Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How This Mom Watches World Cup, Part Two

Step One: Put the children to bed. This is critical. They may suddenly profess enthusiasm for the game, but don't be fooled. The only reason they're showing interest is because the 8 p.m. kickoff means their bedtime will get pushed back. Don't fall for it.

Step Two: Once the children have been bathed, read to and tucked in, realize you've missed the 8 p.m. kick off of England versus Sweden. Do not worry.

Step Three: Get a COLD beer out of the frig. For those MarathonMum fans who were slightly distressed that I had to drink a warm beer last week, do not despair. The warm beer reflected only my lack of forward planning.

Step Four: Prepare Indian ready-made-meal, as Mr. MarathonMum is at a work event. Listen out for cheering on the street.

Step Five: When cheering on the street is heard, rush upstairs to see first goal of the game.
Go England!

Step Six: After watching the goal replay, switch to the BBC's show on the Summer Exhibition (talk about counter-programming). Smile to yourself knowing that its host, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, probably is not watching World Cup either, because you saw him picking up his dry cleaning during England's first game against Paraguay.

Step Seven: Answer phone and chat with friend, who is watching the game and gives you the necessary goal news as it happens. Chat for 40 minutes about jobs, life, memories and Angelina Jolie.

Step Eight: Go back upstairs and watch final 10 minutes so you can say you saw the game.

Step Nine: When offspring wake up in the morning, tell them that England tied Sweden, 2-2.

Step Ten: Get out globe to show them where Ecuador is.


Anonymous said...

I was recently told by a British friend after enthusiastically yelling "Go England!" that to truly sound like a native, one should yell "Come on England!" Just FYI. Love, Anne

Anonymous said...

"Dear Word Detective: I would be interested to learn the origins of the word "soccer." As a Brit currently living in the US, I am often dismayed to hear the term used to describe a sport that I, and many of my countrymen, have always known as "football." Is usage of the word "soccer" within the US simply a way of distinguishing the "beautiful game" from the altogether less appropriately-named sport of American Football (which, to my understanding, is played almost exclusively with one's hands)? -- Pete Collins, via the internet.

You know, as much as I like this question, I can't quite get over the feeling that I'm being set up. After all, I live about 35 miles from Columbus, Ohio, home of the OSU Buckeyes football team, and people around here are bananas (to put it politely) about football. Skeptics on the subject of Buckeye supremacy have, in fact, been known to disappear without a trace along with their household pets. But what the heck, since I've never had the sense God gave cole slaw, I'll stick my neck out and agree that "soccer" is a far more intelligent, skillful and interesting game.

It's true that the game known as "football" in most of the world (not just the UK) is known as "soccer" in the US, but we didn't just pull the word out of the air so that we could call our quasi-gladiatorial extravaganzas "football." In fact, you Brits actually invented the word. "Soccer," when it first appeared in the 1890s, was spelled "socca," which was short for "association" or "association football," meaning football played according to the rules laid down by the British Football Association. It was also called "socker" until the current form "soccer" appeared around 1895.

The "er" suffix of "soccer," incidentally, was often used in late 19th and early 20th century slang, and can also be found in the transformation of the name of the British game "rugby" (named after the Rugby School in England) into the popular term "rugger." Rugby, incidentally, is a sport similar to American football, but played without the helmets and elaborate padding used in American stadiums. "

The Word Detective
Issue of December 18, 2000