Birth of a new supporter

It’s not everyday that one becomes a new supporter of a sport or team. Today is my time though. I’ve expressed in bold terms the patriotism I feel for my country and my support for Bafana Bafana during the World Cup, however I believe it is high time that I start supporting a local soccer side. The problem is that I’m not sure who to support.

The local soccer scene is dominated by the PSL Premiership with 16 reputable teams (read: franchises) for me to choose from. But what is my criteria for choosing a side at this stage? There are a few … and maybe you could help me decide?

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Why I’m not a big soccer fan

1. The ball is the wrong shape
2. The game is 10 minutes too long
3. I cannot fathom how you play a game with so few rules (3 or so I think)
4. If I wanted to watch a bunch of ballerinas prancing and diving around, I would go to the ballet
5. The powers-that-be don’t believe in using technology (you would think cricket honcho’s would be more conservative)
6. If your hair is in your face, get it cut or wear a scrum cap, not a headband
7. Only one person in a team is allowed to use their hands
8. The off-side ruling is too shallow
9. The referee is not allowed to play advantage
10. Players have NO respect for the referee
11. Getting a yellow card means you stay on the pitch and carry on playing (WTF?)
12. It’s not a contact sport
13. I cannot discern any meaningful structure to the game
14. A side only has 11 players, not 15.

World Cup Opening

Sam and I have just returned home from the Opening Ceremony and Match 1 of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. It’s a little surreal as this moment has been a few years in the making. The World Cup has always been 3 or 4 years away – something distant, not quite rooted in my reality of now. And now, it is here. Ke Nako.

As I suspected I would, I feel a huge swell of patriotism and national pride. I’m frikkin proud of my country and that we managed to get here, and get here successfully. I really wish I could revisit those social occasions when I had to listen to the naysayers waddle in their pessimism and just say “Na na na na naaaa”, ending off with a good show of the tongue.

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