They have a couple of newish things, with these 4 flags that get stretched out, and (the one I like the best) the "matchball" sitting on a pedestal, waiting for the referee to pick it up whilst passing.
Every time I watch, I wish, fervently, that he's going to forget it, or knock it over and have to go chasing it..but - till now - nothing of the sort!
The other thing I like and enjoy are the National Anthems, not particularly the way the players sing them, because I think they are all tone deaf, but the best one's are the one's noticable by their absence.
The Russian power - the Scottish melody - the Welsh leaky, the Irish danny, and don't wait to see the Spanish players singing - their National Anthem hasn't got any text...! The Spanish one always seems to me to be a sort of mixture between "Oh Danny Boy" and "Charlie is me darling" maybe that's why there is no text, they simply couldn't make up their mind!
I used to know why it's called "America" but age and memory has , I suffer - like my PC from "memory holes"- I'll have to "Google" it again!
The American anthem always disappoints somehow, "Star Spangled Banner" sounds more like an advert for Mars Bars or Hershey, maybe they should have spent more time considering their choice, but I suppose, at the time (just a couple of centuries ago, really) they didn't know what a band of rebellious people were actually doing!
Another Anthem which always surprises me is the German one. After all that happened, one would have thought the Germans would have changed everything, not just the text. Even now I'm never too sure what they (at least some of them) are really singing, although I speak and understand their language - better than a Bavarian!
I know that most British and French of a certain age are always highly suspicious when they start up.......Mind you, they are not dying, just "fading away".
Of course, the stirring French anthem recalls (particularly at the moment) what happens when every Citizen is the boss.....but: All in all, an interesting start to each event, in comparison to the ending, when the losers creep away with heads down - off to a corner - to eat worms, and the winners dance around like they had achieved something!
Maybe somebody should come up with a sort of "closing ritual" to be done after each match.
In ancient times, the conqueror had the right to see the defeated, down on all fours, in front of him, and often - nasty things happened.....!
Wait a minute - that sounds like what happens right now........!