women + sport = rivalry

From the day I started this page (late last year) I had an ally, one that (not only) faithfully read my post (but) saw them before anybody else – my editor.

You’ve often read posts mentioning my ‘sporting loving boss’. Actually she was not my boss in the very core sense of the word(because she didn’t pay my salary and she’s only two years older than me).

To this day I often wonder how Samantha Robinson and I got along. I guess it is true what they say – sport can unite even people destined for rivalry. (Okay that’s a bit extreme, read her post and you’ll understand). I have finally convinced Sam to be my first guest blogger.

Take it away Sam:

I am a woman and I love sport. I think this has something to do with the fact that I have a grandfather, father and two brothers who are sport mad. I have always been able to give good commentary on most sports (except rugby) and I always find myself gravitating towards the group of men talking about the sporting highlights of the weekend and away from the ladies talking about the shopping highlights of the weekend.

I thought I was alone and that I would always be one of the very few ladies engaged in conversions around EPL standings, the starting line-up for the Proteas and the F1 teams and drivers. And then I met Kate! When she started as my intern we were in separate offices so we didn’t chat much and then I walked into the office one Football Friday in my Chelsea jersey and life at Sabio Communications was never the same again

I must admit we don’t agree on most things sport. I am Chelsea and she is Liverpool (shame poor girl), she supports the Blue Bulls and I support the Cheetahs, she likes the Proteas and well – I don’t! So most of the time, especially Mondays, we are giving each other a good go. The only time we have been on the same sporting page, well sort of anyway, was during the World Cup. We both supported Bafana, we both had a big crush on Diego Forlan and we both admittedly supported Uruguay. We followed each game, whether on TV at home, radio and our computers at the office (before we convinced our boss to get a TV with DSTV) or Twitter. We were at the office together watching the 16h00 games not wanting to go home until we knew the result and we often found ourselves in our boss’ husband office having an in-depth conversation about the games, goals, results and players. It was safe to say we probably knew more than he did. And at the end of the World Cup – on Monday 13 July 2010 we sat at our desks and cried. Seriously. Two girls cried over the fact that the Soccer World Cup was finished. The rest of the office knew not to bring up the subject for at least a week.

Now we have the next big sporting event starting in a few days – the Cricket World Cup. Although Kate is no longer with us (how I miss you!) we will no doubt battle over Twitter, Facebook and BBM. Unlike the Soccer World Cup cricket brings out the worst in both of us. We become fiercely competitive. As mentioned – she is a loyal Proteas supporter (I swear the girl should be made president of the Graeme Smith Fan Club while I could make millions ensuring Kevin Pietersen’s legacy lives on) And I find it a bit difficult to support our boys. I have tried, trust me I have tried but I struggle. Throughout the series against India I found myself gravitating towards the Indian team. But in the final ODI against India where the series was tied I woke up thinking I will support the Proteas, I will dig deep inside of me and support them until the very end. I thought that this will be a good attitude change leading up to the World Cup. But as with the other games after a few a few over’s I could already feel myself siding with India. And this was when I admitted to myself that I had a soft spot for this Indian team (or any other team name that plays against SA) especially MS Dhoni (or any hot captain’s/player that plays against SA). Being a non-SA supporter I get a lot of flack, as you can imagine, especially from Kate and our friend on Twitter, Mel. Even Sias du Plessis from 5fm has commented on my ability to “stir”. I doubt this will cool down over the next month or so. My team for the World Cup will be England and seeing that they are not too far from being completely South African it is not such a bad thing hey? I have also decided that my other two teams will be India and believe it or not – South Africa (if they don’t play against England or India or my next soft spot team).

So as the World Cup nears, whether you support SA, England, India and dare we say Australia, enjoy it and remember there is nothing wrong with some healthy competition. (Go England whip those South Africans on 06 March)



Author: Samantha Robinson – Account Director at Sabio Communications

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as it were

Let’s face it – Sport as we know it is gone. The love we have for the game is tainted by so many reactions and choices from individuals we’ve idolised.

What’s with our soccer heroes gracing the pages of Rolling Stones more than Brangelina or our political leaders crippling the motivation to fill up Rugby stadiums? Yeah, sport as we’d like to remember is dead and buried.

Be it as it may, we still take our vuvuzela’s, brace the cold and give the ‘Ultimate Fan’ thing a go. Superbru is sky-rocking. Hell, Vodacom is still making as much money out ‘Player 23’ as with BlackBerry contracts.

Yes, we put aside the grating political influence, proudly put our replicas on and chirp the next person for not supporting same team. No one knows this better than me and my sport loving boss, who celebrates Football Fridays in blue, with a big Chelsea grin, while I (and the rest of her family) insolently proclaim ‘This is Anfield: I Will Never Walk Alone’.

