"Hey, the World Cup made the cover of Vanity Fair," I said to myself as I was standing in the checkout line. "Wasn't so long ago that the World Cup was nowhere near pop culture. It's a good time to be an American soccer fan. Wonder what their take on-"
Of all the stupid, pissant little - or what, Gill? What will you do if we call it by its given, English name? Huh? You going to do something about - oh, my God.
This is what you are these days, England? This is who Chaucer and Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were blazing a trail for? This is why you starved the Irish and enslaved a quarter of the world? After fifteen centuries of strife and war and glory and toil, from the Roman Empire to the Norman Conquest to the Hundred Years War to the Blitz, all this has been leading up to the supreme achievement of the English race...the mentally ill foodie.
And the American mainstream press sees this...this thing, and says, "Aha! The perfect soccer writer." The Martin Tyler Theory has come to its logical conclusion.
I expect this sort of "it's not calcio, it's FOOTY" bilge from the Sun or the Mirror or the Mail or the Endtable or the Bathroom Floor or whatever the gutter press calls itself over in Airstrip One.
But the money Vanity Fair hopes to make off our sport won't have pictures of any elderly inbred on it, but pictures of presidents, statesmen, philosophers, and at least one war criminal. (Seriously, Andrew Jackson is still on our cash? Bad enough we got all those slaveowners.) When it comes to soccer, we think we're still a British colony.
And if the Sons of Liberty don't throw some tea into the harbor this June, we're going to stay a colony. Hateful little sadists with bent minds and broken souls like A.A. Gill will continue to lecture us on our game, based on nothing more than an accident of their unwelcome birth.
But if we win...it all goes away. Forever. It'll finally be our game.
...well, or we could beat Brazil in the second round. That would work, too.