You may have heard England's hopes and dreams were extinguished again, as they always are every four years. Like a too-hopeful Sisyphus, England is doomed forever to just...about...get that rock to something looking like success...before it rolls right back down. Too bad: for England.
For the rest of us, that's just wonderful. England is the Notre Dame or New York Knicks of soccer: convinced of a glorious history that isn't quite as glorious open closer inspection; convinced that this glorious history entitles them to a glorious future. So it's a real pleasure to see the tabloids react in force...No, it's a lame reaction.
Too bad. However, there are several possible stops on the wonderful schadenfreude express. To wit, here are the possible stops in the next year or so:
July Sometime: New York Knicks strike out on 'Bron/Wade/Bosh; settle for Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire. The question here is how much spin will we get? Will we get writers halfheartedly talking themselves into the era? Or will the New York media go into full rip mode? I'm eager to find out.
Sometime next fall: The inevitable Notre Dame flameout. Other amusing possibilities: the possible USC flameout, the possible Dallas Cowboys flameout, the possible Indianapolis Colts flameout. Off the Board, Sadly: The possible Vikings flameout. Toby Gerhart has gone to Minnesota to redeem Brett Favre's sins.
Sometime next spring: The highly-probable Los Angeles Lakers flameout, the hopefully possible Duke Blue Devil flameout.
The shame of being a fan of the schadenfreude is what if they actually succeed. Let's say, for example, LeBron actually does sign with the Knicks. The gloating would be unbearable and annoying, particularly because every New Yorker you know will be talking about how awesome New York is, etc., etc. as if the rest of the country wasn't aware New York had such a high regard for itself. Fortunately this is one of the more likely (and amusing) stops on the schadenfreude express. While the yearly Notre Dame flameout is inevitable, it is unfortunately less entertaining year after year because gradually people have begun to catch on. Ah, well, there are always great figures to take pleasure in their failures.