And when we return to the office on a Monday conversations begin with Cheetahs vs Bulls. Yes we bury the hatches, forget Tiger’s infidelity, and stand oblivious to Micheal Phelps, Marianne Jones’ or even Bakkies’ stupidity.

We swear at government for their meddling, scream our lungs out at having to wave goodbye to the Super 14 only for a (long) while and will eventually forgive the Boks for their poor Tri-Nations campaign, because as exasperated as we may be by these, at the back of our supporting mind, the game is still as it should be. At least would be.

That is more than I can say for cricket, however.

The most popular game in the Eastern and Western Cape. A discipline that sees 7/10 Indian or Pakistan households fed is forever lost. Its credibility belongs only to the History Channel.

A land where 666666’s are the miracles of the game; The splendour of hat-tricks. A museum of super-overs. Sheer sanctuary of clashes between giants like SA, Australia, Pakistan, India or England that guarantee a spectacular heartache, but money’s worth for the avid lover of the game.

A history of unsung heroes ordained by roars of crowds with what seems to be more passion than from the ones in batting helmets. Yeah. That era has ceased with a vinyl and in its place are carbon copies of broken cd’s worth the bottom of a street kid’s shoe.

While some parts of the world have joined SA for the exciting Airtel Champions T20, trouble began to brew in England, who is busy with a series against Pakistan.

The series has produced allegations of match fixing by now suspended Pakistanis. Last week a cloud began to descend upon the English when injury-prone Andrew Flintoff hung his bat up for good.

This week assembled an even greater distress, when reports that they (England) are not above match-fixing. Of course this sent Andrew Strauss and his cronies over the edge.

However, we in SA know a thing or two about smokes and fires. Whether the allegations are legit or just that, allegations is another blog, but what this means is the series is now farce that needs to be scrapped.

Cricket is not cricket but rather a massacre of greed and lies killing dreams of many around the world. Hansie Cronje (R.I.P), it seems planted a seed that is growing like unwanted weed, producing a generation that has undermined the value of the game, paving a way for endless uncertainties.

Will we ever grace cricket stadia without questioning the legitimacy of the game? Will the great Tendukar be above our scrutiny? Is Rusty Theron’s great bowling a result of his form or a lost bet?

Can Shahid Khan Afridi reach a century and claim a MOM award without raising an eyebrow? Will James Anderson ever be allowed to have a ‘bad’ game? God forbid Mark Boucher misses a run-out.

May the Great Almighty have mercy on Graeme Smith in 2011, for we will raise more than a flick of an eyebrow should the Proteas emulate the Boks’ Tri-Nations Campaign.

KP tweet…twit

Kevin Pietersen brought the entire world to a stand still with a four letter word, displaying his gloominess over being axed from England’s limited-overs squad to face Pakistan.

In the process managed to accomplish what (not even) the death of a Tour de France champ Laurent Fignon couldn’t; removed Pakistan’s match fixing scandal from many sporting fans’ lips (if only for a few hours)

Eish Boet

Pakistan Cricket has been a worldwide trending topic since Bees Roux found himself facing a murder charge and fellow Bulls- Victor Matfield – became the first South African to claim a 100th test victory.

The news reached my distressed ears at 2:46 am, while hitting the club scene in Polokwane.

My team and I were celebrating our 2010 VSA Cup Silver with a fellow Jozi team (Quantum), who won the Gold in the men category, affirming once again that ‘Nothing Good Happens after 2AM’.

As I read the tweets, I firmly believed the Rhapsody barman had spiked my drink (this couldn’t be!). Just as convinced, was the company I kept – while showcasing why many have claimed BlackBerry users do not know how to part with their phones.

Only to have Sky News, Guardian Sport (etc) attest to the fact I had nothing to fear from the staff and coach’s tequila had not gone to my head, but Hansie’ name would be uttered once more.

Back to impulsive kevinpp24 (his twitter name). His tweet was there and gone faster than Bolt’ stride, but unfortunately the ‘retweet’ function, for the world’s renowned like the SA born cricketer, has proven lethal (if only KP’s kid was old enough to know who Justin Bieber is, he would’ve warned dad).

And like the sprinter his tweet grabbed ‘front-pages’ with more no balls than a Pakistan bowler as he confirmed:

“Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too.. Its a f**k up!!

It’s not his exclusion from the team, than his foul-mouthed tirade to the news that, according to Neal Collins “will send shock waves reverberating through the England dressing room”

The news became an early Christmas present for a few South Africans. These included a lunch show DJ from one of SA’s popular radio station, who, if it were not for the co-host’s purposeful-distractions would’ve shared (to millions) his bed of roses over KP’s blues.

