Loving and hating the Yanks (and a fervent Ryder Cup wish)
Fortunately, chewing tobacco is not the sort of thing we Brits indulge in. So when the cream of English cricket go into bat, as we say, we’re spared the singularly unattractive sight of streams of foul, black liquid being spewed onto what we call the wicket. It’s a disgusting, mostly American, habit. For some obscure cultural reason, this loathsome practice is very prevalent among baseball batters who, so as not to obscure their view of the pitcher, shove the wad of tobacco into the cheek facing the catcher squatting behind them. Charming.
Despite that, however, I love baseball. I must also confess to a fondness for bagels, jeans and Big Macs. Among my all-time favourite TV programmes are Cheers and, more recently, Friends. I never miss a Woody Allen movie and much prefer Elvis to the English equivalent, Cliff Richards. And when it comes to golf destinations, any one of the 50 states is more appealing to me than pretty well anywhere in continental Europe. (For the benefit of Americans, continental Europe excludes the British Isles. I hope I don’t have to explain what constitutes the British Isles!). In short, I am a huge fan of the United States of America.
My love affair with most things American probably has its origins when, as an impressionable teenager, I spent a year as an exchange student at the Bronx High School of Science in New York. On my return to the UK, while others were demonstrating outside the US Embassy against the war in Vietnam, I was listening to the Beach Boys.
However, there are very few things in life that give me greater pleasure than seeing the Yanks get stuffed on the sports field. One of my fondest sporting memories is when Russia snatched a gold medal in the dying nanosecond of an Olympic basketball final. The sight of the seemingly invincible Americans wandering shell-shocked around the court as their opponents indulged in an orgy of celebration is one that I shall always treasure. And this was at a time of acute international tension when the USA was Britain’s firmest friend and communist Russia was our worst enemy. How do you explain that? Whether it’s because America has taken over the top spot that – when Britain was the only nation to take sport seriously – was previously ours, I don’t know. But I have to confess that my suspicion is that there’s an unattractive element of jealousy buried in me somewhere. Still, who cares, just so long as the Yanks get their arses kicked at the Ryder Cup in September.
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Believe me, you're not the only Brit who likes to see us Americans get stuffed in sports. Next to the World Cup, you Brits love nothing more than to beat America at any game, or support those who play against us.
I'm an expat American that works in the Middle East and plays golf with alot of your countrymen, but I do get my jabs in as well; I take every opportunity to take the piss out of you guys and call football SOCCER, because I refuse to placate to your constant widging and moaning to the contrary. Besides, that's what us Americans have called it ever since its creation. It's the same exact sport, so get over it already.
PS...We have a very good chance of winning Group E and advancing, once we beat Czech Republic. Team USA is the strongest squad it has ever been, and we shall our winning isn't a fluke. No longer is playing against Team USA a cake-walk.
But...you're entitled to your opinion.
Keep up your great blog, Clive. Best of luck.
It's funny how Americans and Brits, with whom we are so closely allied, can enjoy seeing each other humiliated so much. I confess I'm pulling against the Brits in the World Cup -- which to my horror and against every instinct I find myself following -- and I'm not sure why. Of course, I enjoy seeing the U.S. lose, too, but the reason for that is more obvious: I don't want to see soccer catch on here, like the soccer snobs have been predicting for decades.
Anyway, keep up the good work.
That said, one can't put into words how utterly relieved I am the US are out of the World Cup. After 2002, I was a little afraid they might actually win the thing...and that would never do.
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