I watched the England-Portugal match yesterday. It was a timeless contest, the kind that leaves you surprised when all of a sudden 45 minutes are up, and you have to wait for the next half. And after the disappointing conclusion, I wondered whether to try to blog about it. Andrew Sullivan’s piece put it nicely in context in a way I’d like to have done, so I’ll defer to him. But unlike me, he couldn’t bring himself to watch:
I couldn’t watch yesterday either. At least it was against Portugal, a wonderful little country, with old friendship with England. Losing to France and Germany is existentially far worse. But all the classic elements were there: the endless tension, the injury of the good player, the explosion of the hothead, the injustice of being clearly the better team but without the ability to score, the over-time, the penalty kicks, and then the inevitable emotional collapse; and the consumption of enormous amounts of warm beer to dull the pain. The hangovers in England today are probably epic even by that island’s exacting standards.
In my case, the analgesic was a stiff gin and tonic….