I almost caused a small road accident in my small town when BBC World News (Via Oregon Public Broadcasting, thank you) announced on my car radio a German goal in the first fifteen minutes and then four more before half time. When I went into the hardware store it was 1-0. When I came out it was 4-0. I had to use both lanes of Route 99E to recover.

Welcome to the world of English cricket I said to myself once I had stopped laughing.

We, the English, get regularly thrashed at the other game we invented by nations as tiny as Sri Lanka and the West Indies. But we still play, we still show up because to play is more important. Just like the English, the Brazilians, after years of being told they perfected the beautiful game find that others can play it too.

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