The World Cup provides a chance to
In 2012, the Pointless host Richard Osman conceived the World Cup of Crisps, in which 32 big-hitting varieties of crisp were pitted against each other in group stages, all decided by Twitter polls. Thereafter, the winners proceeded to knockout stages, meeting in quarter-finals, before progressing to – well, I believe you are familiar with this general format. [Image: nike_packers_3063.jpg]Osman has since expanded the idea to the World Cup of Demarcus Walker Womens Jersey Chocolate, and a book called The World Cup of Everything, which invites readers to stage their own hotly contested tournaments between the weightiest competitors in the fields of such things as bands, animals, biscuits and so on. [Image: nike_chiefs_1136-180x180.jpg] I have never game-theorised a World Cup of My World Cup Lies but in a way that Eric Kendricks Womens Jersey particular tournament happens every four years anyway, whether I want it to or not. I have simply yet to formalise it. Which of my grandest self-deceptions would win? Well, clearly, a lot depends on the draw. For instance, I wouldn’t like Desmond King Womens Jersey “I honestly don’t get emotional about England anymore” to be drawn in the same group as “I don’t secretly find it a release once England crash out”. It would be too early for them to meet. See also “I never make jokes based on lazy prejudices regarding national character” and “I especially never do this out of thinly disguised jealously that the nation in question is better at football than us”. I mean, I could go on. “I have never attempted to make an in-game football bargain with a god I otherwise know doesn’t exist.” “I am happy for Germany’s success.” Oh, the things you tell yourself. Or the things I tell myself, at any rate. I’m sure you’re much purer, much less hypocritical and much less of a terrible person than me. Especially when you’re on the internet. But on a personal note, the World Cup is a quadrennial chance to be reminded of my own shallows and self-delusions. I can feel it in those moments of worshipping – literally and wholly loving – a player I despise at club level, for putting England through in the last minute with some scrappy, flukey, comically undeserved goal I basically know is only deferring the agony to come. At the same time, the psychic pall of the England shirt traditionally gets too much even for those of us not having to wear it. It’s all rather too tired and emotional, eventually, like some toxic family Christmas that’s gone on too long. There is a kind of relief and freshly laundered feel to a tournament once England have inevitably buggered off out of it. Think of it as “the reset”. Thereafter I Geno Atkins Womens Jersey switch to indulging one of the other World Cup lies I tell myself: namely, that I’m a proper sporting purist who is now genuinely happy to simply be watching great international sides that are not my own make their electrifying progress toward a trophy I am absolutely relaxed about England never winning again. Those are just the printable lies but let’s not get ahead of Instead, set your sights on adventure, as we contemplate Russia 2018 – what could be your last 32-team World Cup! Obviously, I cannot wait for it to start. Not least because, given various developing news stories relating to our hosts, the tournament has rather ghastlier noises-off than usual. I just feel like I’m going to be happier arguing about VAR than about nerve agent.

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