It's rarely fun being an England sports fan (with the exception of today's Rugby Union team who scraped a win over Australia mostly our teams disappoint). The current football world cup provides yet another opportunity for an England team to counter our excessively high expectations.
I'm sure someone else has mentioned it, but the whole event (indeed perhaps sport itself) seems to me to serve as a social object: it gives us an excuse to interact with each other when we wouldn't otherwise: it provides the essential lubrication of our social world, whether or not you understand the Offside Rule or not.
So far in the last few weeks I've conversed with taxi drivers in 5 countries about it, florists & fishmongers, bank clerks and (of course) clients. Good or bad, the antics of the likes of Rooney give us something to talk about and share. And whether we win or lose, that's the real truth behind former Liverpool Manager Bill Shankly's oft-quoted "Football's not a matter of life and death; it's more important than that". It's about us, ultimately.