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Thread: Being British XIII

  1. #71
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    Carole

    I thought that a Y-chromosome was required to understand the offside rule. Those experts on genetics, science (and the English language) the football pundits have spoken. And for once they have spoken in words which (unfortunately for them) were easily understood.

    Ayra

    First, you’re right to call “the beautiful game” football. It is football across the world: the governing bodies include - Fédération Internationale de Football Association, Union des Associations Européennes de Football and Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol. Even the French call it football. Proof positive that’s what the game is called.

    Carole has covered most of the points. The football calendar is crowded. There are league matches (played between clubs in the same league, obviously) and cup matches (which are knockout competitions), taking place at the same time. The top teams also play in the European League.

    Manchester United are loved or loathed, there is no middle ground. The joke is that everyone who lives in Manchester supports Manchester City. It isn’t true, but their fame wealth and power (and tragic history) mean that Manchester United is one of the most famous (and widely supported) teams in the world.

    Most rivalries are local, and derby games (between two teams geographically close to each other) are always passionate and there is sometimes trouble from the fans. I know an Everton supporter and I’d have to disagree with Carole. Everton MUST beat Liverpool, and vice versa. In Sheffield the rivalry is between Sheffield United (the Blades) and Sheffield Wednesday (the Owls).

    In my part of the world the rivalry between Newcastle United (the Magpies) and Sunderland (the Black Cats) is almost insane. Sunderland play in red and white stripes. The hatred of those colours in Newcastle is such that, at Christmas, you can buy black and white Santa hats (Newcastle play in black and white stripes).

    The atmosphere in “the Toon” (Newcastle) on derby day is electric (and marked buy a massive police presence). The Makkams (Sunderland folk) make the difficult and dangerous journey from south of the River Wear to north of the River Tyne (it’s fifteen miles at most) into the land of the Geordies. And then they watch their team get slaughtered 5-1 Even now, months later, it’s not uncommon to see the word Sunderland written 5under1and.

    The gloating rights last until the other team finally manages to defeat their rivals. The rivalries run into everything. Sunderland used to play at a stadium called Roker Park. The Geordies called it Joker Park. The Makkams built a new stadium and grandly (and foolishly) called it The Stadium of Light. Geordies automatically replace the L with the letters Sh… The BBC local radio station runs two separate commentaries on the game, one for Sunderland and one for Newcastle. Even if you aren’t attending a game, if you are in Newcastle on derby day you can tell when a goal has been scored, because you can hear the roar for miles. The chants and songs at the grounds are almost always crude and very rude.

    Football even has its own language, its pundits, over the years have shown a cavalier disregard for English.
    Sometimes the language it’s simple ‘Set piece,’ ‘It’s a game of two halves.’
    Sometimes it’s odd ‘Early Doors’ ‘We’ve got a result’ (personally, I hate the second – of course you’ve got a result. Even losing 5-1 (sorry Sunderland fans – no, actually, I’m not) is a result!)
    Sometimes you wish that the commentator had a brain 'I don't think there's anyone bigger or smaller than Maradona.' (to be fair, that one almost makes sense) 'They're the second best team in the world, and there's no higher praise than that.' 'We deserved to win this game after hammering them 0-0 in the first half' 'We managed to wrong a few rights.' (These are all from Kevin Keegan, a former Newcastle manager and a man often referred to on Tyneside as King Kev, or God.)

    Sometimes it’s almost profound as Bill Shankley’s famous: 'Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.'

    What more can I add to that?

    Neil

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  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil
    I know an Everton supporter and I’d have to disagree with Carole. Everton MUST beat Liverpool, and vice versa.
    I bow to your Everton fan, but I still think for Liverpool as a whole (and that includes Liverpudlians and Evertonians) they'd rather defeat a Manchester team. They cities loathe each other, whereas the same cities team is bearable but you still want to beat them. You're more likely in Liverpudlian families to have split loyalties, so half will be Everton/ half Liverpool.

