Brasil 2 – England 2

LDN Tattoo

Tattoo, about five minutes after getting it.

That was for me.

In celebration of my tattoo’s birthday, also the 61st year of Her Majesty The Queen’s reign, the Three Lions drew 2-2 against the mighty Brazilians.

I have a strong disdain for teams that view a draw as a win (glaring at you, US Men’s National Team), but I think the Lions deserve a fair bit of praise for their performance in Rio yesterday. I’d go as far even to say that praise should be tipped in the direction of a win.

I mean, it’s Brazil.

And it’s not like they had their B team on the pitch. Neymar, Oscar, Hulk, David Luiz, Thiago Silva, among others all featured in the starting XI.

To be fair, we had a slightly stronger squad last night than we did against Republic of Ireland earlier in the week. Goalkeeper Joe Hart proved, once again, he’s worthy of the #1 shirt, blocking a number of shots that would have otherwise left his side with an embarrassing defeat. And I should also mention that whatever your opinion of Wayne Rooney, he’s still got it and if he’s able to settle his mind, he’s a world-class striker.

Could things be turning around for Hodgson’s boys? England have notoriously played well during in-between tournament matches, even qualifiers, but I WANT TO BELIEVE!

I should also mention, last time England met Brazil, England won.

London 2012. Blerg.

Ugh. Am I allowed to be super non-excited that the Olympics are being held in London? Does that make me a hypocrite? On the face of it, I’m sure it does, because what kind of Anglophile wouldn’t be excited about non-stop media coverage of her home away from home?

Well, this moi. And yes, I’m gonna whine about it.

Reason 1: They’re taking over my city. LocustsTourists. [Even more] commercial entities.

I’m a touch torn, I will say, because on the one hand I desperately hope the nation will be able to recoup the cash they’ve put into the event and then some, but have a feeling a lot of dollars will be spent on McDonald’s and Starbucks and not at the local chippy or coffee shop. (At least, I think it’s safe to say the margin will swing dramatically the one direction, amIright?)

I think a lot of the major historical attractions will see an influx of traffic – the Tower, Westminster Abbey, the British Museum, as well they should – but what about the REST OF ENGLAND? Or, lesser known parts of London, even? Charles Dickens’ house? The Old Vic? Camden Lock? Oooh, Brick Lane. Yeah, don’t take the kids to Brick Lane. (Unless you think they’d fetch a price…) Mixed feelings here as well, because I suspect many of those living outside of London want little to do with the Olympics, but then as it is summer and a peak travel season, there are plenty of tourist establishments in the region that would be well pleased for an increase in revenue, except London’s hoarding it all.

Part of my frustration also comes from the sheer number of first time London tourists that have descended upon the area. I must keep reminding myself that I’m glad I’m not visiting this summer. (Probably one of the only times I will ever say that.) Tourists in large cities are cumbersome in the first place, but that many first timers? Yeesh. Taxi drivers. Underground stewards. All those in the transportation industry. My prayers are with you. And I wish you many large tips!

Reason 2: The media.

These next two weeks are going to be a bit rough. With so much attention focused on London (England, even Great Britain as a whole, let’s be real, because the media won’t be able to keep focus) it will be all the more difficult to distract myself from how much I bloody miss it! What’s worse, I think, is that this attention is so, how can I describe it, commercial? Cheap? I’m not sure if I have the right term, but the feeling I have toward this whole thing is the same feeling I get toward fair-weather fans. Now I understand the Olympics are designed to occur only every so often and now it’s London’s turn in the spotlight. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that London is already such a popular place that I don’t think it needs any more spotlight??? Maybe. I’ve also ALWAYS struggled with those who love London/England/other places, etc. for the obvious and/or popular reasons. I suppose the Olympics are just another thing that make London popular and is now overshadowing so many (more worthy) qualities that make London remarkable.

I have more on the media, but I think I’ll at least let the games begin before I go into the issue of reporting on the athletics of the event versus the location and spectacle…

Reason 3: Then there’s Team GB.

It’s inexcusable that David Beckham has been left out of the Men’s Football squad. Stuart Pearce is such a disgrace that I think the IOC (yes, the international governing body, not just the British governing body) should step in to either fire the guy or order him to include Becks. I don’t care if Becks is only able to play five minutes of every game as a substitute, he brought Games to London (Yeah, so mixed feelings there. You’re on BOTH my lists, David.) and has been its number one champion. He is a living legend and a symbol of Britain and of football. He IS Team GB, but Pearce couldn’t be bothered to include him. He went with Micah Richards instead? Pitiful. Ryan Giggs, I understand; he’s Welsh and a quality player. I will never support a Manchester City player’s presence over David Beckham’s. Probably not even if said Man City player is Joe Hart, and Becks isn’t even a goalkeeper.

Of course the other, most basic piece to this issue is that Becks is still a top performing player!

So, we’re not off to a real good start.

Reason 4: As of today I still can’t access the online shop from my American IP address. I’m re-routed to Team USA’s shop. I’m not sure whose fault that is, but it’s an appalling breach of internet something… I feel like I’m being pressured to support a certain team, and that doesn’t sit right with me. I’m pro-Team USA, sure, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a stylized Union Jack sheet set or nifty Adidas wristband. (And no, the Adidas online shop doesn’t carry them.) If anyone figures out what the eff is going on with this, please let me know. I don’t like it. I suspect Stuart Pearce is in on it somehow.

Reason 5: I’m still bitter England lost out on hosting either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. THAT they deserved. THAT they wouldn’t have had to spend an exorbitant amount of money on to host! And. The last time football came home on the world stage, England won the damn thing. So.

Reason 6: I prefer the winter Olympics.

I’ll try to keep score with a pros and cons list and report back. Maybe I’ll prove myself wrong. I’m open to that.

#4 for #7: It’s a Girl!

DAVID BECKHAM IS HAVING A GIRL! A little baby Spice Girl! Not Baby Spice, er, I mean… oh, you get what I’m saying!

Anyway, after three adorable little boys, Mr. and Mrs. Becks are having a girl! Be still, my little heart.

That’s all. Who’s excited?

Quarter-finals, innit!

Brilliant win today for Tottenham Hotspur as they beat Italian giants AC Milan on aggregate to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals! Ooooh, don’t I just sound like a sports columnist?

During their first trip to the Champions League, the Spurs have done it and will now move into the final eight. They join Barcelona, Schalke and Shakhtar Donetsk, who moved into the quarter-finals today and yesterday.

Well done!

For more Champions League action, visit http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/index.html.

Gareth Bale and Peter Crouch celebrate.