So, England and the USA are both still in the World Cup – although it pains me to admit, the USA won our Group, whilst we qualified to continue in the competition as the “runners up”. Oh, the shame.
Does this mean I will now stop trying to educate Yanks about football? Of course not! Today’s lesson is about the Post Match Interview.
Yesterday, after watching England’s thrilling win against Slovinia, Dave and I watched highlights of the USA’s victory over Algeria. At the end of the highlights, there was an interview with USA goal-scorer, Landon Donovan. I have to say, the American interviewer had no idea how to talk about football and nor did Donovan. Dave and I were actually CRYING with laughter at them both.
Let me give you an example of what a PROPER post match interview (with the winning goal-scorer) SHOULD sound like:
REPORTER: Great goal, how do you feel?
SCORER: Over the moon… I hit the ball, the ball hit the back of the net and the rest is history.
REPORTER: I bet you and the boys will be celebrating tonight?
SCORER: We’ll have a few beers, yeah.
Now let me compare that with random quotes from the American post match interview:
LANDON DONOVAN: “I’ve been on a long journey, for the last four years…”
AMERICAN REPORTER: “What does it say about the player you’ve become, and the leader you’ve become, that you were able to pull this off …?”
LANDON DONOVAN: “People who know me closest, know how hard I have worked for this moment…”
I don’t know if I can really explain this properly but football is a very complex thing. It is both a religion AND a solid, no bullshit, working class game – where men talk like men and scoring a goal is poetic enough, without poncey sentiment and navel-gazing. The post-match reaction should not sound like an Oscars acceptance speech, or an endorsement of football as “therapy”.
Remember: Nothing introspective, no long words, no sentiment and don’t thank God (or your parents). Ball in net, men glad, drink beer.
You’re not in Hollywood now, Team USA.