As the resident ABE expert (Anyone But England) for OptaJoke I find the World Cup a hard watch. I’m not alone, other famous ABE fans include: Braveheart, the Dragon that George killed, Roy Keane and Andy ‘I’ll-say-I’m-supporting-whoever’s-playing-England-but-then-my-Press-Secretary-will-tell-everyone-I-was-only-joking-and-insist-that-I’m-routing-for-any-British-team’ Murray.
We know all about the last time, you see. We hear the story every four years and we hear the same tired optimism; “If we say that England have a great team and are a contender enough times then people will believe it”, “Could this year be England’s year?”
Probably not Gary, but thanks for trying!
So I’m an ABE, I’m apathetic to England’s cause and I can’t stand the incessant crowing of die hard England fans raving on about Geoff Hurst, Alf Ramsey and Bobby Moore and the good old days etc. etc.
BUT I’ve devised a system which works for me:
I’ll support England during the group stages because the group stages are fun and everyone underperforms in them anyway (perfect given the fact that I support a team who didn’t make it to the World Cup). Then, once all the England are in the knockout stages I will come out as an ABE! And I mean full on; body paint of the team flag, refusing to speak in anything but that nation’s language during the build up and game, eating food only from that country and buying a Vuvuzela and blowing it incessantly the night before England games (as to disrupt fans ill judged dreams of goals and glory).
By lulling England fans into a false sense of security and then intensely supporting any team they are playing, hopefully defeat will be even worse for them!
If every ABE follows this then we can transform the phrase ‘a red under every bed’ to ‘an ABE on every tab-le’
If you are wondering whether you’re an ABE then take this test and see how you respond:
Will England win the world cup?
Are you west of Offa’s Dyke or north of Hadrian’s Wall and are willing England on?
Are you English?
If you answered ‘no’ to all of the above then congratulations, you’re a fully fledged ABE! You’ll receive a membership pack along with an ‘I belong to ABE’ T-shirt in the post.
(Due to overwhelming demand we have completely sold out of our ‘I belong to ABE’ T-shirts….but we only ordered 5 anyway. Why would anyone choose not to support England?)