For as long as it has been in existence as a competitive game, football has been England’s national sport. The vast majority of men absolutely adore the sport of football, and hundreds of thousands of them are totally and utterly consumed by it on every single level all year around.
They live, eat, sleep, drink and breathe football. Ever been stuck for conversation topics when meeting another man for the first time? What topic normally springs to mind to get conversation flowing again? More often than not, it’s football.
It’s usually an easy ice breaker, as it is virtually guaranteed that most men will have a common love of football should all other avenues of conversation fall flat.
Every four years, the nation’s football fans become rabid in their support for the England team, blindly expecting them to win the World Cup, despite the fact that the team has never come close to winning the damned thing since 1966.
It has got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, we’ve got it wrong when it comes to our national sport, and maybe we need to be looking elsewhere.
Now, I am not for one second suggesting that the English should turn their back on football, as that would never wash. I am merely suggesting that it may be worthwhile adopting another sport as the national sport so as to save on disappointment or, worse still, embarrassment and shame.
Every time an Olympic Games is on, the British waste little time in showing just how powerful and adept they are in the fields of rowing, cycling, equestrianism and shooting, to name but four.
We also have multiple World Champions in darts and snooker. Surely it would be best to find a way of making one of these sports the National sport? We could then claim to be the best in the world at them, second to none and all that.
Not as easy as that...
Obviously, that is a tongue in cheek look at the whole thing, but then what about something like Rugby? The England rugby team is a very good team. They have made it to the final of the World Cup on three occasions, memorably winning it in 2003.
There have also been countless Five Nations and Six Nations titles, with the occasional Grandslam thrown in for good measure.
In short, the England rugby team is a far more talented, and far more successful unit than their footballing compatriots.
Add to that the fact that generally speaking, the players who represent England at rugby are far more affable than the footballing equivalents, and far better role models, that to me it becomes a no brainer.
Rugby, and not football, should be out national sport. It’s just never going to happen though, is it?