Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things I don't like about England. And some things I do.

I want to clarify, that I have never said- and if I ever did, I take it back- that I don’t find any British women attractive.  I don’t find any English women attractive.  Except Emily Mortimer.  And at one time Kiera Knightley (though not so much anymore). 
I was watching one of my favorite guilty pleasures the other day, The Antiques Roadshow.  But I realized too late that it was the British version, and I don’t like that version as much.  It doesn’t have the little banner roll across the bottom of the screen which tells the viewers that the expert has just told the schlub that their knick-knack is worth an obscene amount of money.  That’s the most fun part.  My dad commented that their antiques just aren’t as interesting as the American antiques on the American version, which I would have to agree with, at least a little.  Finally, America does one better, with another version of the show- Pawn Stars.
There are some things that they do better though.  Emily Mortimer.  Vinegar on their deep-fried food.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a funny movie.  And I really enjoy Newcastle Brown Ale.  This leads me into the next problem I have with them, however, which is that everyone seems to need a English Premier League team they root for.  (As of now, I’ve chosen Liverpool.) But I am indignant that this is so pervasive for so many.  It’s been very hard for me to choose any single team, because, quite frankly, because I don’t feel any attachment to them.  They are six time zones away!  It might even be somewhat easier if I lived on the East Coast, but as it stands, I would rather just root for my favorite MLS team.  Yes, soccer snobs, I realize it’s a poorer brand of soccer.  And I’m sorry for calling it soccer.  Let’s settle on Association Football.  See, I even gave you guys caps.
Anyway, I like association football, I just want to root for a team that’s at least in my own country.  The other problem I have with it is that I feel like I have filled my sports-fan quota for teams-I’m-rooting-for.  I have the Packers, which is almost exactly like rooting for a Premier League team at this point.  The Twins I follow religiously and I’m even picking up the Wolves.  The next priorities for me are to follow the Wild and Gopher Basketball more closely.  So even Sounders FC, my MLS team of choice, is way down on my Yahoo Favorite Teams bar.
There is something very intriguing about AF, however.  It is a very difficult sport to follow, which makes those who do follow it feel good about themselves, while those who don’t tend to give up very easily. Unless you grew up in a country that only spoke “football”.  America is not one of them.  But I think as a whole the country is big enough for the sport.  The biggest reason I want to be a fan is, I think, that I would get a sweet scarf with my team’s name on it, which you wouldn’t even really wear as a scarf, but rather as an instrument of showing support.
The English have managed to make one thing that I never thought could be, fun: C-SPAN.  While flipping through channels one day, I stumbled upon the British House of Commons talking about the subject of the embargo on the Gaza Strip (or whatever that whole subject was about).  The protocol was such that it made for really vicious sentiments expressed in a very civil way:  There would be booing (but you could never actually see who it was from). When the MPs each got their turn to speak, they asked questions, but not in the second person (e.g., “I would ask the honorable speaker just why…”).  And this speaker had to have an eloquent answer for every single person who wanted to talk.  Amazing- I don’t even do it justice.
Sorry, England, that you don’t have Thanksgiving.  I’m going to go eat what might have been our national bird and watch a more physical version of football.  Keep driving on the wrong side of the road.

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