germans have won the World Cup three times and the European Championships, in England, as well. So you’d think that they wouldn’t begrudge us one measly win 50 years ago! But you would be wrong. Everyone is still livid about the „injustice“ of the so-called Wembley-Tor (Wembley Goal). I always thought this was a little mean-spirited but they won’t let it go. I suppose this is just football – stoked by the tabloid press of course. In this respect the German „Bild“ newspaper is just as bad as the Sun in England. Peddling stupid jingoistic cliches in the run up to the matches.
At least things are a little more bearable at the moment, because Brits have been winning the odd thing every now and then recently – the Tour de France, Formula 1. It makes things a little easier.
We may get lucky in France at this year’s European Championships and England might end up beating Germany in a game that matters, but I doubt it. Germans take their sport seriously and it’s very well organised. Rather than each town having lots of different clubs for each sport, they will usually have one large sports club with different groups for different disciplines. I am not sure if this is better, but when kids are young and are not sure what they want to play it exposes them to all sorts of different sports under the umbrella of one club.
There’s also the honour which goes with being on the national team. There is just no discussion in Germany – that’s the highest honour. There are no Premier League bosses trying to stop their players representing their country “to protect them from injury”. Teams are very proud to have national players on their squad. That’s probably the way it should be – and that is, unfortunately, why they will probably beat us again this summer (although I’d love to be wrong).