This is a gem of idocy from Walter Ellis of the Telegraph…
Most of the world, China now included, views football as the number one team game. You had only to turn on your television or pick up a newspaper in England’s final days in Euro 2012 to realise that, for the English, beating the Germans at Wembley in 1966 was at least as important as beating them at El Alamein in 1942.
Generations of Brits have grown up with only the haziest notion of who the heroes of the Second World War might have been. But they know who made the grade in 1966[...]
So, basically, a Russian* linesman and some footballers are of greater macrohistorical importance than Monty and the 8th Army… Well, it’s a new take I guess. I suspect it ought to be on Michael Gove’s new O-Levels or something. Or maybe taught at Sandhurst. Along with penalty kicks. Perhaps we ought to challenge the Taliban to a game of footie? I mean they are honourable men (so The Khazi thinks) and shall surely abide by the result. we could even use that same stadium they used to hang people from the goal posts! Home fixture for them - they can’t complain - but no IEDs around their penalty box - that would not be sporting!
I despise with every fibre of my being any attempts to equate sport and war. This was the nadir of course…
And they, “Think it’s all over…” The British press clearly don’t - still. Perhaps the fact that too many people here regard a football match as morally equivalent to a battle (and a battle long ago) is why we have done so badly at footie for so many years. Either that or we field a collection of over-paid prima-donnas who aren’t that good really. Yeah, that might be it too.
The gist of the article though is about sport in the USA and suggests an insularity about sporting attitudes in the USA which is just not true and an insularity about Mr Ellis which is true. Basketball is a truly global sport, baseball widely played. Ellis skates over ice-hockey because I think even he knows it can hardly be seen as a US only game. I mean has he ever spoken to, say, a Russian of Finn or Canadian? He has silly things to say about golf, tennis and motor-racing as well. He ignores things like the gee-gees and swimming, running, jumping and chucking stuff in order embarrassing his own incorrect thesis.
Ellis is basically talking utter rot and nasty rot at that. He claims football is more important than titanic battles and gets snidey about the “fatness” of baseball players as well as strongly implying US xenophobia. Oh, he’s pulling all the Little Englander levers isn’t he? Is it just me or is The Telegraph really going into a death-spiral locked in mortal struggle with The Mail for the most Blimpish of Middle England?
And to write that a couple of days before The Queen unveils the RAF Bomber Command memorial is unforgivable. Ellis and his masters at The Telegraph ought to be utterly ashamed of themselves.
*Actually an Azeri.