Not because I think watching England is life or death… it isn’t… just because I always end up being disappointed.
Of course I’m thinking about this right now because the Euros are on and, I have to say, it’s usually football from which my disappointment stems. You see, I always think that we’re going to win… no, it’s more than that; I’m convinced of it.
The first time I recognised this phenomenon in myself was in 1986. I still haven’t got over the Maradona ‘hand of God’ goal. Then there was 1990 and that penalty shoot out. This was followed by Euro 1996 and, well, that penalty shoot out.
You see what I mean… 26 years and I’m still not over the anguish.
It’s even more difficult now that I live in Scotland. I have to say there’s very little by way of mutual support when it comes to my England disappointments and, indeed, a fair amount of muted pleasure. I’ve even started following the games by text via the BBC website and on Friday, thank God I did. I looked at my ‘phone when it was 1 – 0 against the Swedes and then again when it was 2 – 2… and then again at 3 – 2… I don’t think my ticker could have stood the strain if I was watching on the telly on my own.
But tonight is different.
I’m in London as I write this, working for a large business helping them build better relationships with brokers so they can get more business from them.
It’s been an interesting experience with a fair amount of negativity coming from the troops because they are working so hard… which didn’t seem to be that hard to me. It all culminated when one bloke looked at me and said ‘I bet you’d love to work here, wouldn’t you?’
I couldn’t resist… ‘certainly would,’ says I, ‘I’m self employed so this would be a doddle’.
The one benefit of being in London tonight is that I can visit a pub and root for England in a vocal and robust way, rather than the rather closet supporting style I’ve adopted since living abroad.
After all, we’re bound to win.