HSBC has some great advertisements for cultural differences and this is a prime example. Football means different things to different people. Lena is learning this lesson early. Because she has received 2 different football teddy bears. One is a Sydney Swans teddy bear. The Sydney Swans play Australian football and they are G's team. This was a gift from one of Greg's best mates back in Australia. The other bear is a Liverpool FC teddy bear. Liverpool FC play British football - aka soccer. This is a funny gift from a friend of ours from who is from Liverpool. The reason it's funny is that he knows that Liverpool is not G's team, Manchester United is. He's obviously trying to instill a sense of rebellion in Lena from a young age. What is also funny is that both football bears were given by a Steve. Now all we need is another Steve to send a CFL (Canadian Football League) bear and we'll have the complete set! Haha.
I am a fan of the British football/soccer, but I don't have a team. When I was in Munich, there were 2 teams (and a third lower league team) to support, TSV 1860 and FC Bayern. I would cheer for both, except when it came to the local derby (when the two teams would play each other), when I would cheer for the underdog 1860. In international games, I would cheer for FC Bayern. I still would now, and if they play Man United anytime in the near future, it's likely to be quite an ugly scene around the house. But normally I'm pretty impartial when it comes to football. This partly comes from the few years I refereed when in Munich and also from the fact that I've never really grew up with a team to cheer for. Ice hockey is in fact the only sport for which I truly have a team. (Go Oilers!) But I'm considering taking a British team to cheer for here. It would just make life a bit more interesting on lazy Sunday afternoons when the games are often played. I could take Man U, but that's too easy as they are the top of the league right now, so it could be looked upon as just jumping on the bandwagon or being a fair-weather fan. The closest local team in the top division is probably Reading FC, called The Royals by their fans. It's their first season in the top league and they are doing amazingly well. They are in 6th place, which is nothing to sniff at, considering the competition. But the team I really was cheering for recently was a football team that isn't even in the top division. Nor in the second or third division even. They are fourth division team called the Wycombe Wanderers. They play in High Wycombe, which is just down the road from Cookham. The reason I was cheering for them is that they had been playing in one of the many tournaments English teams have and had managed to get to the semi-final of it, where they were playing a first division team called Chelsea. Chelsea is a high-profile team (as is Man United, to be fair) with a lot of really pricey stars playing for them. So for the Wanderers to have gotten so far as to play against Chelsea was very impressive. What was more impressive was that they managed to tie Chelsea in their first meet-up! Sadly they lost in the second game, but it was none the less an excellent effort on their part. So Wanderers, if you get up the Premiereship, I'll be cheering for you. In the meantime, go Royals!!