I like the Guardian and particularly their sports section. But when we think about the fact that the newspaper is apparently losing £100,000 a day, and that this has meant they’ve had to cut back on their quality football coverage, I do wonder what the fuck is going on when they’re apparently paying some awful columnist real, shiny sterling coins to write a World Cup diary that would do the word tripe a disservice.
I give you “Tim Dowling’s World Cup Diary”, and the first item in his entry today:
In the electric atmosphere – you can feel it, can’t you? – preceding tomorrow’s crucial match between the USA and Slovenia, there is still time to learn a few American chants from the planet’s newest football fans. Don’t worry, they’re not difficult. First up is the traditional “USA! [repeat]”, which is also good for situations ranging from Olympic ice hockey matches to Tea Party conventions. There’s also the strangely familiar “[clap-clap, clap-clap-clap] US!” Obviously it’s an art form in its infancy, but here’s a more recent effort from a Facebook page on the subject: “The yanks are coming/the yanks are coming/When you lose and we go through/ You will call it soccer too!”
That’s it. That’s the joke, I guess. Tim Dowling, by the way, is an American who lives in England.
I realise Dowling’s not been hired or paid by the Guardian’s sports department to cover the World Cup, and he’s a lifestyle columnist who has been told to do some ironic detachment on the World Cup for the general reader in a stupendously lazy fashion, but still. On the other hand, he did banjo playing an even bigger disservice a few weeks ago with this hilariously unfunny column, so it could be worse.