For those who do not have a particular aversion for the silly game of old men with hairy legs obsessing about a piece of inflated leather, this is officially the silly season, especially in Europe, which courtesy of television we are only willing participants.
This is that time when we tell men away from boys, when losers become sore or honourable, winners meek or mad, that time when mature men are reduced to kindergarten children by pure human emotion while children are overtaken by the overpowering adult outpouring of unnecessary sensation and passion.
Around this time, an affable Scottish fellow who goes by the same name like that of a tractor likes to call it squeaky bum time, when anything is virtually possible.
He jumps and hops around like an excited school kid who had just scored his first ever goal, perhaps unaware that he is the most successful British coach ever, displaying the sheer effect of pure adrenalin.
After one such incident in which his Manchester United literally pick pocketed a stoic Germany’s Bayern Munich of the most prestigious club trophy in the world, all he would say was, ‘football, bloody hell!”
On Wednesday, we saw as the masters of Spanish ballet collapsed under the witty master class of certain flamboyant Portuguese mercenary aka the translator, now masquerading as a member of the Italian mafia, rather quite successfully by the names of The Special One, his skills as a well practiced hit man succeeding to take out a certain petit but extremely lethal argentine choreographer, right in his own Nou Camp back yard.
If you have not had a clue of what we are talking about, remember to catch today’s version of the English soap opera in the English town of Liverpool where another calm Italian will try to raid an English bastion with a genteel unassuming Spanish gatekeeper in turmoil and too much history waiting for the result.
If Liverpool wins today, they will have succeeded in helping the affable Scottish to keep his twenty year promise to knock Liverpool “off their f…ing perch.” If they don’t, they knock themselves out of contention of the most expensive club league in the world. Either way, they lose!
Enough of European hullabaloo, back at home, in the south of Africa, the world’s most popular soccer spectacle is gearing for a thirty day gala.
Achilles heels aside, wives and girlfriends (WAGS) of English players, flair of Brazilian soccer, history of European teams, the magic of African talent will unite to make this silly season a memorable one.
By many accounts, judges, grooms, taxi drivers and members of parliament will dress in their favourite teams’ jerseys and take the centre stage for thirty good days.
2010 is a make-Africa-proud-year so if you don’t really like the most popular game in the world, just pretend for a while you do and try admiring the different races of fans and their clothes if you can’t stand the football ping pong, just for the sake of making sure you are part of the 2010 spirit.
Get used to phrases like ‘hat trick’ where there are no tricks done with hats, armchair analysts next door who will claim to understand the game more than the players and coaches in South Africa and a very good reason to abandon the workplace early, just because, “Brazil is playing.”
Otherwise, have a football-mad Sunday!