I'm talking about hubby and me and our transatlantic relationship which survived a challenge on Friday when England drew with the US in the World Cup. The most heated clash since Bunker Hill, according to the Wall Street Journal. Steady on. Today the US were playing Iran and England playing Wales at the same time, so we had a couple of screens going and fortunately were able to yell for the same sides. (Sorry, Wales and Iran).
I am pleasantly surprised at how things have progressed here. When I first came to the US I seriously wondered if I could live in a country where our local paper referred to the World Cup as the Men's World Soccer Championship and gave it about three lines at the bottom of page six. But now they're covering it on two mainstream TV channels - and yes, they showed the England match too. And they cut to shots of American fans celebrating wildly in a bar - it could almost have been London. I noticed some of the fans wielding banners proclaiming "It's Called Soccer". And there's a whole TV commercial, starring David Beckham, devoted to the subject. Of course Americans call football soccer, to differentiate it from the weird game where beefy hunks in helmets and huge shoulder pads do little else but charge manically at each other for a few seconds, then stand around waiting for the TV commercials and hardly ever actually kick a ball.
I'm also pleasantly surprised by the American commentators, who are far more diligent about telling you what's actually happening on the pitch than their blase British counterparts. It's called the zeal of the convert. But they did go a bit overboard when Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, aka Captain America, who's had a bit more experience of the Beautiful Game, as played across the pond, than most of his confreres, got a nasty blow to his tummy while scoring the one American goal. He sacrificed himself, they gasped dramatically, nobly taking a fearsome injury for the good of the team and the glory of his country. Welcome to real football, chaps.