    The chants and songs at the grounds are almost always crude and very rude.
    Should also add here that these days it's common to focus on the wife/partner of the footballer in the songs. Football wives or girlfriends (known by the acronym WAGS) hog the headlines. David Beckham and Victoria (Posh Spice) have had to deal with some really vicious abuse often aimed at their kids too. It's all said to be 'part and parcel of the game, love' but it is certainly a lot nastier than it used to be. Of course, there is the argument that if the WAGS weren't so high profile then they wouldn't get picked on.
    I know this seems a deviation, but the WAG culture has actually become a part of the UK football scene.

    These are all from Kevin Keegan, a former Newcastle manager and a man often referred to on Tyneside as King Kev, or God
    Or 'Quitter' if you're from the South

    Sorry, but this does actually show how unifying - yet divisive - football is in this country. Its importance cannot be stressed enough because it really does contribute to practically every area of our lives - whether economically, for morale, education (some footballers support reading programmes) and the headlines in the newspapers.

    I think the hatred of Manchester United that Neil mentioned partly depends on how successful they are. When Chelsea won the League in 2005 for the first time in fifty years, and thus stopping Man Utd winning, yet again, the attitude in London was that we now all hated Chelsea and would rather Man Utd had won. This was based mainly on the fact that Chelsea had 'bought' the title because their owner was a Russian billionaire who bankrolled them.

    I suspect the attitude towards Man Utd is different in the North of England.

    If you want to read a book about the life of the football fan, then I suggest trying to get hold of Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby. It's about him following Arsenal, but it rings true for most obsessives (and it's also a darn good read). There's a film version as well, but Colin Firth's a bit posh in it.

    ~Carole~
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  3. #73
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    A few final (and hopefully mostly Harry Potter related) words on football.

    Carole mentioned the fact that there is an English League and a Scottish League. There are English and Scottish cups, too. The Scottish League hasn’t been mentioned. It is dominated by two clubs, Rangers and Celtic (actually Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic) and THAT is a derby match to behold. Also, if you’re interested, Berwick Rangers Football Club, currently in the Scottish third division, are from Berwick-upon-Tweed, which is in England. It is 2.5 miles south of the border and was in Scotland until relatively recently (1482).

    It hasn’t been mentioned (and I’m not sure about mentioning it myself, but I will) but there was originally a sectarian element to football, too. The UK these days is not particularly religious, but Rangers/Celtic, and Liverpool/Everton were often also regarded as being protestant/catholic. This is also true for other clubs from the same town. These days, no one cares.

    There are a lot of correlations between football/Muggles and Quidditch/wizards.

    There are four “International” Quidditch Teams in the Britain and Ireland. As in football there isn’t a British team, but instead English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh teams (there are actually two Irish football teams).

    When England play any other team, most Scots I know will support the other team. England must lose. Unfortunately we can usually keep the Scots happy.

    Ron, in many ways is a typical football fan. He is dismissive of England’s performance in the Quidditch world cup. He despairs that we didn’t do better. But it’s his fanatical devotion to a (frankly rubbish) team which is so typical of the true fan. His complaints about his team’s management, the fact that they’ve bought foreign players who are rubbish, the ease with which he pulls up statistics about “his” team, all are markers of a true fan. In an exam about Chudley Cannons, Ron would trounce Hermione, no matter how much swotting she did and she have something to say when she realises how much information Ron can, and does, retain about things which interest him.

    Ron’s Quidditch conversation with Cho is typical football talk, too. Teams which are doing well attract people called “fair-weather fans” not really interested in the game, simply in associating themselves with a team at the top of the league. (This accusation is made towards many Manchester United and Chelsea fans.) Ron, however, is a diehard. In my part of the world he’d “have black and white blood”, he will support the Cannons, no matter how rubbish they are, because they are his team.

    He will defend his team from opposing fans, and will argue that they have potential, that they can and will do better. He will also switch instantly when talking to fellow Cannons fan because, like all true fans he has the inalienable right to criticise his team. Management, players, anything about the club can and will be criticised by the fans. But fans of other clubs are not allowed to do this.

