Now that England have been ejected from World Cup 2010 by the hands of the mighty (and extremely organised) German football force it seems like the ideal time to dissect the ‘friendly hatred’ that exists on the ‘correct’ side of the border here in Scotland.
Prior to the tournament there were already t-shirts for sale bearing the slogan “A.B.E – Anyone but England” which were constantly selling out of all retailers. It reminded me of a story my Grandfather used to share when watching Celtic where he’s say he always supports two teams; Celtic and the team playing Rangers!
So what reasons do we Scots have for hoping England are unsuccessful in their world cup campaign?
They’re simply better than us at football and there are hints of jealously?
We can’t bear to hear about the victory for another century (1966)
The commentary is so embarrassingly English with complete disregard for any other team
These points strike me as the main reasons but maybe the vein runs deeper into historical facts and fiction with tales of the highland clearances, outlawing our national dress, and the many other ways Scotland was kept under the English rule. I’m unsure how this makes me feel; on one hand i think its history and it should be history so there is no need base your support on a football team because of it – this is why there is a Celtic / Rangers divide in Scotland. On the other hand I also think you’ll find that the people who make most noise about “Its because of our history and those English keep us down” know very little about “Our history” but seem to make the most noise about it.
In conclusion, I must be honest and mention that my heart leapt when the German goal went in, I was delighted! I cannot explain why, it could be conditioning, maybe its some of the points I mentioned above. I’m unsure. I think I fall into the category that is completely sick and tired of hearing these English commentators discuss how “we” are playing and what “we” could to do to win the game and never actually mentioning the other team. It only took one day for them to begin mentioning how great the English linesmen and referees were once the team were out and how worthy they were of being in the final.
Lastly I refuse to believe that if Scotland had been the only british team tomake it through to the tournament ‘we’ would have the same media attention and obviously one-sided commentary, there would be no pop ups on screen of other games for the “big-game starring Scotland”. No extended slow-motion footage at the end of the show as we all chant “Sing Sing Africa!”