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 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 is where my loyalties lie (Give me a break! - The Border Bull Dogs are not doing anything to change that). This affair began in 2003 during a Currie Cup season in fact. My cousin and I were watching a Sharks and Bulls game, and neither of us had a team. Anything blue in my eyes would go at the time and I’ve always been one for underdogs. 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 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.
- 2 years ago
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. And 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, which is the most popular game in the Eastern and Western Cape. The game 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 hanged his bat up for good. And 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.
- 2 years ago
Legendary Feet. Legendary Heart.
They say a legend is an old man with a cane known for what he used to do; that his accolades best describe him and gives his audience a reason to remember him. For years, and to no end, the Real Steven Pienaar will enter the book of class greats.
The past weekend was one of legends (at least what can be classified as legendary moments), and a few step-up to the scale. These includes Kurtley Beal - a Wallabie that tore at the hearts of many Boks, The Lions roared louder than any bad Storm causing the biggest upset in 2010 Currie Cup (since Pumas embarrassed the over-confident Bulls), by thrashing Western Province. Frankly, I wasn’t upset all, neither was The Star Newspaper’s Chief Sport writer - Kevin McCallum - who probably opened more beers cans than he had in his life. Cindy Poluta of Eyewitness News Sport kicked up her heels for her beloved Lions. But the man of the weekend has to be Schillo.
Bafana Bafana has evolved under the guidance of Carlos, and seems to be souring with Pitso in the driving seat. The 2010 World Cup has left an impressionable legacy. My white boss actually won a ‘Name a Bafana’ contest against her brother and husband. Yeah this inheritance is serving the white household, and on the pitch it was evident on the Blackstars / Niger clashes. The endless missed opportunities (especially against Niger) are an extensive concern though, and while Pitso may be a patient man, the Boks have shown the SA Fan Club is anything but.
Pienaar flaunted his escalating ball skills, hushing his critics and fuelling the ever burning fire of his fan base by collecting the MOM award. The Everton man proved once again why he is SA’s greatest export to the English League and an avid midfielder. While most players wouldn’t part with the ball in the ‘18 area’, Schillo displayed his unselfish heart by sending one of those legendary passes to a man who, even though lacks composure (at times), deserves to be playing in the English soil – (My boss inserts ‘Hot’ and I *SMH* ‘Killer’) Mphela. Bernard Parker’s goal and the other five that should have been are a reflection of this Capetonian’s God given structure.
If I had illusions of making pro-soccer Pienaar’s jersey would probably be on my wall.
Ah Legendary Heart. Legendary Feat.
- 2 years ago