man…but that hurts

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.

gutted

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

man to lead

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

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long live another day


By now you should have seen and heard the chirps over the past weekend’s football affairs. And if you are a Manchester United or Chelsea supporter, you most probably been on the receiving end. My two favourites being:

“His armband said he was red, Romans money turned his head, he thinks he’ll have a better life, until John Terry meets his wife

And
“If you see an Arsenal supporter walking a dog, get them to call 0800 4-0 4-1 4-2 4-3 4-4 for advice on how to hold a lead”

These (of course) cultivated by the scrutiny that is soccer. An unforgiving tale of all that is the game. No one knows this better than a Reds supporter… Or so everyone thought. Let’s face it; Chelsea did not give the men in Red half a chance, as did their supporters reciprocation.

Who can forget the we-took-Torres-right-under-your-noses slurs? The Manchester giants suffering their first season defeat to the ‘Davids’ at the bottom of the log is something never envisioned.

And I guess one has to be an Arse to comprehend as well as perhaps explain …some things. However, a great outcome for Dalglish’s outfit who bared it all and handed Ancelloti’s men their seventh drub (well imagine that).

It’s been said that “Football is not what you deserve, but what you do” What you make of the chances created. The rare, and yet so golden opportunities that procure a great touch lethal to opposition.

No statement has ever been more unerring as far as Davide Somma is concerned. Wednesday night brought South African fans together. Replicas, once again dusted off and out of the cupboards to support ‘The Boys’.

Bars, households, and of course twitter buzzed – how did we watch any game before the twitter phenomenal – as international friendlies around the world befell.

Bafana Bafana welcomed Kenya to the South African shore. Somma’s second appearance for his country should be somewhat memorable, but for the fan club the memories are not what they anticipated, especially considering how it all began. An ordered hat-trick to say the least.

His minute and eight seconds goal gave an impression of his determination to (possibly) be Pitso’s number one forward. One may argue that, it may not be off the cards just yet, but the Leeds United’s striker currently lacks the command that is identity to Katlego Mphela.

It cannot be denied he’s pacy, strong with agility on his feet, and always in the box at the right time, exactly what is required while ‘Killer’ Mphela fights his I-want-to-go-overseas demons, but one has to wonder if his current footwork will be good enough to break The Pharaohs’ backline, when they meet in March.

It doesn’t take the final score to indicate that SA was a much stronger side and though(the score) will certainly boost the 47th ranked side confidence (to a certain extent) and inevitably give it a good standing with FIFA Rankings, however, we cannot dispute the fact that Egypt will not be running with jitters due to that performance.

As we move onto another great sporting weekend, whatever it holds, one thing is for certain only a few will elude the on-coming chirps. Let the count-down begin.

absolutey. utterly. gutted.

It was destiny. That the greatest captain in green and gold would reach a milestone that only few in the world could ever boast about. These legends, of course, include SA’s incomparable full-back, none other than the retired Percy Montgomery.

I can vividly recall the week the world joined us, as we made a fuss about Monty’s acquisition.It was a first for SA, and we stood proud, in unity, celebrating the greatest of greats.

No one was as pleased as my pastor, Rev Dave Gernertzky. Monty’s boot became a feature in Sundays sermons for an entire season, his love for Monty knew no bounds.

This was it for Smity, this was the moment we will tell our grandkids about. John Smit. Jake White’s protege, the 2007 Rugby World Cup winning captain; would receive the standing ovation from over 94 000 fans as he reaches one of the greatest accolades in rugby history; his 100th cap.

Only God could have orchestrated this meeting, that Smit would earn his glory on home turf. And more fitting was that this would take place in Soweto, with more history than I dare remember.

That FNB Stadium, worldly know as Soccer City – the stadium that hosted the battle between Spain and Netherlands for the ever contested Soccer World Cup Trophy – would host this phenomenon. It was just meant to be.

I can only imagine the atmosphere at the Smit household the morning of this event. One can only envision what was going through the man of the moment’s head during the captain’s run.

Was he calm? Was anxiety the main factor? Or just plain excitement and pure pride? Did the opposition matter at all or only just the reason why all the attention is on him?

Having gone past old City only two hours before kickoff, the atmosphere was electrifying, only I wasn’t to experience it to its core, Dros Pub it had to be. Dressed in my ‘Body Classique Personalised Bok’ jersey I joined the predominant male species.

As he (Smit) walked in ahead of his mates, I’ve never been prouder. I’ve never seen a nation more proud. This is our boy. This is not only his day, but OUR day too.

As we stood, I swear the balding man across our table’s stained-with-tears-face reflected Smity’s. We raised our beer glasses (ok mine had something else), lumps in throats, there really were no words.

By the end of the first half, it seemed the Boks would (prematurely) hold the Kiwis from claiming 2010 Tri-Nations (Not today Haka boys, Schalla and (Juan) Smith’s play demonstrated such).

Title lost to the Boks, pride was on the way and Smity would get his day with absolutely no hindrance, for it is meant to be.

And then, *sigh* then two minutes remaining, it all went sour, particularly for Smit as he missed an all important tackle that simply crushed an entire nation.

Blackstars’ humiliation at the hands of Suarez surely was not this excruciating. Bafana’s crushed dreams by Uruguay was somehow expected. But this? It couldn’t be! Surely Nigel Owens blew his Welsh whistle a tad bit early.

Someone tell him his watch is wrong! Tell him Smity has paid his dues and he has a legitimate claim! Play on! Somebody! Anybody…?

It was all over. Smity wasn’t to reign (Not today Ole Ole boys, Richie McCaw’s grin seemed to say), like Monty’s 19-0 defeat, they will be no victory.

What was suppose to be the greatest day of his life turned into an ‘I will be disappointment for a long time’ (Smit, at a presser’) Maybe Sharks victory was for their captain, but man, if ever there was an irony…

Pierre Spiers summed up the day with this tweet:

“Not nice but that’s sport…we leave it all on the field. Proud of our boys and well done to the All Blacks. Well done John Smit you legend!”

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