Every four years, at a pre-determined location, the world gathers to feast on a celebration of culture and sport. The stage is built higher than any other in existence. The biggest show on earth, they say, is ready to begin again.
Every day, the location is spontaneous. Three, four, maybe five gather, hoping beyond hope that the last member of their group turns up with the most prized asset of all, tucked under their arm. When the ball is spotted from a distance they know the puzzle is almost complete. History tells them not to celebrate too early, for confirmation is still needed that, for once, the group won’t be forced to search the earth for a pump to resurrect the centrepiece of their evening’s entertainment. When that confirmation comes, a collective sigh of relief can be heard for miles. The biggest show on earth, to them, is ready to begin again.
Every four years, the lights are brighter, and the boots are lighter; the fireworks are louder, and the players are prouder. The analysts have promised that your side is on course to do all the winning. For a brief few weeks, fans feel like the world has stopped spinning.
Every day, the world refuses to stop. Our gathered group must escape from its axis on their own, with precision and stealth. They know their time is limited before they are summoned home with a reckless disregard for what they want, and so they must be quick. No time for walks down a tunnel, or coins to be tossed. No time for anthems to be sung, or for any adverts to be watched. Teams must be decided at a brutal pace, with two captains picking, until one, normally the youngest, head bowed, is left standing. There is no sulking, no performance for the crowd. If he is wise, he will cement his place in future teams by quickly, and unreservedly, offering his services in goal.
Every four years, the sound is deafening, a noise that represents the removal of individuals, and the creation of a collective. The constant hum you hear is a rotating signal of a mass of frustration and desperation; expectancy, and when glory finally comes, sheer ecstasy. A note of caution: the mass can be your friend, or your worst enemy, but regardless, they cannot be ignored, and must be treated with respect.
Every day, in this game the voice of the individual is key. Instructions, and commands flow from the mouths of every participant. The specifics may not be clear or coherent, but that doesn’t matter, because the intent always is. A note of caution: the owner of the ball can be your friend, or your worst enemy, but regardless, they cannot be ignored, and must be treated with respect.
INTRODUCING THE NIKE ENGLAND WORLD CUP 2014 HOME KIT.
Earlier today, Nike unveiled the new England home and away kits which have been created with a focus on the cultural details and and the best in performance innovation. The kits will be worn in Brazil over the summer and it’ll debuted at the friendly game against Peru on 30th May. According to Nike Football’s Global Design Director, there are two key references that stood out in the design process for this kit; the armour and the stunning all white kit worn at Mexico 1970.
He says “Designing the kits for the country that invented the game was a real honor for our design team. We wanted to pay homage to key moments in England’s proud footballing history.”
There are a lot subtle little changes that refer to the armour theme, like the pinstripe which carries a hint of shine and the white satin tape on the shoulders. Details are everything in this kit. Martin adds “We wanted to add some small detail that echoed the glow of the armour worn by St George.”
As always the famous three lions crest is the central focus with a metallic weave added to create another shimmering effect, most noticeable when the crest catches the light.
The 1970 inspiration can be seen clearly when you view the full kit. The shorts also have the satin tape to continue the shimmering effect.
Every four years, there is a lull in play, as a player rolls around on the turf in agony, whilst a physio attempts to perform a miracle caused by what looks to the naked eye, and what experts call, minimal contact. During this break, other players will take a moment to look around, and take in their environment. Their eyes notice a sea of adulation – wrapped in scarves, hats, and flags – engulfs them, as their brains try to comprehend how all they ever dreamed of has finally come true.
Every day, there is a lull in play. The ball has flown over a fence and two players are engrossed in an argument as to who was responsible, and subsequently who should retrieve it. The remaining players use this as an opportunity to look around and take in their environment. Where others might see concrete, traffic, and years of financial and social neglect, they see thousands of screaming fans and admirers around them. They see themselves in the centre of a story far bigger than themselves. They see the crowd, and they hear the chants, with each chant just ever so slightly different in the minds eye of each individual, ensuring that their names are it’s lyrical focus. Reality is irrelevant.
Every four years, the pace is unrelenting.
Every day, the pace is unrelenting.
Ever four years, a group of players perform a perfectly executed celebration that shows off the culture and heritage of the nation they represent. This celebration will normally come from a side for whom scoring goals is not a regular event. Fans of other countries will marvel at this spectacle, whilst the fans of the country in question will quietly wonder what part of training they skipped to choreograph this.
Every day, a player feels that a poorly constructed astro turf is the perfect place to show off the knee slide celebration they have been working on in their bedroom. They are wrong. Equally wrong is the bravest of souls who attempts the holy grail of playground manoeuvres: the bicycle kick. Regardless of whether the action actually leads to the sound of his boot touching leather, he will be rightly praised and lauded. The next day he will raise his shoulders to an adoring crowd, to show off his bruises, in the same way one would lift a trophy. The scars and bruises do not signal failure, but in their minds they have created something that places them on par with the heroes on their TV set. The scars will heal, but deep down, does he want them to? In the future it will act as a reminder that at one point, without dispute, he was King.
Every four years, as they have very little control of over the preceding event, the interest of billions of followers is fuelled by the most poisonous of emotions: hope.
“This time will be different”
“That was then, this is now”
“Experience will see us through”
“It’s our turn”
But, whatever they tell themselves, they are still filled with the dread of inevitability.
Every day, our group needs no such emotion to survive. Their needs are minimal, and unlike almost all other aspects of their day-to-day lives, their control over their environment is maximal. They understand it. They can shape it. The kick-about ancestors placed the sacred law, next goal wins, firmly and without debate into the constitution to ensure that the outcome would never be more important than the journey.
Every fours years, we are made to believe that football has gone to a distant land, scared and alone. And, to combat this, as one nation we come together, and adopt our roles. Some wear scarves. Others display flags. Many where shirts, and most pray to a God they haven’t spoken to in four years, pleading and bargaining with Him, asking what they can give of themselves in exchange for one more moment of unrelenting joy. Just. One. More. Goal. And finally, together in unison, with our hearts in our mouths, we use our voices to passionately and loudly implore football to return home. We do this forgetting about what goes on every day. We forget the cages on every estate, the walls pounded daily with the repetitive thud of a ball, and the sound of playful mocking that can be heard on pitches large and small, as the ball travels through the inadvertent parting of a players legs, as the culprit briefly feels the word nutmeg burned into his or her very soul.
Every four years football need not come home, because it never leaves.
Where the ball is, football is. Where the shirt is, football is. All day. Every day.
The models are wearing the Nike Football England World Cup Home Kit available now at www.nike.com