Normally I’m not one to brag, but if you caught the column I wrote last week before attending the England –USA World Cup football match you’ll know I pretty much nailed the prediction.
And I nailed it a lot harder than Clint Dempsey hit his shot that slipped past the England keeper for the USA’s only tally. Technically, it wasn’t the own-goal I predicted would gift a point to the USA and it wasn’t scored by John Terry – who incidentally didn’t win a ball in the air all game – but it was a real howler by Robert Green that lead to the 1 – 1 score line I foresaw.
I realize I’m blowing my own horn here, but regretfully, doing so is going to make me fit in very nicely for the duration of this vuvuzela dominated World Cup, just as Green fit in last Saturday when he blew it in Rustenburg.
Yeah, yeah, I know those silly plastic football supporters’ horns are a South African institution, but I feel compelled to voice my objections here in an effort to prevent them from becoming a deep rooted Botswana tradition as well. You see, I’ve attended many football matches in England and I have always got quite a kick out of the clever chants the fans come up with on the spot to poke fun at opposing players and supporters – now there’s an institution worth copying.
Unfortunately, there were no chants at all and no songs from the tens of thousands of Brits who attended the match, and I’m convinced that was because there was never a break in the mind-numbing drone of the vuvuzelas.
Also, had the airwaves not been dominated by vibrating plastic blasts I might have taken a shot at getting my American compatriots to join in chanting something like:
The Rose is red,
But the army is blue.
Cause Green’s in Goal
And he hasn’t a clue.
Okay, not a traditional English football chant but it might have worked. Or maybe I could have tried reworking Pink Floyd’s We Don’t Need No Education:
We don’t need no green goalkeepers,
We don’t need Terry’s ball control.
No dark Italians in the staffroom,
Chianti served with provolone.
Hey, uncapped defenders, stay close to the phone…
Cause all in all there are some… gaping holes in the wall.
Ah, the missed opportunities; and all because of some cheep plastic funnels and a bunch of blowhards. Funny thing, though; it didn’t seem to be South African fans doing most of the trumpeting; instead it appeared to be Brits and Yanks who presumably had spent small fortunes to get to the game. I guess once they got there they must have decided they would rather make one-note music than watch a surprisingly even football match.
I’ve had my moan about the noise, but I have to admit, even when the vuvuzelas were blowing up a storm, the vibes at the border, on the way to Rustenburg and at the stadium last Saturday were something special.
Well done to South Africa, they got it right.
When we crossed the border an immigration officer helped my elderly travelling companion fill out his form, when we got to Rustenburg there was secure parking and a fleet of buses to take us to the stadium free of charge and when we got off the bus we found loads of friendly vendors selling everything from ear plugs to blankets.
There was absolutely no agro and while the cops made their presence felt along the roads and with mounted and walking patrols they didn’t need to take any action to keep things under control.
Okay, maybe things would have bee different if the English supporters thought there was any chance their team wouldn’t win, but I don’t think so. Anyway, if any of you are thinking of getting tickets to the first round knockout match in Rustenburg I really don’t think security is going to be a problem.