As an England football fan, I’m well used to the national mood swings that ebb and flow with the fortunes of my country’s team at major tournaments. For a youthful supporter in 1990 and 1996, glorious semi-final runs have defined my recollections of those entire summers.
Equally, the catastrophic capitulation to Germany in 2010 and numerous penalty shootout fiascos are recalled much less fondly.
Either way, something I had usually taken for granted was that every few years I could expect the England team to compete on a major international stage and - for a few weeks - it felt like the whole country was in it together.
Win or lose and whether the failure was triumphant or abject, there was always something comforting about the collective, patriotic experience.
Having moved to the United States a couple of years ago, it quickly struck me that American sports fans have never experienced anything like it. FULL POST