I’m not too big on sports. Some of my countrymen would say that just makes me a poor South African. Especially the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy rugby (but considering that we are probably the only country in the world who fired our coach after the national team won the World Cup can you blame me?)
I watch the odd game of cricket (and by watch I mean I don’t mind it playing on the television while I’m busy with other stuff in the house) and at one point I even knew the names of the players in the national squad. However, at the moment the only player in all of international and local cricket I can identify by sight is Hashim Amla. Must be the beard.
And then there’s soccer. I’ve never been able to get excited about Bafana Bafana. I was not particularly upset when they dropped out of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and, knowing they only made it into the tournament that year because we were the host nation, I wasn’t at all surprised when they did not qualify this year either.
(Hmmm. That does sound frightfully unpatriotic…)
But one has to support someone when it comes to big global events like these, so I picked the Netherlands. It seemed the natural choice for me. After all, during the 2010 final all of SA united like one behind either Spain or Holland, so it did not imply a major allegiance shift for me. Besides, I probably wouldn’t even exist if the Netherlands hadn’t
invaded settled the southern tip of Africa back in 1652 and I practically speak the language (okay, understand it…if you speak very slowly).
To my surprise I’ve watched more than one game this World Cup, and not just those in which Holland played, and found myself enjoying it. Holland’s first match in which they thrashed defending champions, Spain, so thoroughly even had the wife on the edge of her seat yelling at the television.
But I think the match that will be remembered from this tournament is Germany’s cricket score against hosts, Brazil, last night (unless tonight offers an even bigger surprise or Germany delivers a repeat performance against whichever unlucky buggers will have to face them this weekend).
For most it would be remembered as the match in which Germany wiped the floor with a former world champ. As one account on Twitter put it:
Germany scored more goals in 6 minutes tonight than England did in the whole World Cup.
— Uber Football Fact (@UberFootFact) July 8, 2014
Others will remember it as the most discussed sports event on Twitter ever…
— Twitter Ads UK (@TwitterAdsUK) July 9, 2014
For Brazil, however, it was a very, very sad day. I felt so bad for them when I saw all those people literally crying because their team was losing. This guy especially:
I simply cannot imagine crying because a sports team lost. But I wonder if for the Brazilian people this World Cup isn’t a case of panem et circenses. Their football team, and hosting the World Cup, was something to be proud of in a country where many people have very little to inspire pride. Whatever it is, there certainly wasn’t a reaction like this when South Africa was knocked out of our World Cup in a much earlier stage of the tournament.
Of course social media exploded even during the game already with jokes at Brazil’s expense. While I feel very sorry for the Brazilian people, these are simply too good not to share:
— Dino (@Rhymestyle) July 9, 2014
— gσ∂ ℓєνєℓ (@TheRawestMike) July 9, 2014
And my favourite…
To be honest, some of these make me want to cry. Other stuff that make me cry: when Dumbledore dies (every time), the first ten minutes of Up, the soundtrack to Les Miserables, and when I discover the coffee’s finished.
But that’s enough nonsense. I’ve been watching the match with one eye while finishing this. It’s freezing here so I’m enjoying the match with a cup of steaming glühwein and a block of home-made fudge…
And no, the glühwein doesn’t mean I’ve switched allegiances. I just don’t know of any tasty, hot Dutch treats to ward off the winter chill.
By the way, that guy whose picture I showed earlier?
— Yahoo Singapore (@YahooSG) July 9, 2014
Now that makes me cry.