Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Superbowl 50: a short essay on unity within Great Britain.

On Sunday night an annual phenomenon occurred in America - the so-called 'Superbowl 50'. Once a year, apparently all Americans, regardless of their usual hobbies or interests, unite in the national interest, make food, have a party...watch a game of American football. It seems that sport truly can bring a nation together.

Of course, the Brits 'learnt' this in 2012 at the London Olympics. The United Kingdom remained segregated, but each of its separate countries unified with national pride, complete with an outer shade of traditional, sarcastic contempt at how dreadful it was going to be, nothing would be done in time and, crikey, THAT logo. We do like to put ourselves down a lot, especially the English, who always remain in the glass half empty clan, presumably to get in there with the put-downs before the Scots, who prefer to keep a wide firth berth between themselves and any notion that they might be in the UK.

About as far as we got to a national party was "ooh, hmmm, yes, that turned out alright, didn't it?" I, personally, was helping a cousin make her wedding favours on the night of the opening ceremony. We watched it on a small screen in her parent's conservatory. We may have cracked open a family share size bag of crisps. We enjoyed it; there was lots of fumbling about trying to find the right words. It was all very much a low key, Hugh Grant affair.

The folks in the US, on the other hand, know how to throw a good gathering; they thrive on a community spirit that we over here feel quite awkward and embarrassed about. We need to take a leaf out of their book, put it in a glass of water, get it on a plane, make sure the plane is heading to the UK, maybe add some dye to make it look all snazzy, and bring it over.

So, I say, next FA Cup, we all book the next day off work and organise a raucous all nighter, get drunk and nurse a subsequent hangover - a quintessentially British celebration. If not for the FA Cup then at least, you know, for the Eurovision final.

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