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Georgia, Georgia, the whole day through

14/09/2012

Ich bin verpflichtet, meinen alten Freund und Kollegen, Herrn Holzbrücke, für den heutigen Eintrag. I am beholden to my old colleague and friend, Mr. Woodbridge, for providing the raw material for today’s entry.

On Tuesday evening, another round of early qualifying skirmishes for the 2014 FIFA World Cup took place. England was lucky to convert an 87th-minute penalty (a miracle in itself) and draw 1-1 at home to Ukraine. Spain was playing Georgia, and scraped a 1-0 victory away from home after some heroic defending by their opponents. That’s Georgia, as in the Caucasus, as in ancient Colchis (land of the Golden Fleece), as in birthplace of Stalin, as in proudly independent since 1991, as in the Rose Revolution, as in aspiring to membership of the EU and NATO, as in producer of wines, as in uneasy relationship with the Russian Federation.

Not according to ESPN, the TV channel which describes itself with engaging modesty as “The Worldwide Leader in Sports”. According to that little flag down there, ESPN seemed to think that Spain had been playing the US state of Georgia. That’s Georgia as in Gone with the Wind, Jimmy Carter, The Dukes of Hazzard, Ray Charles, R.E.M., Coca Cola, the Masters Tournament and Gainesville (“Poultry Capital of the World”). It’s a mistake anyone could make.As with almost anything, there’s an apposite XKCD to enjoy, but with the sublimest synchronicity this one just happened to appear the very next day.

Here, for future reference, is the austerely handsome flag of Georgia, the country:

TRIVIA NOTE: Although it is (US) Georgia’s official state song, Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell didn’t write Georgia on my Mind for the state, but for Hoagy’s sister.

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