England vs. Slovenia: Old Blighty breathes a sigh of relief
The entire nation seemed to breathe a sigh of relief today as England advanced to the second round of the World Cup after outlasting Slovenia, 1-0.
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The local supermarket chain Tesco appointed a “World Cup champion” at all its stores, part of whose job was to co-ordinate shifts so that any of its 280,000 workers determined to watch the game could do so, and also communicating all important match information to the rest of the staff. And schools across the UK let students off early so they too could join in and watch.Skip to next paragraph
Gallery Top 2010 World Cup controversies
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Back at the pub, as fans fell into the streets blowing vuvuzelas (yes, they've come to England, too) and hoisting the cross of St. George flag at the final whistle, discussion soon turned to how Team England had actually managed to pull it off.
Was it the talent or the all-red uniform?
Perhaps, someone suggested, it was the lucky all-red uniform worn by the team – a uniform in which they have been undefeated over history, bar once against Brazil.
“I feel it was that. That was the deciding factor,” says Denise Bridger, a science teacher.
Or maybe, weighed in the London Times, the team was helped by being shown live on the BBC which, according to a close statistical analysis, boasts a 62 percent win record when televising England World Cup games.
In contrast, since 1982, England has had a mere 30 percent win rate when their matches have been on ITV.
Talent, take note, was not much of a topic.
“We should have won 4-0, to be honest,” admits Bridger. “But then again, we made it…and we could still turn it all around and go all the way.”
Up raises his eyebrows. “All the way,” he repeats and gives a holler. "England all the way!!"
World Cup 101:
- World Cup 101: How does the tournament work?
- World Cup 101: Why is the World Cup such a big deal?
- World Cup 101: Why is the World Cup in South Africa?
- World Cup 101: Is South Africa really prepared to host the World Cup?
- World Cup 101: Who’s favored to win it all?