Just look at this shit. A beautiful touch by Tottenham’s Mousa Dembélé to slice through Sunderland’s midfield. A completely hopeless and reckless leg-smasher of a tackle by Jack Rodwell in response to Dembélé’s skill. And somehow, despite standing three feet away with a perfect view of the clattering, a referee who chooses not to show Rodwell a red card:
It’s a hypnotic melding of opposing forces, this—of beauty and ugliness, of skill and brutishness, of the sophisticated and the base. Such shamelessness to straight karate kick a guy’s shin right in front of the ref! Such numbness to violence like this to see the tackle and think, Eh, pretty bad, yeah, but I’ve seen worse: this is a yellow! And this isn’t even unique!
England is something else. Something dumb and something great.