A National Tragedy

Last night we went to my friend Stephanie's house and after dinner watched the rugby match together, along with 20 million other people in living rooms all over France. Not only was this a match that filled the country with hope, but – as Dave told me – it’s one that, deep down for the public confidence, the French needed to win. Les Bleus played well and led almost the entire match. But sadly, just like in the World Cup four years ago - when the final whistle sounded they had lost to England. When it was over Sebastien Chabal, the enormous, bearded rugbyman who has become the pride of all France, knelt on the field and cried.

Like Stephanie I was just waiting for the match to end so we could all eat some dessert with our husbands. Everyone else, however, had little appetite. Jille (all 6’6” of him) kept saying “C’est fini, c’est vraiment fini” (“It’s over. It’s really over.”). Pierre (wearing glasses in the photo) kept saying a lot of bad words and Fabienne, Jille’s wife (in the red), just kept saying “Can’t we just beat them once when it matters? Why is it always the English?” Dave, in his broken French, just kept saying “I am very sad”. Only I think it sounded like the equivalent of “I vewy said”. It added to the somber, pathetic mood that permeated the room for several hours afterward.

Turns out Dave and his friends aren’t the only ones feeling sad. The whole country is devastated. The Paris bureau chief of the Times of London said:

The English destroy the dream of an entire nation. So said the headline in le Parisien this morning after England ejected France from the rugby world cup in a semi-final that had stirred a wave of patriotic hope.

Click on the link and you’ll read that the country is in such a funk that tomorrow the president, a huge rugby fan, is expected to announce he has separated from his wife. Who says the French don’t care about their sports?

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home