A Wager Between Two Powers

With the World Cup upon us, everyone is beginning to get excited.  Some of the most excited, though, are the American and English ambassadors, who have started a bet with one another.

In an email exchange that was just made public, the ambassadors have put a steak dinner on the line; loser pays.  Apparently Phillip Breen, a spokesperson for the American Embassy to the U.K., is said to have been the one to initiate the exchange between the two.

The two countries have a long World Cup history.  The last time they met each other was in the 1950 game, where the U.S. pulled off an amazing one to nothing win against the English that has been called “the Miracle on the Grass” ever since.  Since the English were bested last time and have had to wait very long to compete with the U.S. again, and the U.S. wants to maintain its winning record, both countries want this win badly.

In Breen’s initial email he jokingly said, “We will understand if you decline, given the outcome of the last such encounter.”  In response, the English Embassy quickly accepted the bet, adding, “The British Ambassador does not anticipate paying out.”

As the emails were exchanged back and forth, the dialog became a battle of wits and joking jabs at the other country.  The English made sure to mention that, “The history of English football is long and extensive, in contradistinction to U.S. soccer.”  The American Embassy retorted with, “It is true that our soccer (a fine English word we have kindly preserved for you) history is not as long and illustrious as yours. However, as your generals noted during WWII, we have a unique capability for quickly identifying and advancing talent.”

The two teams will meet this Saturday, both hungry for a win, and with ambassadors cheering them on, hungry for a meal.

As the email exchange died down, the British Embassy made sure to get one last comment in, saying, “The Ambassador takes his steak like American soccer victories – somewhat rare.”

It’s safe to say that these games have always brought the world together to celebrate the globally recognized sport.  And even though there are two countries who have started their feud early on, it’s all in good fun and will perhaps set the scene for the next steak dinner sometime in the future.

To read the original article, please go to http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2010/06/world-cup-wager-tests-ukus-special-friendship.html

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