One super proud South African

Soooooo, what shall we blog about today, Pinky?

Anything but soccer, Brain.

AS IF!

I have never been an obsessive soccer fan, but I have followed Bafana Bafana sporadically over the years (remember I don’t have a TV). And I always watch the World Cup. I remember supporting Manchester United when I was quite small but I possibly picked them because I liked the colour of their shirts?! My Dad also used to play soccer with us when we were kids.

My Dad is an equal opportunities sports lover, from darts to basketball, if it could possibly be classified as “sport” he would watch it. He definitely passed some of that sports madness down to me, except for his tolerance of golf and formula one (sorry Tamara!).

The last time I regularly watched Bafana Bafana play on TV (a few years ago now) I remember feeling disappointed. It looked to me like 11 egos were on the field trying to play tricks with the ball. There was no passing, no interception. Not much of anything actually. So much potential being dribbled away.

So now that I have been following them again I was shocked. Shocked at how far they have come. Yes, they are ranked 83, which is crap. But even if they were ranked 403, they have improved loads since I last saw them.

They play real soccer now; they pass, they intercept, they make attempts at goal. Yes their tactics are not always sharp and they have a long way to go to be world class, but who can deny that they have vastly improved?

The fact that they have recently beaten Denmark (ranked 36), Bulgaria (ranked 45) and drew with Mexico (ranked 17) is astounding. 83 drawing with 17!

So why people were so upset after the Uruguay (ranked 16) game I really can’t figure out. If you honestly thought Bafana Bafana were going to win the World Cup, well that is very sweet and optimistic and obviously there was an outside chance of a miracle, but I don’t think it was ever realistic to be disappointed if they didn’t progress to the next round.

I think they have been pushing themselves to the utmost outlying edges of their abilities. Their defence has been inspired at times. How we can give them anything other than our full support and admiration escapes me.

Yes, our rugby guys are world champs, but Bafana Bafana are the super underdogs and they have certainly exceeded my expectations. I am so super flipping proud of them. Proud to be represented by them. They are fighting. They need our support, our realistic support, not some head-in-the-clouds-only-love-you-if-you-win support. Don’t take your Hollywood conceptions of what a happy ending should be out on your team, guys.

Come down to earth. Real life winning is when team 83 draws with team 17. It doesn’t get much better than that.

They have risen to the occasion and so should we. I couldn’t care less what the outcome of today’s game is so long as they play their hearts out like they have done so far.

Good luck Bafana Bafana, supporting you all the way!

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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tiah
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 07:56:27

    The self destruction of France has given me hope for today. Guess time will tell. In the meantime, AYOBA!

    Reply

  2. Damaria Senne
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 16:18:05

    @po, tiah – Bafana has scored two goals as we speak. AYOBA!@

    Reply

  3. Po
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 17:04:05

    Damaria: AYOBANESS!!

    Can’t believe we beat France. So proud :)

    Reply

  4. Shannon
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 19:45:14

    I loved watching SA play with such heart today, even knowing that progressing to the next round was, for all practical purposes, out of reach. This has been a tournament of upsets and it’s fun to watch! And I have been utterly useless at work for the last week and a half because I am soccer-obsessive (played since age 5, also coached and refereed) and watch every match. Right now I am neglecting my class to watch Argentina-Greece online.

    Reply

  5. Po
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 20:44:59

    Shannon: hehe good for you! I was watching the SA game at work, trying to work at the same time, erm, I think i better recheck my work tomorrow…

    Reply

  6. Po
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 20:47:13

    Tiah: poor France did self destruct today! I don’t go in for the country insults and hate, like the soccer fans seem to. They are obviously having a bad time, but Bafana Bafana rocked my socks!

    Reply

  7. Po
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 21:40:31

    Ok so I take my words back, real life winning is when team 83 beats team 9!

    Reply

  8. Tamara
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 22:06:18

    Our boys did us proud today. What a match!

    Reply

  9. Tamara
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 22:06:53

    PS: I have not given up hope that you will one day see the light of F1 awesomeness!

