Whatever the cause may be, I’m often embarrassed to follow it. At the same time, that doesn’t mean I don’t follow it. I just squirm a bit in my seat when somebody evangelises about supporting a team, loving a region or being a fan of a particular hair colour.
I just read something randomly linked to me, which turned out to be the handiwork of an ex-University Of Central Lancashire journalism student, just like me. Now while I enjoyed my time at uni, it wasn’t because of the school (and it certainly wasn’t because of Preston) – I’d go so far as to say I didn’t like that bit very much. It was shoddy and I often felt short-changed by the tutoring. But seeing that someone went there to do (almost) the same course as me lit something inside and – for a brief moment – I was proud of our shared history.
I never really supported a football team growing up. I liked Man Utd because they had Schmeichel and Cantona, but it’s not like I loved them. I went to more than enough Rotherham games, but it’s not like I lived and died on their results. I moved away from all of that when I went to uni, and I actually went for years without supporting a team – it was fun to see all the knuckle-draggers defining their very being by a huge corporate entity solely designed to suck money out of them’s success or failure on the pitch. Then at some point a few years ago I decided “I will support Everton”, and I do so in a half-arsed fashion.
But would I rescue the Everton colours from a burning building? Would I balls. Would I rescue my nation’s colours from a burning building? Hell no.
The Union Flag is – the clue’s in the name – a flag. While it can very easily be argued the meaning and history behind it, that isn’t the kind of thing to appeals to a lot of the apes who proudly coat themselves in them (or George Crosses, naturally). It’s just a flag. A bullshit symbol. More team colours. Not exactly the kind of thing I would demand respect for, spill any blood for or really use as anything other than a fine mantle decoration (as long as it has the Queen’s face on it, like mine did).
But then I get into things like national pride, which has annoyed me for a long time. I still get swept up in supporting England in footballing events, which is annoying. Mainly because I don’t support this country in almost anything else. “Proud to be English”? Get fucked. I was born here by chance, I have no loyalty to a chunk of rock.
Still better than the French though…
I had a point, I lost it somewhere.