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Fluff from the Front Lines: The Surrealist’s Guide to Euro 2016

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It's time for Euro 2016, and plenty of places will be looking to give you the full rundown of all the groups, teams, players, and odds. This isn't one of them.

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Group A
Manifesto
⚜ of ⚜
Euro 2016

Life trends towards death; sport towards disappointment. Such is its way. Four years waiting for a coronation that in the end might take a month, two hours, and then is gone forever. Four years to wait for three hopeless games. A ball kicked about on a field, a distraction from the march of entropy extracting a lifetime of effort and dedication from its practitioners. And for them, a decade and it's gone; a tournament and they’re gone.

Yet the distraction is necessary. The transient nature of distraction, of our distraction, can serve to undermine its palliative effects, yet we resist. We embrace its transience. There will be a lifetime for that moment to be gone, but while it is not yet it remains a dream. And in a dream a coronation is not a coronation. In a dream three games matter. This summer, the roses may yet bloom blue and the trees be made of gently chiming glass. The roses may yet bloom blue.

Group B

"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our game, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches of Marseille, we shall fight in Lens, we shall fight in the fields of Saint-Etienne. We shall never surrender. And if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island were to stumble we know even our attempts to shoehorn Wayne Rooney into the starting eleven by any means won’t stop us qualifying for the knockout rounds such is the state of our group, and that in God’s good time that striker, with all his power and might, will step forth to rescue us and our great cause."

—Roy Hodgson
Group C

Group D

As you climb north into the Pyrenees, there lies Canfranc. The husk of a more refined age; an age devoted to the great conqueror steam, to men in their tailored suits and ladies in their finery. To unimaginable grandeur and the wealth of old kings, kings who can never be allowed to die though their grip may fade and wither, a husk turned to ash to sand to memories of a more refined age. Sleek steel and leaded crystal filled high with gold and red still traverse a continent, unstoppable become memories. Their time is gone; already past. The king’s grip fades, his fingers become ash become sand. As you climb north into the Pryenees, there is the husk of a more refined age, and no Dinaric general nor Ottoman upstart has found a way to breach what walls remain.

Group E

Genesis 1 (KZV)

1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
3And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
4And God said, Let there be Zlatan: and there was Zlatan.
5And God saw the Zlatan, that it was good at football.
6And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let man love football as Zlatan loves football.
7So God created man to love football as He loved football, but God could never be as good at football as Zlatan; and so Zlatan was alone and afeared knowing only goal differential would grant him advancement to the knockout rounds from third.

Group F

Genesis 1 (KRV)

1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
3And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
4And God said, Let there be Ronaldo: and there was Ronaldo.
5And God saw the Ronaldo, that it was good at football.
6And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let man love football as Ronaldo loves football, but also let them be just a little better at it than We are so that Ronaldo at least is not alone.
7So God created man to love football as He loved football, but to be slightly better at it than Him; and so Ronaldo was not quite so alone as Zlatan and also God put Ronaldo in the weakest group to be sure but Ronaldo got distracted looking at his face in the waters and judgement came in the Round of 16.