England vs Germany 2010 FIFA World Cup
Review: The Lone Ranger
England vs. Germany 2010 FIFA World Cup BBC coverage followed England through a fractured path of memories as they tried to work out what on earth was happening to them. One moment they were on African soil, the next heading for Heathrow Airport. They were a team adrift, trying to stay awake as they stumbled towards failure. Behind them and before, the memories of England's hopes forever denied. I remembered a childhood kicking balls around the park as I watched, a pint of bitter at the local, a death of innocence, a choke in the throat.
The start was weak, the pace lacking, the tension high. And for a moment towards the middle of the game , where often the narrative arc flags unsure of itself and how to bridge the start and finish, the game came to life. But in a cruel plot twist the knife was unveiled and the heart of England diced and served as a starter to the German's coming feast. After that the memory of England as a first class team receded as the programme unfolded. With it went part of England's identity – their link with where they've come from, their connection to the past.
And of finding and losing the ball.
"Where’s the England I’ve known? Where am I? We’ve vanished," cried one fan towards the end.
The coverage weaved around wooden one dimensional characters and although told with a great love and tenderness for the game it was dipped in sadness, frustration, disbelief. The commentary was excellent, the game heart wrenching and mysterious. At the end the BBC took all England's past failures, their hurt and their love, and buried the manager and players in scorn so that their defeat was set hard in cold blocks to stand as a warning to future viewers: Support England at your peril.
Photo credit: e-magic