You Should Try | Cheering for the other team

It’s coming to that point in the year when the sports are gearing up. What with the football world cup on the horizon, the winter Olympics shortly, and the just gone Super Bowl (or Superb Owl) there’s a few to choose from- and of course Wimbledon. This week I did something different.

"Cheering for the Other Team" header image with the countries and their logos

Come on you teals!

As you may know I work in call centre like scenario, Vox Pro. If your Latin is any good, or you’re just familiar with media terms you’ll have noticed the similarities to the termĀ vox populi. Which is Latin for “Voice of the people”. Vox Pro specialises with multi lingual support across multiple countries.

That all means that my bus ride to work, dinning hall when I eat lunch, and everything related to work has tens of accents and languages mixed in. It’s a wonderful experience I can’t recommend highly enough. My work bestie, who I’ll call Frenchie (her own name for herself and you know privacy) is as you may have guessed French. We eat lunch and and take breaks together- including poor attempts of chess!

Come on you Roses… or not…

So when last week she extended an invitation to me I was unsure if to accept. She had a few friends from Paris over, timed perfectly for the first French match of the Six Nations. If you’re not familiar with the Six Nations it’s when the six northern hemisphere countries get together to play rugby. Currently that’s;

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Italy

It had previously been just the first four, then the first five and now it’s all six. They play against each other, a match each, then the four with the most points faces off.

Being in Ireland means that I felt a bit sheepish about supporting England. Let’s face it the track record for England here isn’t exactly great. True I’ve only had one person be threatening over my Englishness but I didn’t particularly feel the need to test those boundaries. When dearest Fenchie, and her two friends, invited me to watch the game and cheer for France I was rather excited.

Come on you Blues!

I’ve never cheered on a team that wasn’t explicitly my own before. I know there are those “Last man standing” competitions but they never really interested me. Stepping into the bar I was a cautious. This was France vs Ireland but thankfully at the bar Frenchie had chosen there was a strong representation of both.

Over the next hour and a bit I learnt chants in French. I travelled with my friends elations and sunk with their last minute woes. It was interesting to explain to a French Canadian how the game worked as he’d never watched rugby before. Tweeting and conversing about how game was thrilling- but neither team were that polished.

For the French at least they had been thrown together at the last minute as rugby teams go. Generally these teams are cohesive block of tactics, knowing how and when to rely on each other. The French, and the Irish, were sloppy and at times self centred. There were multiple occasions when passing would have been logical to keep possession- but no. Maybe I just prefer a team that keeps the ball moving then expecting the small incremental movements that come with ramming head first into a wall of men?

Either way- I would totally recommend trying this out. Either with the upcoming world cup with a “last man standing” thing yourself, or just picking a team you’ve never really thought much about. Both are great starting points!

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