Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Are You Supporting England?

On radio station TalkSport on Sunday morning presenter Mike Parry was in a flap over comments by Scottish tennis player Andrew Murray. He had been sent a cutting from the Evening Times reporting Murray as saying “I will be supporting whoever is playing England in the World Cup. I am a true Scot”. This sent Parry apoplectic with rage.

He couldn’t understand why any Scot would not support England. He went on to suggest that the majority of Scots were petty and bitter and began to dislike England only after the film Braveheart was released. William Wallace was nothing but a drunken thief who got what he deserved added Parry.

He insisted that he will be supporting Murray’s opponents from now on and he would round up a mob to do likewise.

Some people phoned in and highlighted the reasons that Scottish people generally won’t be supporting England. Mainly the over the top media hype.

However Parry and his co-presenter welcomed every caller agreeing with them with open arms and dismissed anyone who offered a contrary view.

Their view was if you’re British then you must support England. “I would support Scotland,” said Parry. “That’s your choice,” he was correctly advised by one caller.

I couldn’t care less if English fans get behind Scotland, though I realise that they do, having watched a couple of Scotland games while down south.

“I’ll support anyone against England even if it’s in tiddlywinks,” one caller from Hamilton suggested.

Parry did take the odd sideswipe at Scottish players. Even although his team, Everton, have more Scots than any other side in the Premiership.

Here’s my view on it. First off Murray’s comments while they may have been true, would have been best kept to himself. The majority of Murray’s supporters at Wimbledon will be English. If England have a good run in the World Cup Murray could find himself the beneficiary of the swell of national pride.

Other than the World Cup the English public want a British Wimbledon winner and the thought of both happening in the same summer should put a large chunk of the public behind Murray or any other Brit doing well at Wimbledon. If Parry gets his way Murray will now be run out of Wimbledon on a rail. “I’m going to buy the national shirt of his opponent and wear it while booing him”.

I say this though pretty much from a PR point of view. Most of his fans will be English, I think it's a bit daft potentially alienating them. However he's quoted here in a Scottish newspaper, aimed at a Scottish market. I'm sure he'd be more diplomatic if speaking to the Daily Telegraph.

But back to Parry. He also referred to the majority of Scots being “Little Scotlanders”. I think this was a reference to xenophobic Englishmen being termed ‘Little Englanders’. I think the irony was missed on him.

I think I said this in Talking Pish’s Euro 2004 posts, but I don’t mind England doing well I just don’t want them to win it. I will of course in no way support them.

I don’t want to revel in any English defeat cos they got there and we didn’t.

My reasons were pretty much outlined by some of the callers to the show.

We are sick to death of the English media’s hyperbole with everything in connection to the national football team. “This is our best chance of winning the trophy” Yeah? You said that four years ago. Doubtless you’ll say it again in 4 years time.

We’ll hear how England were robbed and how they’re at least the best team in Europe when they get knocked out by South American opposition. Despite there still being other European sides in the competition.

And of course there is the perennial classic when the riots kick off and English fans magically morph into British.

I like a lot of their players and have always supported English teams in Europe. That mainly stems from every good English side being packed with Scots when I was growing up. However I'll still want all of them to do well in Europe.

I think it’s a ludicrous notion that Scottish people are forced to call in to a radio show to justify why they won’t be supporting their biggest rivals.

I’m sure English fans would feel the same if their media were run with a Scottish bias.


Anonymous said...

He'll be glad to hear that Murray went out in the first round of the French Open.


Maybe he'll even cheer the fact it was injury-related...


Anonymous said...

It's actually Parry that is an arse.

Have we actually heard some of the utter diabolical blind nonsense this idiot comes out with? And it's been going on long before this! I would of loved to have all of this stuff taped.

The man is useless, obnoxious, ignorant and evil of the highest order. It's actually *him* that's started a lot of this resentment single-handedly. No one else.

I gladly stopped listening long, long ago because of him.