When it hurts so good

I have several coats of identity, my name, my family, my nationality, my blackness, my love of Tottenham Hotspurs and all these are important to me. It was an afternoon in 1984 in Mimosa road, Nairobi; there was Tottenham vs Anderlect playing the UEFA cup final.

I have several coats of identity, my name, my family, my nationality, my blackness, my love of Tottenham Hotspurs and all these are important to me.

It was an afternoon in 1984 in Mimosa road, Nairobi; there was Tottenham vs Anderlect playing the UEFA cup final.

I was hooked that day and never could change my loyalties. Football is my favourite waste of time, it doesn’t really matter but it means the world.

The ulcers, the ooohhs the aaaahhs, the cries to God, the clasping of hands in prayer all make life so wonderful.

Romans discovered that Baturagye need bread and circuses, people need enough to eat and a daily diversion from the rigors of life. My Firiti and brochette intake reduces in the off season, weekends are free again, and I can hope again.

I watched the biggest game of my life on Wednesday as Manchester City played Spurs for the chance to earn $100m and change their club history forever.

All my life came down to this game, 26 years of support, years of misery. Every year as a spurs fan has been worse than the last.

So on Wednesday I wanted it so badly, I was a wreck and couldn’t watch the game and went jogging to calm my nerves. I hid outside and peeped through a window and prayed for a win, when they scored I collapsed and broke down.

It was like a huge relief but also a disappointment, wanting something all your life then getting it. It is a lesson in life to reserve you true hopes and expectations for things that are worthwhile. What being a Spurs fan has taught me is to persevere with a team or a dream and with time you will achieve it.

So the world cup is coming, and I like many fans will try to save pennies and make it to South Africa. To smell football, to taste it and feel it!

To see nations hand in hand, like Paraguayans and North Koreans sitting side by side. That is when you see what a force for good football can be, aside from the big money and marketing.

I still think it is a waste of time though, that time could be used more productively. I want to quit my football addiction after the world cup.

I have devised a 12-step programme to quit football; it involves gradually weaning myself off the beautiful game. I will need a substitute like Rugby or cricket, where support is not so aggressive and games don’t matter.

In life they say – be careful what you wish for because it might come true. When it does come true, you are left saying “now what?” Then you have new challenges, new goals, and new dreams.

When Hillary and Tensing were climbing Everest they said “it was just climbing rock after rock, ledge after ledge, then we looked and there was no other ledge to climb.

We realised we had reached the summit, we shook hands and now started worrying about how to climb down, it was more dangerous.”

Life must have been boring after that, the first men on top of the world, who were tested beyond measure and passed the test. When your whole body hurts but it hurts so good, when you are bruised but not mentally battered.

Ends

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