It’s no secret there is no love lost between the batsman and many South Africans, so one can be forgiven for assuming he will not be looking at his Motherland for comfort.

Although maybe he should; for his woes will only accumulate, not only is the English Cricket Board having a field day with ‘irresponsible’ twitter use, but rumour has it no county will touch the right-hander (his Surrey move is only a temp loan).

So much for ‘Proud English Cricketer’.

puzzle to complete

There’s a ‘legend’ that most insomniacs fuel all too well; marriages end, suicides committed, worst lyrics written (insert – Shakira – ‘Whenever, Wherever’ or Des’ree – ‘Life’) ,just about the most disgruntling contentions and ….well I’m blogging, surely it is true; ‘Nothing Good Happens After 2AM’. (Okay maybe that’s just a not-so-funny rendition of a ‘How I Met Your Mother’ episode).

Like it usually does, it started at a very odd hour, while few graced the rez cold tv room, heels across the corridors evidence to the tales of student life on a Saturday evening.

In the far away land of the English, a bunch of ‘ball pushers’ were sweating their pants off in anticipation, our ‘Blade Runner’ was breaking a WR, and Hants were gunning for gold.

Back home, John Mitchell’s boys claimed their first win in seven months, Bulls to suffer an unconventional Province beating. And elsewhere, Tiger’s slipping down leader-board and there’s me who had just woken up. Seriously, past the hour of 02:00.

Fully alert now I took to Twitter, the latest fiend (and so a ‘compatriot’ kindly shares) came across Lyndon Ferns. The name ‘sounds’ familiar I thought, checks bio and yep confirmed.

Then it dawned on me, there’s a puzzle I’ve neglected for years and the quest could wait no longer.

In 2004 SA stunned the world by winning the gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the Athens Olympics, beating big names to claim the ultimate prize for the rainbow nation. This honour served by Roland Schoeman, Ryk Neethling, Lyndon Ferns, and…and errr..?

Athens 2004 is a phenomenon any sport loving South African shall never forget. Whenever the words ‘sport’, ‘moments’, ‘great’, ‘SA’,’history’ are used in the same sentence Schoeman and his buddies smile their asses onto the picture, but somehow, it seems the “other guy’s” name just never gets the memo.

Okay, I might be a self confessed-sports fanatic, but I didn’t always pay much attention to swimming,  Give me a break its a ‘rich man’s sport’, so quit judging.

Anyway, thank God (it turns out, for some miracle) the ‘he is no fool than he who never asks'(or something like that. I was borderline ADD) proverb made its way to the left side of my brain and so, I invaded timelines in pursuit of redemption.

‘Ahhh, but you,you Twitter are the greatest of them all creatures’, I grinned – after being failed by the wonders of Google for BlackBerry – as one Lyndon Ferns rose to my aid (so did Ryk..half an hour later).

Forget my ‘Cows’ (as one Yanky pal refers to them) being tamed, Drogba’s hat-trick, Tiger’s disarray, Oz’s sheer stupendous, Neil Mac’s MOM, that was yesterday. Today, (insert- Liverpool shall reign!) greater than Invictus, marks the anniversary of one of those SA sporting moments.

Ferns, Neethling and Schoeman must’ve thought I ‘trespassed’ their twitter accounts simply to share the sentiments. For it is true six year ago, 15 August, SA’s sensational swimming quartet gave us something to be proud of – In gold.

But no, I simply had a puzzle to complete, and one Darian Townsend entered the board and fit perfectly… At 3 O’clock in the morning.

K8

oh boy. another one

So, with the information age and its endless possibilities comes the ‘So can I’ era.

Whats with the ‘creative’ ways we update our Facebook statuses, the casual attitude we adopt while committing thievery of other ‘creative’ minds tweets, so why not the ‘well everyone is blogging, so why not me?’ attitude?

I am on Twitter constantly – for work and not – and I come across a number of blogs. Some give me the ‘What did I do before you’ moments, the ‘Man if I could write like that…’ and then more often than not, I would find these interesting pages that always leave me with one question in mind – Did these people wake up one day and just thought they’ll start a blog page and hope they will be suckers like me who would, after hours of being cooped up on a desk, neglect the sun, and just grace their opinion heads?

And so, if you wondering, did I wake up one day and say ‘So can I’? Well actually – YES I did. I woke up from a long nightmare of reading other people’s (sometimes) pot heads and thought it was high time I gave this a shot.

After a long debate with myself, of the countless things I could do in my lunch hour (like taking a walk and drool over that very special…car) the left side of my brain won the argument and this page was born.

So here I am, joining this era of pot heads who know zero about writing, but think their opinions are worth someone’s two minutes of their ‘neglecting the sun moment’.

So, go ahead – I can take it.

K8