Someone once told me that I use the word ‘excruciating’ way too much. Of course I protested until I realized I was in fact going to use it here. Really though, that is not just a word I use lightly, but simply because it paints a picture not enough paint brushes could ever portray.
One of my many moms (don’t ask) often say it’s because I feel things way too deep – open for debate, however, I will confess that when a man (or woman) in Green and Gold (or Liverpool and often Bulls) lose an all, but important game I weep with them. I remember this horrible feeling twice this year alone; the time Graeme Smith side lost a unlosable quarter-finals to Black Caps in India; when an over-confident Bok side gave a World-Cup away. 2010 was no different.
I wept silly when Bafana Bafana lost to Uruguay in Loftus. Okay, no one really expected Carlos Santana’s boys to go past the South Americans. It was (however) the manner of that shattering night that out did me.
I am latent person, which means the water works doesn’t usually come until the next day, while everyone has moved on to the next, the sad news will sink in and all hell break loose.
That feeling would return once again. My first time watching Austin Smith and his side live diddn’t go as I had hoped. I’m ashamed to admit that I don’t own a top that says ‘Team SA’, so going to support the other Proteas – Hockey – I knew I was not going to be completely satisfied with what I was wearing.
I am that person who will frown at you for showing up at a rugby match in your football replica (and vice-versa). Let me apologize now. Anyhow, as I was parking I saw little to nobody wearing what I had on (obviously these people know what a drag-flick is). Since it was fifteen minutes before kick-off, I had to stick it out.
So there in my Boks jersey I made my way to the box and by half-time I knew my heart will be doing one or two things. Fall into little pieces or jump outta my chest with pride. With 30 seconds left on the clock my little heart was doing the former. For my beloved have just lost – to India – one of the most important matches of their lives; an Olympic qualifier.
After putting together a title-winning first-half to lead the eight-time Olympic gold medalists 2-1 in the semifinals of the Champions Challenge, I haven’t got a cooking clue how the 10th ranked team came back to win it 4-2. In essence robbing South Africa the match they needed to book their spots to the 2012 Olympics.
It was painful to endure and after listening and watching a gutted Smith, I simply did what I usually do. What I did when John Smit lost his 100th test cap match. No, not rush home and write a blog about it, that comes after, but simply make a trip to MacDonald’s for a McFlurry. It changes nothing, but its awesome mixed with a couple of tears.
I haven’t cried yet, that will come tomorrow when I read all the reports of how this was SA’s match to win. How we dominated. When the stats shows we had it in the bag. That’s when it’ll all but sink in. That sickening feeling I will describe ‘excruciating’…
All is not lost for Gregg Clark’s brave SAffers though. Come April/May and they’ll be off to Japan for yet another chance to book those Olympics tickets. Nothing gets one fired up like a ‘should have been’. So this is me trying to look on the bright side and hoping this sad loss – though we wish differently – is all this young side need to ‘Moer Hulle’ in Japan
Winning attitude from the drag-flick hero – Justin Reid-Ross. He tweeted “Thank you for all the amazing support. So proud to be South African. We’ll be charging for a medal tomorrow and we WILL get to London“
All the best boytjies