That annual event in the calendar has come around once again, Wales –v- England in the Six Nations rugby tournament. As an Englishman living in Wales this has a particular significance to me as I have been immersed in the build-up for the last few weeks (but for some that began with the final whistle last year!).
As in most years it is my intention to watch the match in the village pub. Now comes the risk assessment. As probably THE only Englishman in the pub, proudly wearing my England shirt singling me out as a point of focus, what risks does this present?
PHYSICAL RISK? DEFINITELY NOT
The nature of rugby supporters mean that I have no fears of being made to ‘apprehend immediate unlawful personal violence’ (see legal definition for assault). But there are other things to be considered…
FINANCIAL RISK? YES
The evening will no doubt begin with various wagers being made and a defeat for England will inevitably result in me making frequent visits to the bar. No longer can I plead lack of cash as the landlord has kindly installed a card reader.
REPUTATIONAL RISK? ABSOLUTELY
A relatively narrow defeat for England will result in those mocking comments and looks of superiority. But a thrashing such as in 2013 results in the crossing of an invisible boundary and the mocking comments actually turn to pity, with a shaking of the head and a friendly arm around the shoulders.
So having identified the risks, how do I mitigate them? A smile on my face and a pocket full of cash should cover all eventualities.
COME ON ENGLAND!