Topic: Euro 2012

June 26, 2012

We've all watched as the Spanish march towards the immortals in this year's European Championships. Whether or not we'll be eternally bored by them if they get there is a completely different question. 

June 25, 2012

Many of the fans at Euro 2012 are there to cheer for players wearing the uniforms of their home country. But for those who found themselves in the Ukraine without any nationalism-related rooting interest, the Euros offered a unique and frankly kind of weird opportunity to try different national soccer identities on for size.

June 20, 2012

It wasn't just that Ireland was outclassed during its brief, bruising Magical Misery Tour through Euro 2012. The problem was that, after fans talked themselves into believing in the boys in green, the team played such dispirited, pessimistic soccer.

June 13, 2012

Maybe it's a sensation that more regular qualifiers become blasè about, but when your team hasn't been to a major tournament for ten years, or a European Championship for 24, to see your team actually there—in the actual stadium, on the actual pitch, in front of the actual world—leads to explosive goosebumpery. But, as Irish fans (re-)learned the hard way against Croatia, the game has a cruel way of dealing with that sort of hope.

June 8, 2012

Being a soccer fan invariably involves more cheering for the jersey than the player wearing it. For the national teams competing in Euro 2012, that's doubly so. Players don't just play for a national team—they play for their country. Which means they play with all the hang-ups and other issues of that country, too.

June 8, 2012

A delightfully profane poem to preview England's Euro 2012.

May 30, 2012

The referee is a parody of God. Nothing officially happens unless he deems it to have happened. But he and his assistants can only see so much. Why was this incident called a foul when that identical one was not? Because the ref saw this one, and not that one. The ball crossed the line: surely it's a goal? Ha! Your physics are puny next to the fact that the linesman's view was blocked.

May 8, 2012

How the Irish respond to their national football team's current success is viewed through how the Irish responded in the old days. And the days of Jack Charlton and 1988 are the old days. There's a script to follow for Ireland, and it's getting stale. Fans consciously look to our footballers to lift us out of our national gloom. Back then, we didn't expect anything in particular. A benign national fever just happened. The rush is a bit more forced these days, but not at all unpleasant for that.