Monday, January 25, 2010
The trials and tribulations of a soccer baby
So the September of 2008, I started watching soccer. It was a mistake! This was the beginning of many nerve-wracking, nail-biting episodes in front of the television at school on Saturdays and Sundays. It didn’t help that I’m a (proudly) Manchester United fan and a girl. I have the battle scars to show for it. I mean more than half of my football-watching buddies are arsenal fans. The rest of us are split into two: those who are Manchester United fans and those that would rather die than support Manchester United. On being a girl...I’m a girl and that’ll never change and I do what every girl is supposed to do. I think the boys are used to my running commentary on the hairstyles of players, who I think they look like or just my simple fawning over the gorgeousness of SOME players. Although the person I deem my favourite player I chose not on the basis of his fine face or his new terrible haircut or his beautiful eyes...I chose on the basis of what I like to call his first touch. Simply beooootiful! Despite some horrible moments like watching my team lose to Liverpool 4-1 (last season) or great ones like watching the 4-0 win over Hull City (this season), the worst period in my entire football watching career has got to be this period of the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup. It is certainly also very bad that I am at a school where almost every team still playing has a representative from that country in my school. I mean the Ghana- Ivory Coast match was particularly deadly. As a Nigerian, suffering the indignity of watching my team barely scrap their way into semi-finals, has certainly been the most unhealthy time in my life. Take the Benin-Republic game, my blood pressure must have been sky rocketing and I was certainly exposing myself to the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The worst though was the recent match against Zambia. I cannot comfortably say we sent Zambia home because we won by one penalty score...a 120 min game and we could only scrape a win by winning the penalties! Thank God for the goalkeeper, who has certainly started looking fine in my eyes, if not we would be in such a mess. The ridicule would have been too much for me. It’s one thing for Nigerians to call the Super Eagles, the Super Chickens; it’s another thing for people from countries like Tanzania and Kenya, of whom we have no idea which century their country fell out of the running for the cup, to call them that. To comfort myself I had to use that opportunity to vent. After telling them that I would only accept soccer advice from an East African, the day that I watch their teams play and not lose to Nigeria (Kenya’s loss to Nigeria as a case in hand but that was a while ago anyway), they promptly left me to my own devices. I feel bad (not!). I certainly do look forward to the day that Nigeria wins confidently while I’m watching (therefore the win over Mozambique doesn’t quite count). I can walk away confidently and know that at least if I died of a heart attack, it would be happily.