If there are three words in English that arouse football fans in the world more than “goal under review”, it is this seemingly innocuous phrase: Football’s Coming Home.

From now to the start of the Euro 2020 final at 3 pm Eastern time on Sunday, you will hear a lot of such voices. Due to the pandemic, the game is a year late, but for their lads who have been eager to win since winning the World Cup. The English fans of the Grand Slam champion said it was 50 years late in 1966.

After England defeated Denmark 2-1 in overtime, the websites of the London Independent and the BBC made headlines related to this sentence and helped the Three Lions qualify for the European Cup against Italy.

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This angers those who think that the sport was not really invented in England, and those who tend to dislike being nicknamed the “Three Lions” because of the badges on the players’ jerseys, and even those who are most hostile to politics A populous area of ​​the UK.

“This is a plain lie,” writer Ged O’Brien once told BBC Sport Scotland. “The genius of the Scots over the past 500 years, especially the idea of ​​the clan system, has created our football. This is a Scottish game.”

The origin of this sport is widely disputed, and some people trace it back to China nearly 2500 years ago. However, it seems difficult to argue that the current rules of football can be traced back to the establishment of the Football Association in 1863. That happened in London, Wembley Stadium is here, and it will be the venue for the England team-Sunday’s Italian final.

This is why many British fans believe that their country is the spiritual home of the sport, which led to the creation of a song 25 years ago, when the European Cup in 1996 became the most recent major international event held entirely in England, called “Threesome”. lion. The most frequently repeated phrase in that song is “It’s home”, followed by “Football is home.”

So you know the origin of the controversy, but it may not be entirely the cause of the controversy.

The easiest way for American fans to understand the impact of “football home” on football fans around the world is to consider how similar pop culture phrases have influenced NFL football over the past century.

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No one in the Dallas Cowboys came forward and claimed that their team was the “American Team.” This is the title assigned by the NFL Film Company for the wonderful 1978 Cowboys movie. One of the responsibilities of NFL Films is to produce a season review for each team in the league. Usually, it is a challenge to make a pleasant spin during an unpleasant end of the season. In the 1978 season, the Cowboys narrowly lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers because one of their close end lost a touchdown pass that could change the game.

NFL Films would not call that movie “well, almost” or “butterfly fingers.” Therefore, the author focused on the huge popularity of the team on TV and the number of Cowboys fans that the team showed up in the away game, and proposed the “Team America”. This immediately caused dissatisfaction among fans of other teams, and they (and the reporters and commentators that these fans follow) helped make it ubiquitous. Now, the Cowboys have not been able to enter the Super Bowl since 1995, and the “Team America” ​​is ridiculed and mocked all over the United States every day.

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Multiply it by the world now and you will understand why “football is home” is so annoying for so many people. Presumably, its core is an expression of arrogance: this is our game, and you are all lucky, and we allow you to play it.

Before the semi-final against England, when asked about his thoughts on football “going home”, Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel-whose daily job is at Premier League club Leicester City-answered Say: “Has it ever been home?”

However, the song itself is creative, attractive, and most importantly, self-deprecating. It was not written by David Beckham, Gary Lineker, or Paul Gascoigne. Comedians David Badir and Frank Skinner, who performed with the Lightning Seeds, did not make an obvious effort to declare England as the only worthy winner of every major international football tournament.

Instead, they mentioned “30 years of injury” after the 1966 World Cup champion in the song and included this verse:

So many jokes, so many sneers

But all those very close

Exhausted you

these years

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In fact, the really exhausting aspect of “Football’s Coming Home” or England fans is the eternal heartbreak hug-fatalism “England will throw it away, blow it away”, as the song says-reminiscent Red Sox before 2004 or Cubs before 2016. It seems that only they have lost, only they have lost at important moments, and only they have lost in a devastating way.

Of course, in the 2004 European Cup, Sox had Buckner, Cubs had Bartman, and England had Becks on the crossbar for a penalty kick (above). Hey, the Detroit Lions have participated in an NFC championship game in 51 years, and Belgium just saw their golden generation fall from another major event without reaching the finals.

All fans will suffer a little bit. This is part of the transaction. Exercise pain has nowhere to go. That’s everywhere.

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