happy ending. someone’s pissed off

November is an interesting month I would say. Never mind that it is my birthday month and that I put my student card away for good, but it has brought some interesting occurrences.

You probably had to (or know someone who had to) make-out with someone with more facial hair than Bruce Willis’ cranium. Thanks to Movember I have to wonder what would have happened if we were in the state of Taxes, with no gun permit.

Don’t get me wrong, some could have been worse; while I was embarrassed to know certain people, the cause was the only reason that kept me next to them, I am (still very much)glad it is over (though). I’m no prude, but I do like clean species especially within meters of my existence.

I’m tempted to say “I cannot believe its December already”, but I have been following the calendar, so this is not so astonishing. But if you haven’t -2010 is over!

The fairly-tale year for us South Africans has drawn to close. We hosted the biggest tournament in history and did it successfully. When many (England) questioned our competence to making a success out of the tournament of this caliber, we rose to the challenge, stood tall and our boys even climbed the FIFA rankings.

Yeah we had a few glitches here and there, but made a killing. Not to mention the many ‘firsts’ including 14 cards in final (13 yellow / a red) and Sepp giving us a 8/10 – not too shabby there mate. Question arises though – did we get our happy ending?

I mean with Louis Oosthuizen winning the British open and the success in the Commonwealth games (interview with Mark Randal). The Boks campaing. Then there was Graeme Smith who handed over the reins (well, some) to Johan Botha; Makhaya Ntini’s
retirement, Gibbs’ controversial book and CSA boot. Let’s not forget Kevin Pietersen’s…. Wait – he is English.

Speaking of which; England can probably answer that ‘happy ending question’. What’s with the atrocious World Cup campaign and now losing the 2018 bid to Russia?

Yeah you’d be forgiven for assuming they are happy to see the backside of 2010 but they might be able to redeem themselves in The Ashes (I’m sure I will blog about this in the new year). But did we have a good year?

We are still reaping the fruits of the 2010 World Cup (white elephants and all). We had a SA Super 14 final as well as a pacy, gripping Currie Cup. The world ‘parked’ at our shores for the Airtell Championships. Would you say we had the year we hoped for? Did you?

And me – well I’m graduating soon and as I type this (that was two days ago) I am off to Plettenberg Bay to live-out Matt 28:19-20.

Yes. It is that time where ‘Road LessTraveled’ comes to motion.

We didn’t have the ‘perfect’ start. One of our six cars wouldn’t start, later it over-heated only to break down after the head gasket blew up after Kroonstad to be towed to Bloemfontein. To which one of our dads had to drive to Bloem to give us a different car. We thank God for him. Lost time but no lives.

Was 2010 a great year? You bet! I’ll give you my ‘Happy Ending’ after this mission trip. Best be sure though -we have pissed Satan off!

a constant change

There comes a time in everyone’s life where things need to change – a new chapter to be opened. But the thing about new chapters is that the previous ones needs to be closed – completely. It really is just logic. It doesn’t matter how ‘big’ your legs are, it’s really not possible to have a foot in one door and one on the other. Or maybe it is possible, but it’s never the greatest of ideas.

Once Upon A Time

I wrote what I’d like to call my ‘very last exam’ this month and I am not as ecstatic as I thought I’d be.

It is a big deal – don’t get me wrong. If you know my middle name you know exactly just how much. A few in my family have crossed this path and hey look at me I almost stumbled but I’m still standing.

Reminds me of Liverpool really – a team destined for glory, stumbled and almost crumbled, but it is still standing (one leg will do). Lions rugby can attest to this; a new chapter is unfolding and the world cannot wait too see its manifestation. Manchester United are going through a chapter of their own – the draw chapter.

I can’t help but wonder what this means for our beloved Boks though. Two World Cup trophies later and hasn’t escaped scrutiny…all with valid percipience.

Slowly diminishing are moments when the men in green and gold posed the ‘to-be-feared’ factor. Times where the stands roared with confidence for their side will provide a spectacular performance worth their wallets (win or lose);

When the Haka was just another ‘song’ a tad shorter than the ‘Ole Ole’ from the stands; an era of Sharks and Stormers supporter stood tall, united behind the 15 with no reservation; a season I put my Bulls chirps away for my Cheetahs boss; a long period when our hearts no longer bled for Bafana, for the Boks have mended; a long forgotten era of convincing victories.

The richest history channel ever created.

SA has produced two Super 14 finalists, one can assume we should be unstoppable, for we have the best players all round. Pacy. Grippling. Coupling, with the greatest boot skills ever seen.

Currie Cup is one of the greatest tournaments in the world and yet today our national team scraped past Wales, failed to pay spectators with a ridiculous win against Ireland.

Yes, you can say something has shifted in the past three years. At this rate our boys are doing wonders for alcohol sales as you cannot watch a game without consuming a whole case of beer or bottle of brandy. Netcare 911 is probably on call outs for near heart attacks.

Blame the weather. Blame the system. Blame fatigue. Blame domestic tournament. Blame the line-up. Blame quotas. Blame it on methylhexaneamine (ah. my favourite new word)!

Put it on government’s interference. Oh wait… How about PDivvy? Oh yeah; there is the man (along with his staff team) who has been on the receiving end of this stick for his questionable decision.

With so many ‘once upon a times’, one thing remains – our love for this game. These men. This country. These colours. This flag.
Though the question stands – with less than a year before our World Cup title is contested. Will we scrap it or will the tails between our legs grow longer?

Right, pass me my Bok jersey

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.