A Day of Three Draws
Of all the nauseating possibilities that could transpire tomorrow, there is one that stimulates the vomit reflex more than most. England are a couple of plausible results away from handing their fate to the drawing of lots.
I’m not really sure what a lot looks like. I presume similar to a straw. Straws are meant for slurping strawberry milkshakes. You wouldn’t want your progression in an international tournament to depend on one.
Last time the evil lot wormed its way into the World Cup story was in 1990 when Ireland and Holland finished up their group with identical records. But it represented a scene of only moderate peril. Both teams had already qualified, the draw was to discover second round opponents.
I can’t recall how the result was advertised to a world without internet and rolling news, but you would suspect that coverage would be more intense this time around.
Particularly if Sky Sports News start sniffing around. Without live footage the network has been watching the competition at the same distance of a henpecked husband through the window of Dixons on his wife’s shopping trip. Attempts to piece together the scraps to create something resembling excitement have included broadcasting newsflashes to tell us that there is some news. It’s the televisual equivalent of mad cow disease.
The Sky producers will be gurning with anticipation at the action leaving the stadium and heading towards some office. No-one films admin like Sky Sports. Hospital appointments, disciplinary hearings, they are superb at pointing cameras at people leaving buildings. If a draw does eventuate then we can expect lengthy profiles of the onlooking officials, analysis of the straws, and Alan Mullery holding forth on Sepp Blatter’s face.
I sort of hope it happens now.