smile in mourning

During the 2010 World Cup a number of things shifted in SA as well as me.

Obviously I backed the boys in Green and Gold along with, the eventual winners, Spain. But my other two teams were the Yanks and (dare I say it) Uruguay! I was quite distraught when I found two of my teams in the same group.

My dream, for the first round at least, was that SA and Uruguay made it through but as I was often reminded they had the French to concede with. But as it always does Karma came back to bite the French in the backside and they couldn’t pull off a single convincing win (I am sure Ireland could have done better).

Now as a confessed Uruguay fan you can imagine the condemning comments I received after the Suarez hand ball incident against Ba-Ghana Ba-Ghana (how I hated that name!).

After the game I posted something along the lines of “Gyan will (forever) be remembered as the man who single-handedly cost Africa a World Cup.” Many responded “Don’t you mean Suarez?” more than once. This made me realize that most of us had fantasies of Ghana actually claiming the title and Suarez broke the hearts of the entire continent…right.

This brings to the question; will LFC’s newest recruit break hearts even further? I’ve already ‘welcomed’ the obscene remark that we have just become the most hated club in Ghana.

Let’s admit it has been a roller-coaster ride (if ever there was an understatement) in the life of all that is Liverpool Football Club. Arguably the greatest club in England (you know what I mean), with a breathtaking history than any bed time story from Nelson Mandela.

The Reds have seen and been through it all especially these past two seasons – from the prospect of new owners, Woy, not making the Champions League, fighting off relegation, fighting to stay in the top half of the table and more recently the loss of our Golden Boy – El Nino – to Chelsea.

We didn’t have much time to comprehend, let alone mourn this loss – the rumours started and were confirmed within a week. As expected the supporters didn’t take kindly to the news of his departure and a person understand this debacle only too well would be Melissa Reddy hence the tweet:

“Dear footballers, you have every right to want to win trophies, further your careers and make more money. Just please respect supporters.”

I can only hope that, the heart breaker keeps our hearts in one piece and along with Andy Carrol starts scoring some goals. And I must admit that if his hand ruptures the hearts of some Chelsea, Arsenal and United fans I won’t complain.

It is ironic that the two teams who were most affected by this last transfer period are playing on Sunday. Whether it’s seeing Torres comes on the field in a blue shirt, which will be worse than seeing an ex with a super model a week after a break-up or the possibility of a winning goal from the boot (or hand) of Suarez it is going to be an interesting clash between these giants of the EPL.


You’ll Never Walk Alone

the right time

Timing IS everything. There’s a time for everything, and every season has a reason. My pastor taught me – there’s time to be born a time to die; a time to plant and uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to weep and a time to build; a time to search and time to give up, etc. When asked for my Currie Cup predictions this past weekend, particularly which players will be avoiding eye contact with their fans, at Loftus Stadium, “without a doubt the Bulls will win”, was my immediate response.

Its no secret, that born and bred in the Eastern Cape as I am, I fly the Bulls flag every season and in between.

Yes, the Afrikaaners joint. Where flabby bellies, long blond hair and beers complete the design are where my loyalties lie (Give me a break! – The Border Bulldogs are not doing anything to change that. Might be a bit late for EP Kings).

This affair began in 2003 during a Currie Cup season (as a matter of fact). My cousin and I were watching a Sharks and Bulls game, and neither of us had a team (you could say we were holding onto the Bulldogs dream).

Anything blue in my eyes would go at the time and I’ve always been one for underdogs (well…). The Sharks tried first, immediately recruiting my cousin, compelling me to take the Bulls (who lost that game) and I have never looked back.

My (what some call blind) faith with Frans Ludeke’s men is mainly influenced by timing. Throughout the years I’ve learnt to accept Bulls and their structure that confuses me at times.

This is a team that has painted tears of joy and other kind (a time to cry and a time to laugh). I’ve endured endless chirps for this team as much as I have for Liverpool, I’ve sat alone in a house full Stormers, Sharks, Cheetahs and Lions supporter, but my love for this team has yet to waver.

The Sharks have been called the lesser evil, I’ve seen Cheetahs supporters take a Stormers corner before my beloved cows (courtesy of a Yanky friend), but I’m yet to shift (I have threatened to hang my Reds jersey – once, but not my Bulls’).

Why? – Timing! The Blue Bulls have mastered the art of timing. You can always count on the Pretoria side to win that crucial and oh-so-imperative-game. Last week was exactly that. The Do-or-Die. An obligatory event; one that demanded (along with the stands) a victory, when nothing less would do.

Why? – Timing. Which is more than I can say about Siyabonga Nomvete, who missed a penalty that ultimately handed Orlando Pirates millions of Rands. Eight millions to be exact. It seems Bhele is following Gyan’s footsteps, only he doesn’t have most of Africa in tears with him.

Timing Bhele. Timing.