Well, the wall chart is up, the beer and cheese biscuits are in and there’s a little flag to show the household is supporting England ... Steve G, Wazza, the lad who shampoos his hair etc.
We’ve had the usual pre-tournament scare stories about venues not finished, just as we had for the Olympics in Greece, Sydney and everywhere else and various other footie competitions except here.
England start against Italy late on Saturday night in ‘The Group of Death’ actually they’re all groups of death if you lose.
The match is being staged in somewhere called Manaus which, as we have frequently been told, is ‘In the Jungle’.
You get the impression they’ve just knocked down a few trees, marked out a pitch despite the snakes, and the lads will get a shower afterwards if it rains.
Here are some commentating hints. When a foreign player fouls one of our lads, it is ‘cynical.’ If an English player does the same thing he was ‘just a bit late.’
If a player misses from two yards the expression is: ‘He’ll be disappointed with that,’ which really means: ‘He couldn’t hit a cow’s arm with a banjo.’
A goalkeeper dropping a high cross was ‘caught in two minds’, meaning ‘he couldn’t catch a cushion.’
You’ll pick up more as the tournament develops.
England have more or less been written off, which is a change from the recent so-called ‘Golden Generation’ when they were expected to win everything. The team has a fair amount of talent and could do well. Just don’t get carried away.
It’s a hectic weekend with England again taking on the All Blacks at rugger and England against Sri Lanka at Test cricket.
The Sri Lankans are the baddies. They went against the Spirit of Cricket in a one-dayer when England’s Jos Buttler was run out by the bowler for wandering down the pitch before he’d bowled.
Buttler had been warned and there were complaints he’d done this in the previous match. I once saw this run out done three times in an innings and each time the batsman had to walk.
It’s difficult to work out the Spirit of Cricket. Is it snarling at batsmen by the fielders, not walking when you’ve edged the ball, claiming catches that weren’t?
All this happens without the spirit being mentioned. Buttler was dumb.
You could argue that referring something to the TV official is a form of cheating because players didn’t accept the umpire’s decision in the first place and that’s what he’s on the field for.
Well done to Castleford and Leigh for breathing life into the RL Challenge Cup by giving everything and making their ties highly competitive. Both games were cracking affairs.
It’s just a pity supporters have to wait until August 9 and 10 before the semi-finals.
Nine weeks, surely that’s against the spirit of the game.