by Philip Kitcher
“Tradition weighs against England in grudge match with US”
—Sports Village Square
“In a way, there is a kind of genius to the perpetual dissatisfaction of the English:
not so much a tyranny of expectations as a police state of expectations, a fascism of expectations.”
It’s like Saratoga all over again—
a woeful reverse for our football campaign,
as General Burgoyne commandeered Harry Kane.
The rout of Iran gave supporters a thrill,
inspiring illusions our team had some skill.
Al Bayt then emerged as our new Bunker Hill.
It’s no use pretending we don’t give a toss,
since scraping a draw feels as bad as a loss.
If Weston McKennie had buried that cross …
We can’t beat the Yanks, to our undying shame—
instead let us take up our favorite game,
and focus attention on who is to blame.
When Empire collapses and Majesty fails,
best celebrate triumphs on tinier scales,
rejoice in the fact we can still conquer … Wales.