“I’VE never seen so much testosterone in one place before,” was Jacky’s response to experiencing an England World Cup game in a Plymouth pub.
As the hours ticked away before kick off last night, I pondered whether Jacky’s first real experience of an English ‘pub’ should coincide with an England game.
Should we watch the game at home, or should we go all out for the ‘experience’ of witnessing raw national pride?
In hindsight, I think we made the right call.
This wasn’t any game… this was the Three Lions’ opening game of the 2014 World Cup.
And it was the perfect opportunity to introduce a Mexican girl to a true English national obsession.
|Half-time group selfie at pub|
The atmosphere of anticipation; the feeling of togetherness with a bunch of sweaty beer-fuelled strangers; the sense of jubilation at a goal being scored (complete with beer dripping from the ceiling); the fervent cries of "go on my son..." (yes, you try explaining that phrase to a foreigner…); the despair of ultimately losing the game.
This is England.
If there’s one thing that unites communities in England, it’s a game of football.
Seeing the countless flags in the windows of people’s homes and the bunting attached to cars – the pride is everywhere.
|Bonkers about bunting|
The entertainment value in the build up to a game is arguably just as enjoyable as the game itself.
We’ve all seen the TV images of those insanely beautiful Brazilian/Colombian/Italian girls in the stands wearing skimpy tops and bright smiles.
However I can tell you, hand on heart, that the ground-level sights in Prince Rock, Plymouth, are an entire universe away from such a visual delight.
As we walked towards the Barbican pub for the game, the stereotypical image of this country’s national pride became apparent.
There, walking straight towards us, were two middle-aged women wearing less clothes than I'd really like to describe.
Tattooed to the nines and beaming with excitement, they were one-part national pride, and one-part public indecency.
I still shudder picturing the scene.
I just couldn't bring myself to take a picture.
Still, it’s part of the fabric of our society right?
And given that the world cup has only just begun, we’d better get used to the sight.