The Plastic Hippo

June 23, 2015

It`s called a bobble, Jonathan

Filed under: Media,Society,Sport,World — theplastichippo @ 4:10 am
Tags: , ,
England victory via Getty Images

England victory via Getty Images

There comes a time even in the most secure of marriages, when a husband is caught bang to rights indulging in a furtive guilty pleasure. Thus, with more shame than apology, I found myself confessing that I was staying up into the early hours of the morning hunched over a computer watching groups of young, fit women throwing themselves into intense physical activity. Before attracting the attention of divorce lawyers or finding my few meagre possessions flung into the front garden, I should point out that I have become addicted to the football being played at the Women`s World Cup currently taking place in Canada.

Brazil is out; France and Germany seem dominant and England have progressed to the quarter finals by beating Norway two one. Roald Dahl, Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Grieg, Leif Erikson; your girls took one hell of a beating. A charging centre half headed goal from Steph Houghton and a blistering shot from Lucy Bronze will take England to a game against a weak host nation but probably not to the back pages of British tabloids.

The football being played is really rather good and displays all the skill and commitment usually attributed to the diving cheats and prima donnas of the exclusively male English Premier League. Add to the lack of acting ability the delightfully inaccurate passing and cheerful disregard of the necessity to retain midfield possession and we see games of football that are exciting and actually a pleasure to watch. As an added bonus the Coupe du Monde Feminine de la FIFA is being played on artificial pitches which means that the bounce and behaviour of the ball could result in a goal being scored from anywhere and at any time and against the run of play or pre-match rankings.

Regarding artificial pitches, it is worth recalling the response of the pitcher for the New York Mets baseball team back in the mid 70s. When asked if he preferred Astroturf to grass, the wonderfully named Tug McGraw allegedly replied:
“I dunno. I never smoked any Astroturf.”

The pitches in Canada are, however, truly awful and FIFA, especially Sepp Blatter should drop everything on the “to do” list and concentrate on planting grass on the frozen steppes of Russia and the fertile sand dunes of Qatar. Defrauding earthquake victims of aid and allowing migrant workers to live and die in squalor and exploitation are side issues when, as Blatter has previously stated, racism can be settled with a handshake and women`s football will be more popular if the ladies wore tighter shorts and shirts. Believe or not, we are living in the middle of the second decade of the 21st century.

Thankfully, for the first time, our national broadcaster has taken the decision to broadcast every game of the 2015 Women`s World Cup. Okay, so some of the games are on the smaller channels and the others are only aired online but this initiative makes the tournament even more compelling. There is no irritating Gary Linacre, Alan Shearer or the ridiculous Robbie Savage. Instead we are treated to the professionalism of Jacqui Oatley and the wisdom of a footballer called Sue Smith. At half time, the online coverage features coverage of the crowd rather than the opinions of pundits, you know, just like a real football match.

The success of the England football team does not seem to be reflected or appreciated by the majority of English football fans. There are no cars proudly flying the cross of Saint George; no supermarket promotions for beer and snacks and no houses bedecked with symbols of nationalism apart from those home owners who have not been bothered to remove the banners following the defeats in the male World Cup.

Mercifully, our national broadcaster still employs male commentators from the more serious business of men`s football. The giddy oaf bringing his insight to the England game is the same bloke that displayed complete ignorance of goal line technology during Brazil 2014. At one point during England`s victory over Norway, our host said:
“She was distracted there by having to adjust her…her…what`s it called?”
His female counterpart responded by saying “ponytail”.
“No”, he replied, “not her ponytail; that thing that keeps her ponytail in place.”
Sue Smith has now replaced Kenneth Wolstenholme`s 1966 classic by saying;
“It`s called a bobble, Jonathan”.

In the middle of the second decade of the 21st century, we still have a long way to go.

1 Comment »

  1. Agree entirely great football no histrionics and I’ve yet to see one of the players spit,looked at the Daily Mail on line sport pages couldn’t se a mention.
    Decided to get an England flag for the car and twenty four Carling for Sunday nights match.

    Comment by Bill Brakwelo — June 23, 2015 @ 6:12 pm | Reply

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