So. Would you do it over if you could? Knowing what you know now, would you go back and prevent the best day of your life if you thought the rest of it would turn out better than it has? How certain would you have to be? We all get so few genuine triumphs in our lives— is it really worth cheating ourselves out of one for some postulated reward? How do you explain it to your past self? Would you even owe your past self an explanation?
The past 50 years in English football have been marked by an interminable failure to live up to lofty explanations. They won it once, and it should’ve been more than once, and it hasn’t. Whether it’s just barely missing out on another final in 1990 or not even qualifying in 1974 and 1978, the overarching theme for England has been the same: “not good enough.”
There are some who would consider trading that sunny, glorious day in 1966 for something more sustainable in the 50 years since. It was, for many, the greatest day of their lives. Would they really take that away from everyone?