World Cup Fever

It’s day six of .

So if you’re worried that you might be exhibiting symptoms of World Cup Fever, it might be a good time to ask a friend to check you out.

The Lester Piggott of football
Unfortunately, this victim has no friends.

Are you worried about WCF? Read on for a guide to identifying the symptoms.
But first, get today’s soundtrack from the Apoplexy newsletter.

  • Worried about the possibility of swarms of midges? – Check ✓
  • Cut like a goddamned steak? – Check ✓
  • Having difficulty focusing? – Check ✓

I dunno about you, but in the aftermath of The Worst Russian Team Ever™️ rising from the dead like a Salisburian Novichok victim, and England’s glorious dismantling of Plucky Tunisia, I can hardly remember what we were talking about last week.

Hold on. That’s triggering something… Oh aye – Jonathan Meades On Jargon.

Sorry, Jonathan Meades. Nice suit, byrraway.
‘Don’t say “Aye”. That’s apartheid.’

I was trying to figure out what would possess the BBC to commission a programme on language from someone without specialist knowledge, even if they are a brilliant writer with a polymathic breadth of knowledge and truly caustic wit. So, I read the rest of Sam Wollaston’s review in The Guardian.

Not as funny as the Clearances, but still hilarious

Is that very funny? Maybe? But not as hilarious as the fact that of 16 opinion writers at The Guardian, 65,000 were Oxbridge educated.

Or I may have miscounted. Like a Grauniad politics hack counting Lib Dem and SNP MPs

And to be fair, he does defend fragrant racist Kellyanne Conway’s face from Meades’ attack when when her real crime was to bring us a despicable new turd of jargon: alternative facts.

Hahaha! That’s so urbane!

New Jersey Blueberry Princess, 1983; Fascist apologist, 2018

And maybe that’s the answer to the question of why Auntie Beeb commissioned the programme and our state broadcaster didn’t see any problem with having a good laugh at the oiks in The Regions – it’s all jolly good fun, and people like Wollaston and his chums at The Guardian lap it up.

Personally, I’m not sure that’s the best way to assemble commissioning guidelines. But what do I know? Various sites keep their eyes open for the worst Sam Wollaston review ever – he’s an alternative source for your Doctor Who reviews, apparently – and describe him as the witless antidote to Clive James.

Or in German, Peng!
That’s a relief. The real thing’s painfully good.

But I don’t suppose we need too much help with our TV-watching right now. We’ve got World Cup Fever across the BBC, right?

Yes, the Belgians are ripe for a good ribbing, aren’t they? And as for the Panamanians!

The only problem is, finding room in one’s busy schedule to fit in all that fitba (Sorry again, Jonathan Meades!)

See you next week, if I’ve recovered from the dénouements of Groups A and B…


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5 thoughts on “World Cup Fever

  1. Pleasantly surprised by the large number of unexpected results in the games thus far. Heck, anytime Germany loses in the World Cup it’s a good thing, right? Not a fan of our archrival Mexico and their criminal-associating captain, but it’s okay for them to beat the defending champs this time around. Now if only someone could knock that smug smile off the face of Cristiano Ronaldo…

    Also, haven’t been listening too much to the commentary on U.S. TV (English or Spanish). Apart from the goal celebrations of Andrés Cantor, it’s not very interesting. Though Ian Wright did do a nice boogie in the Fox studio for one of England’s goals.

    1. It feels like recent editions have tended to burst out of the traps, only to become less interesting in the knockout stages? Certainly been enjoying things so far.

      Funnily enough, we were watching GERMEX with German friends (in replica shirts, no less), but it was still hard to contain my excitement regarding the performance of that Mexican team. And this from a guy who still thinks that Bruce Arena subbing on Cobi Jones against Mexico in the 2002 round-of-16 game is one of the greatest and funniest managerial decisions of all time.

      Rafa Marquez of Mexico head butts Cobi Jones of the USA at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea

      Here, the commentary has been the usual mix of national stereotypes through a prism of British superiority and At half-time we’ll be visiting the England camp. Wrighty’s boogie would probably be less adorable in that context. grumble, complain. But at least he’s not Robbie Savage. And A.C. Jimbo (Richardson)’s new podcast, The Totally Football Show, has been including some fun snippets of football language from other countries, from Tom Williams’s Do You Speak Football?

      Ah well, continue to enjoy. Hopefully the uninspiring-looking fixtures of the next couple of days will throw up some fun…

  2. So World Cup is muted here in the us because it’s not proper football or whatever but here in New York – a city of immigrants – it trickles our. When Mexico scored the other day cheers across Brooklyn were clearly heard. But we are in Spain next week so can catch some World Cup fever perhaps.

    But I do remember listening to that is game on the radio with you 4 years ago as we drove into the holland tunnel from the farm. It seemed over then it wasn’t …. fond memory.

    1. Ah yes. The World Cup always seeps into NYC’s consciousness. I could always slip into a conference room and find someone had put a game on. And I like this:

      I remember that USA-Belgium game fondly pretty much every time I write about the World Cup. As well as introducing Mrs Stroke Bloke to our mutual friend while watching a game in the RSA World Cup in a Brooklyn bar on a glorious summer’s day. Good times…

      1. Ricky/Paul – you guys have any favorite places to watch the World Cup in Brooklyn? I might make a pilgrimage there for the Round of 16 weekend. There aren’t any great options in my distant neighborhood.

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