I woke up this morning to the biting cold of a Stanford winter’s day. Alone. And suffering a deep depression.
I needed help. Group therapy sounded good. And I got it. From the vastly swollen ranks of the “SA-positive” people out there who are as hungover as me. On this day after the drunken month before.
So, how to describe how I feel? I can’t. I’m leaving it to you. These are the pick-me-up messages which came my way on facebook and Twitter today… I’ll throw in some pretty pictures just to – how do newspaper journalists say? – “break up the copy”…
Bravo Espana, bravo. the Grand Parade fanfest, filled to capacity with 25000 people was a SA experience i will NEVER forget as long as I live. People crying together, dancing, hugging, never before seen such unity amongst strangers and classes, creeds, colours and ages.
Trust a Ghanaian fan to succeed where Paris Hilton failed. Nobody bothered this bloke when he brought his pot into the stadium.
Dear SAFA – time to put your money where our youth developmental programme should be. How about PSL season to start with a youth league?
We did it South Africa. Thank you world for sharing our beautiful country.
Well done. Somehow, we must all soldier on. And we got our taste of rugby last night with the Dutch team. Sjoe!
The Netherlands' Nigel de Jong, who was later sent off, impresses upon Xabi Alonso of Spain that he didn't miss a single Bruce Lee movie as a kid
SA so in love with the vuvuzela that we name a newly discovered flower after it… iafrica.com
Spain has won the #worldcup of Football, but SA has won the World Cup of nation-building, social cohesion, national unity, pride & branding!
There’s always the Tri-Nations and Currie Cup to tide us over till the Premiership starts…
The football fans are taking lots of Vuvuzelas home #ORTambo #Joburg
Sorry, I'm not sure how this slipped in. The iPhone, I mean.
South Africa: On top of the world. Photo gallery… Times Live
South Africa proved it – the potential is high and the spirit of the people is strong. A metaphor for all of Africa?
South Africa #WorldCup stats ~ Attendance 3,178,856 (49,670 per match) Goals scored 145 ~ Wikipedia
Well done Spain – the best-looking team won the tournament. Well done South Africa – the best hosts won over the world.
The Spanish team seem quite happy to get their hands on the World Cup trophy... after some nutter had earlier run on the field to try to nick it. A Fifa heavy took him out with an almighty forearm smash to save the day. And he wasn't even Dutch.
I’m going to miss buying beers in the street and posing for photo’s with the police in front of Caspirs. Thank you South Africa, as if I needed a reason to love you more.
If the ref had picked up the foul on Robben, I think we’d have a different World Cup winner today! Well done to Spain, though, and to everyone involved in making the World Cup such a great success. I think we can all be extremely proud of the way South Africa rose to the challenge and made those doubting thomases, myself included, eat humble pie! Thanks for a fantastic tournament!!
Just watched all the morning news shows say good bye to the WC. I shed a tear.
The ever-popular Diego Forlan didn't shed a tear when Uruguay didn't make the final. He got so pissed off that he came along anyway, bringing a World Cup trophy his mum made for him back in Montevideo.
M sure s0uth africa are the best h0sts eva yho! even when 0ur teamz wer d0wn nd 0ut ppl still went 2 the stadiumz i salute u SOUTH AFRICA!
Well done, my country! We hosted the biggest sporting event in the world and EVERYBODY thinks it has been the best so far! I can’t wait for the next challenge cos we proved to ourselves that Yes, We Can!
Wow, South Africa, aren’t you proud ? Gosh that was beautiful, I must say, new South African history is written, forget june 16, together we wrote june 11 and it left a smile on all our faces, long live south africa!
Not trusting Eskom, quite a few fans brought their torches along for the closing ceremony at Soccer City last night.
There cannot be a single aficionado (not even in the Netherlands) who will dispute the cosmic justness of Spain’s win. They were better on the day, and they have been better than any team in the world for the last year or two. More than that, they play irrefutable football, football that fathers can watch with their children, football that is cerebral, clean-limbed, dignified, balletic, and immensely loveable—that last because they are not a team of physical giants, but are instead (for the most part) dapper men of modest proportions who wouldn’t draw a second glance if they were alongside one in the subway.”
And this from a Spanish guy… SOUTH AFRICA!!!!!!! A BIG CONGRATULATION TO THE BEST HOST NATION IN HISTORY!!!!! YOU DID AN EXCELLENT JOB AND BRING THE WORLD TOGETHER!!!!! THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE THE WORLD AND YOU DID IT !!!!! AWESOME JOB!!!!!! NOW THE OLYMPICS IS GOING TO 2020!!! AWESOME WC2010!
I think Miguel enjoyed himself. And didn’t we all? Never again will those foreign predictors of doom – and our own naysayers – disrespect us. Yes, we are South AfriCAN.
