Brexit Part Deux: England Fans Flood Social Media Lamenting Tournament Exit

Getty Images

Shock and anguish as the English make an unceremonious "exit" from Europe for the second time in a week.

The English are finding that history repeats itself, once as tragedy, twice as farce. The decision to vote itself out of the European Union, otherwise known as Brexit, was the tragedy given the subsequent economic meltdown. The farce came on Monday as the national soccer team was unceremoniously dumped out of the Euro 2016 championships by lowly Iceland.

The remarkable double of leaving Europe twice in a week led to an outpouring of rage, anguish and gallows humor on social media as England fans, as well as their European rivals, dissected what was a momentous shock result.

The Guardian's Barney Ronay described the 2-1 loss to Iceland as "one of the great English sporting failures, defeat so abject it qualifies as a kind of uber-loss, humiliation that will sting even through the scar tissue of all that accumulated tournament failure." And people on Twitter very much agreed with him.

To put Iceland's victory into perspective, it is the equivalent of the U.S. national basketball team, with all its highly paid NBA stars, losing in the Olympics to Uruguay. Iceland's team is drawn from a population of 330,000 (that's less than Cleveland), so the country understandably went wild with excitement at the achievements of their team, with the Icelandic TV commentator in particular losing himself in the moment. 

After England voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, there has been talk of the U.K. breaking up with pro-EU Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland breaking away. Well, any faint hopes of familial solidarity for the English wasn't evident during the Iceland game from the Welsh team, who celebrated at the final whistle as though they had won themselves.

As John Oliver said, it's been quite a week for the English, but they can console themselves with some positive results at the Wimbledon tennis tournament which started this week. Andy Murray will surely be one of the favorites and a victory will soothe the pain ... oh, wait — isn't he Scottish?