you can read part 1 here.
- You say football. Only newbies and Americans say soccer. This is frowned upon. Using the word soccer proves that you are not a true fan, and you will never be taken seriously. (@shahil told me on twitter it is called soccer in countries where more than one type of football is played, like America and Australia). you can watch a hysterical explanation by John Cleese on football versus soccer.
- Football is not as boring as I thought it would be. In fact, it can be very exciting! Although the game seems to be much simpler and easier to understand than most other sports, you may not say this out loud.
- Football is a very emotional game. You get swept up and carried away, and you say things in the moment, and then your friends get angry with you, and lose all respect for you.
- Your team never loses. They get robbed. By a player on the opposing team who cheated. By the referee, who is blind and stupid and biased. By FIFA, who must be boycotted, and who are old fossils who refuse to accept modern technology and who therefore condone bad calls. By Jabulani, the new ball. By the vuvuzela. Oh, and by the coach, who chose players who are too old, or too inexperienced. But if you complain about being robbed, the supporters of the other team will say you are whining.
- Everybody has an opinion. And for theirs to be right, yours has to be wrong.
- You may not express an opinion on the game if you are a new fan. If you cry foul for whatever reason, you will be met with mutters saying 'suddenly everyone is an expert', even if you repeat what everyone else is saying. You may only express an opinion if you have been a long-time fan. Since birth. The only way you can get away with saying anything, is if you acknowledge the expert’s expertise, and phrase it like a question. So, don't say: “That cheat! That was a handball! That cost us the game!” Say: “I’m not an expert like you. Would you say that was a handball? But isn’t that cheating? Won’t that cost us the game?” Experts love explaining the game and it’s intricacies.
- If you are a coach, and your team loses, you are expected to resign. No matter how far you got in the competition. The fact that there has to be a loser, and you have a 50% chance of being that, does not matter. If your team loses, everyone from the press to the fans to the government will be calling for your resignation.
- Before the game, football is unifying. We all dress in team colours, and stand next to the road to cheer and blow our vuvuzelas. We all talk and tweet excitedly about how wonderful it is, to be unified and positive and proudly South African/African. After the game, football is divisive. We complain about the game. We complain about the referee. We complain about the complainers. We accuse each other of being naive/racist/cynical/hypocritical. But only till a few hours before the next game, when the cycle starts all over again.
- All this football emotion is exhausting. The ups and downs you experience on a daily basis, take their toll. But when it is all over, you miss the excitement. The vibe. The roller-coaster ride.
This I have learned: South Africa will never be the same. For all it’s controversy, we agree: this was an awesome event. This is a great time to be a South African. This will change the way the world sees us, and more importantly, this will change the way we see ourselves. In the years to come, we will refer to the World Cup in 2010 as a time when we all worked together to produce something we can be proud of. And that feels good!
the above photos come from nico roux, and were taken at soccer city, johannesburg, on the day of the opening match, 11 june 2010.
these 2 photos i found online. i don't know who to credit. if you know, please tell me?
to read part 1, click here.