We hoped he would turn up for one last hurrah. And, as always, Mr Mandela didn't let us down. Madiba, have we told you recently how much we love you?
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to bed. I’ve got to try to shift this hangover…
Note to neighbour: Would you mind terribly, old chap, not blowing the old vuvu just for the rest of today? Ta.
So you’re slumped over your desk, waving a tear-stained segment of ultra-soft double-ply at the imaginary Uruguayan who has conducted a ghost-like coup of Thandi’s workstation opposite you? And his sneer is doing a damn good job of imitating that of Diego bloody Forlan standing over yet another free-kick?
Understandable. But wait, bru. All is not lost. Listen up. Hope springs eternal… and here it is: Tonight, Mexico holds France to a draw; then while Uruguay are thrashing Mexico, Bafana Bafana produce the performance of their lives to beat an unhappy French team beset by internal wrangling and characteristic petulance.
Result? We go through to the next round with – I struggle to even type out their name – Uruguay. See? How are you feeling now? That this is delusional? Fair cop.
But I remind you that this is football. Unscripted drama. The Spanish don’t need reminding of this. Ranked second in the world, they contrived to be beaten yesterday by Switzerland, ranked 24th by Fifa. Anything can happen in a high-intensity football match… and usually does.
Oscar-winning stuff: Uruguay cheat Suarez swan-lakes it to terra firma after trailing his left foot to catch Itumeleng Khune's outstretched leg and sneak the penalty which devastated the hopes of the South African nation. Infidel!
So, last night we were beaten by a national team that Fifa rank 67 places above South Africa. Where is the shame in that? I’ll tell you where the shame lay. Who were the so-called Bafana Bafana fans who packed up their shiny-new vuvuzelas and traipsed out of Loftus before the match had ended? Shame on them. Fairweather supporters! Scoundrels!
Do they have any idea how that feels to a Bafana Bafana team which has laid its collective body on the line for our nation? I hope that a thousand sharp-clawed tokoloshes visited their anatomical extremities as they lay treasonably under their duvets while the rest of us clutched our heads into the wee hours!
OK. So let’s hold a short post-mortem on what happened last night. It all looked quite pretty in the beginning, our boys pushing the ball around as choreographed by coach Carlos Alberto Perreira. Uruguay hung back, got men behind the ball, got themselves quickly to the man on the ball and gradually got the better of Bafana Bafana.
Our cohesiveness dissipated as Uruguay found their stride, denied us space in which to work the ball forward and generally harried our men into making ill-judged passes. There would be a neat one-two – or even a one-two-three – and the move would founder against our opponents’ rush defence.
We weren’t allowed to make use of our wings and got squeezed into the middle until we were dispossessed, allowing the combative Uruguayans to launch fast and fluid counter-attacks. Aaron Mokoena, who has been a tower of strength and stability, was reduced to the shakiness so apparent among his fellow defenders and it was only desperate tackling which denied early goals.
Then Forlan decides to do something never witnessed by the Manchester United fans he frustrated for so long. He scored what might be remembered as the goal of the tournament, helped by the ear of Mokoena pinballing his super-strike over and behind Itumeleng Khune and into the net. You cannot defend a goal like that. There is no legislating for such a marvellous thing. They just happen. And it happened to us.
What also happened to us is some dodgy refereeing. Mixed with a big drop of dodgy deception from Suarez who, I believe, trailed his foot over Khune’s lunge so that limbs were allowed to collide. Suarez swan-laked it to the ground and, of course, referee Massimo Busacca fell for it too. Like a Busacca potatoes. Penalty. Bang. Game over. End of story.
Until the next match. Yes, we need other results to go our way but, believe me, there will be many twists and turns to come. That is the beauty of football. and this is the beauty of our World Cup Wonderland. Feel it. It is here to bless our lives in more ways than you can imagine. Whether Bafana Bafana, who are punching above their weight at this tournament, progress or not… this World Cup represents so much more for our nation.
We are blessed to have this wondrous thing in our midst in our lifetimes. Continue to embrace it, my fellow South Africans. Be “SA-positive”. Lift yourself from your eye-moistened desk, look at your Uruguayan tormentor in the eye and gee vir hom ‘n moerse klap. Oops! I meant to say, “smile and wave”! Now get out there and show the world what we are made of. Gees. And ask of our beloved Bafana Bafana to show the same against France. They won’t let us down.
And, those of you who dumped your “SA-positivity” in the seat you prematurely abandoned last night… South Africans don’t do that. Keep it real. I’m watching you!
* I have joined the London Guardian’s phenomenal World Cup Fans Network for the duration of the World Cup football finals. If you would like to read what I’m saying about Bafana Bafana and get tongue-in-cheek tweeted updates during the matches, follow my tweets by following me on Twitter! If Facebook is more your social media thang, go to my Facebook profile and request to be a friend or simply join the \”Fred Hatman\” group for updates on my latest blogposts.