What do these things have in common? Let's revisit a Kirsty MacColl classic, "England 2, Colombia 0," from her final album, 2000's Tropical Brainstorm, and find out. Set against the backdrop of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, "England 2, Colombia 0" finds MacColl in a pub, on a date to watch the World Cup. Her date's mates appear to be there as well. A bold move on his part, considering what ensues.
Oh you shouldn't have kissed me and got me so excited; And when you asked me out I really was delighted; So we went to a pub in Belsize Park; And we cheered on England as the sky grew dark; Oh you shouldn't have kissed me 'cause you started a fire; But then I found out that you're a serial liar
MacColl then launches into a chorus about what an asshole this guy turns out to be. It's magnificent:
You lied about your status; You lied about your life; You never mentioned your three children; And the fact you have a wife; Now it's England 2 Colombia 0; And I know just how those Colombians feel
MacColl's penchant for giving us songs about "the inadequacies of men" as "a recurring theme of her writing from first to last" is featured in this 2018 article from The Guardian about "England 2, Colombia 0," by writer Michael Hann. I will leave a discussion about the effect her lyrics may or may not have had on my psyche during my formative years for a later date.
Our improbable hero shows up in verse 2, and I'm going to let his actions speak for themselves:
If you hadn't passed out while I was talking to your friend; It could have really ended badly 'cause you very nearly had me; If he hadn't taken pity on my heart full of desire; I might never have found out you're a serial liar
Listen, knowing your friend is an asshole and loving them anyway is already a journey for heroes and the steel-hearted. But not letting your friend actually BE an asshole? Stepping in, stopping something that's wrong; calling them out when they say assholey things? That's the type of hero we need to see more often.
To bring this full-circle to this year's World Cup, we could also use more heroes like the goalie of Argentina's World Cup-winning team, Emiliano Martinez. I care nothing for sportsball in general, but what an inspiring story!