What is The Beautiful Game? Well it is a term used to describe a certain sport which most of the world call football, but my cousins in the US of A call soccer! There was a musical written about this very subject by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton. It premiered in London in 2000 and closed less than 12 months later. It never made it to Broadway! One of the main songs from that musical “Our Kind Of Love” was reworked for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Love Never Dies.
But that is not what I wanted to tell you.
No, I wanted to talk about a subject I rarely talk about as I do not have a great interest in it – football. Sit me in front of a good game of Cricket or Rugby Union, and I’m happy. Sure I dabbled with football as a young boy; it was the thing to do. But now? No, I have well and truly grown out of that phase.
So what’s my rant? Well, I’ll come back to that shortly, but first a little background.
We are currently visiting The In-laws. A place full of great hospitality, if at times a little over powering. It is not a place to come if you are watching your weight! However, as far as the television is concerned, it is only programmed to screen three types of programmes – soaps, sport and children’s programmes from the US of A.
Small Person 2 Of 2 always gets up early and tunes into the Disney Channel or Nickleodeon and watches reruns of something with two young boys called Zach & Cody or Hannah Montana or something to do with wizards or something about being sunny with a chance! Then Small Person 1 Of 2 gets up and they watch the same programmes all over again!
In the evenings, it seems there are back to back episodes of Coronation Street and Eastenders. And they never seem to end. The second soap starts on one channel as the first soap finishes on the other channel. And sometimes the one that started first has a second episode later in the evening as soon as the second finishes! Confused? Try watching the soaps!
Then there is sport – it is either golf or football.
Last night it was the turn of the sport to dominate the viewing. There was a live game on between an English team and a Spanish team. Well, I say an English team, but I noticed mid way through the first half that there wasn’t a single Englishman on the pitch; not in the English team; not in the Spanish team; neither managers; not even the officials.
I’ve given up watching football because there is too much cheating and play acting going on. These over-rated, highly paid individuals could teach some lesser paid actors the art of acting. Their sense of balance must be seriously damaged – maybe through all the heading of the ball. Never before have so many grown up men been so easily knocked to the ground when another footballer’s boot lace comes into contact with their legs.
And most of the time the on pitch officials are taken in by it by these professionals who command more pay for one 90 minute game of football than most of their watching public earn in a year. The diving, the rolling about in agony and the pleas of innocence to the officials are worthy of Oscars.
I was going to say that if these activities were part of the Olympics, the Great Britain team would win more gold medals, but none of them were British!
So back to this piece of theatre, sorry sport. The ‘English’ team were being given a lesson in how to play the game we invented. They were being completely outclassed. That is until about 60 minutes into the game when the only Englishman was introduced to the field of play. He made an instant impact and turned the game around.
So why on earth wasn’t there an Englishman on the field at the start of the game? Maybe, just maybe, the English team could have given the Spaniards a lesson in The Beautiful Game, if they had some Englishmen in the team to start with!
That’s the football done, so I guess it is back to soaps and American teen shows for me now! 😦