As the World Cup heads into quarterfinals, many Americans have already lost interest after the disappointing defeat of their team during the round of 16. But it’s been a far rougher road for English fans of the game. In the country where the rules of football were written and the sport is of broad national interest, it’s no understatement to say almost all of England is still licking its wounds from a stunning 4-1 defeat at the hands of Germany.
It wasn’t even “close but no cigar”, and that’s why the English are freaking out about a photo leaked of England’s soccer team post-defeat smoking cigars and drinking beer among smiling teammates.
We understand England’s frustration with their extremely well-paid soccer celebrities, but come on, give them a break! With the weight of an entire country on their shoulders and a humiliating defeat to deal with, they deserve to smoke and drink some of that stress away. The sports stereotype of a cigar signaling victory seems to have gotten the better of the populace, who seem to not realize the cigar’s utility during defeat. Us stogie lovers know a cigar is just as appropriate to celebrate with as it is to subdue the sting of failure.
At least someone getting press for celebrating their World Cup victory with a cigar — though predictably it’s a story related to indoor smoking bans. When Argentinian coach Diego Maradona entered the press room after defeating Mexico 3-1 last Sunday, he arrived in a cloud of smoke, with a fat, lit cigar hanging victoriously from his mouth. A media officer wasted no time in insisting he stub it out. He obliged, not wanting to spoil his opportunity to wax ecstatic on the team’s win. We hope it wasn’t a terribly expensive cigar, though if Argentina can go on to win the Cup I’m sure they’ll have a few boxes coming their way.