We do like a good goading of the opposition, the irony is that we the Great Nation invented football so that others can excel in it. But I guess we can say the same about rugby, cricket and hockey? It’s a welcome treat when we do stop the others from singing anymore just so we can taunt them with our sardonic statement of the obvious: that they aren’t singing anymore. We aren’t bothered that we’re winning, in fact we’re more likely to be delighted that the opponent is losing! The ironic cheer is a shriek of contentment that reverberates across the plains of Bodmin to marshes of the Geordie-land when someone fails to fulfil the simplest task. Neither can we help ourselves except that we must admonish them for gracing the pitch with their heathen, yet often mesmeric talent. A short, shrift “boo” is saved for our own but an elongated, violent thrust of the lungs, “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” tickles and tantilises my funny bone until I’m obligated to wipe a tear. I’m not sure if it encourages the foe or tames them into submission but nevertheless it’s so fun.
Its like sticking your index finger into someone’s temple repetitively or playing a Bette Midler song while someone is trying to relax. And you do it just to entice a reaction from your victim.
It becomes bizarre when a person decides to do it to their own; that is baffling. Yet it’s never quite as emphatic- a short prod rather than a fully extended poke. Is our self induced destruction meant to be some form of reverse psychology that only we know and understand? Because the booing of John Terry vs Egypt in his post-Brigde-Gate saga was hilarious yet he still shone as a beacon of promise in an otherwise dismal English defensive performance. Ok so the rules of “enigma” may apply here but we do love to hate our prodigal sons.
Now just imagine that this Freud-like theory actually encouraged our players, we calculate our boos to be long enough to say “You idiot!” and short enough to say “we love you” but never both short and long enough to mean “we love you, you idiot!” Anyway, what if it works and they improve- then what? Do we sit there in our smugness and think “I did that, I made him better- part of that 200k he’s earning right now is because of me.” No, we boo him more- not to get him to squeeze every bit of blood and sweat out of his body- but just to let him know “you’re an idiot.”
On the other hand, when it fails and they get worse we were always right- he was shit anyway, right? At this point we are allowed to cuss, take for example Theo Walcott- he was a pile of shit on Wednesday night.
And this is my point.. all this to justify that Theo Walcott is shit.