    Reply

  10. Shannon
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 22:26:00

    Aren’t the crazy country insults nuts? As if a country’s soccer team has anything to do with anything besides soccer.

    Also the my-sport-is-better-than-your-sport insults, like rugby-vs-soccer or (in the US) soccer-vs-basketball/baseball/football. Can’t we like more than one sport at once? Do I have to choose? Ridiculous. It gets so out of hand.

    Reply

  11. Helen
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 09:50:03

    You’ve obviously never learned to appreciate F1. We will teach you.

    And I missed the game ecause I was at work, but I ad severl sets of running commentary and it was SO exciting! And I watched it ater with lots of pride. It takes a lot of heart to play lie that when it would have been easier to just give up and run around aimlessly. We ahve so much to be proud of!

    Reply

  12. Po
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 10:44:16

    Tamara: awesomenesss! My online tv feed died for quite a while during the second half :( but luckily I found an alternative site and got to see the rest. And I finally saw the national anthem!!!

    Shannon: I know, if a ref makes a mistake, suddenly everyone hates all people from his country as if he is somehow thier national rep, madness. I certainly don’t represent all of SA so if I do somethint idiotic the only person people should be angry with is me, not an entire nation!!!

    Helen: noooooooooooooo not F1! Never. BFG consults for a few of the F1 teams over here, and he watches occasionally but even he is not that keen. it is quite good for insomniacs I reckon, the hypnotic noise and the laps…

    Sorry to hear you missed the game!!! Work gets in the way of important things. I watched some of it at work and it was not ideal to say the least, cos I was actually trying to achieve something at the same time (ie pretending i was working so the boss would be happy.) Thank goodness for replays eh?

    Reply

  13. Shannon
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 14:48:20

    OK, so Formula One…is that like Nascar? I mean, it’s car racing?

    Omg I am SO RELIEVED that Americans are not the only ones who have that weird obsession! I really thought it was an embarrassingly please-don’t-mention-this-outside-your-trailer-park American trait.

    I’m holding my head a little higher today. (I also dislike it, if you can’t tell, but fortunately I don’t know anyone who’s really into it so I’m able to pretend it doesn’t exist.)

    Reply

  14. Po
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 15:24:52

    Shannon: well it is car racing, although I have a feeling that F1 fans would have a heart attack to hear it being compared to Nascar :)

    My BFG works in Nascar too, so sometimes he watches the races for educational purposes. What can I say, thank goodness for laptops with headphones!!

    Loads of people love F1 but it is like the creme de la creme of motor racing, quite snobby. The brits are quite good actually.

    Reply

  15. Po
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 15:27:32

    P.S, you can tell I am online while “working” ie watching the football again, can’t you? :)

    Sorry, not watching the USA game, I am supporting Ingerland for now, considering they have allowed me to live with them so long and all.

    Reply

  16. Shannon
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 16:04:15

    I sort of feel about car racing as I do about horse racing: the horse/car is the one doing the work, not the driver. I know, I know, I’m sure there’s technique, blah blah blah. Just not a real sport, you know?

    The US game is killing me. For the second game in a row the ref disallowed a US goal that was onsides but was called offsides. I’m starting to believe in conspiracy theories. And in making the refs use instant replay for their jackass calls.

    Reply

  17. Po
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 16:43:45

    Shannon: wah :( I didn’t see.

    Reply

  18. Po
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 16:53:54

    Shannon: hehe just found out you guys qualified top of yr group – laduuuuuuuuuuma to you!

    Reply

  19. Shannon
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 17:11:27

    Thaaaaank you! Goal in the 92nd minute, unreal. Against all odds, England and US advance out of this group–which was the prediction at the beginning before we both managed to suck in our first two matches. Yay for redemption!

    Reply

  20. Tamara
    Jun 24, 2010 @ 12:45:34

    Am jealous of BFG’s consulting for F1 teams.

    Reply

  21. Po
    Jun 24, 2010 @ 13:21:34

    Tamara: well he doesn’t get to go in the cars or anything. He did visit one of the teams though and got to see the building and the cars, but am not allowed to say which one apparently?!

    He sits on a computer all day. Not very glamourous!

    Reply

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