    Finally, a (surprisingly clean) football joke for those in the know. (Shola is a Newcastle striker – he should be scoring goals for us)

    Did you know that they’re doing a new Mr Men book, about Shola Ameobi? It’s going to be called Mr Sitter.

    -Neil-

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  4. #74
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    Hey, Brits! I'm back with another question!

    (*Groans from the British members of the boards*)

    OK, so the school year begins in September, yeah? What do you call that bit from September to the Christmas holidays? Is that a term? Or is it that strange American thingo ... a semester? And also how are the terms/simosas divided? Is it start of school, to Christmas, to Easter, to the summer holidays.

    And speaking of summer holidays, when do they start? I'm pretty sure it's late June, yeah?

    Oh, and I'm trying to work out Hogwarts in all of this, not a Muggle school. If they're totally different ... well, I've just made an idiot of myself, haven't I?

    Thanks m'dears!
    ~Midnight Storm

  5. #75
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    What do you call that bit from September to the Christmas holidays? Is that a term?

    Yep, it's called a term. Not a semester--that's American.

    And also how are the terms/simosas divided?

    The terms are as follows: Autumn term starts on Sept 1 and finishes a few days before Christmas (for the Christmas holidays which is three weeks, I think, since Hogwarts don't have half term). Then it reopens in very early January for the start of the winter term. Then in April it closes for Easter for three weeks, I think. Then there's the summer term, and then it closes for the summer holidays.

    And speaking of summer holidays, when do they start? I'm pretty sure it's late June, yeah?

    I think so. The summer hols are eight weeks, I think.

    In a Muggle school, however, it would be a bit different. We don't start school until slightly after Sept 1 and we have half term in October and Feb and May so we only have two weeks Christmas and Easter holidays. So our summer hols are only six weeks as opposed to Hogwarts. I hope I've explained everything!

    ~Soraya~

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  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soraya
    Then it reopens in very early January for the start of the winter term.
    When I was at school, and at the schools in my area (London) it's called Spring Term and not Winter. We have Autumn, Spring and Summer. I don't think Hogwarts calls its terms anything particular - not like Eton College that splits its year into Michelmas Half, Lent Half and Summer Half (yes, three halves ... they can't add up)

    And speaking of summer holidays, when do they start? I'm pretty sure it's late June, yeah? Hogwarts finishes at the end of June. Most private schools end their year at the beginning of July. Most state schools end their year round about the 20th July. Some state schools go back at the very end of August, but most will go back around 3rd/4th of September.

    ~Carole~
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  7. #77
    Midnight Storm
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    Ah! Thanks! And I just realised that auto-correct changed one of my 'semesters' to 'simosas'. It's not my biggest blonde moment, but it's up there.

  8. #78
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    Funnily enough ....

    My family did move in the 60's. My dad was promoted and my mum was pregnant so they needed a bigger house. They also wanted somewhere where he could commute by train to London (He used to work in Fleet Street) because driving everyday was a hassle.

    Some friends of theirs had recently moved away from the area and when they visited them they liked the look of the area, the schools etc, so they looked around. Basically they signed up with Estate agents and got them to send them details of houses in the area, then they'd look at them over the weekends.

    I don't think there were people to find you houses, although I could imagine companies helping a favoured employee or a foreign worker find a house. That would be out of reach for a middle class worker like my dad though. I think a lot of it fell on my mum's shoulders because he was working.

    ~Carole~
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  9. #79
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    Once again, a question!

    How would a family with two children (middle class) have gone about finding a house in the 60s? My thought is that the dad gets promoted/a new job, so they move house to get to the new job.

    Would they hire someone to find a place? Was that sort of job even around back then?
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  10. #80
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    I know when my grandfather got promoted in the early sixties his company found him a house, which he initially rented. At the time there were two children, but I think my grandma was pregnant with the third. So the company found them a base and then my grandma, basically by asking around I think, found the house.


    Hope that helps!
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