Thursday, March 12, 2009


Am one disgruntled football fan spoiling for a bare-knuckled fight! The so called ‘withdrawal symptoms’ have set in way too early for me. And that, for a very good reason. I woke up last Wednesday to the shocking and devastating news of the humiliating spanking that my beloved Real Madrid suffered at Liverpool the previous night (the scoreline is a bit embarrassing, I prefer not to state it for now).

Prior to the match, one like-minded yet immensely candid fan put it plainly to me that considering the beaten road that the los Merengues have taken in recent years in the competition, they stood not even half a chance at Anfield. In retrospect, I now realize I shouldn’t have bothered to ask for a second opinion in the first place.

But then of course every football fan worth his salt sets ‘SMART’ objectives for his team at the beginning of every season. Regrettably, with that drabbing at the hands of Liverpool, one of my own ‘SMART’ objectives for the 2008-2009 season just went up in smoke.

In football, back-to-back defeats to any one opponent – and while at it, shipping a bucketful of goals without scoring – is bad enough. But losing home and away to a struggling and colourless English team of Liverpool’s ilk is something that closely borders a disaster, a tragedy – nay, a scandal!

Maybe I should come out more clearly and boldly state that I’ve never had any love for English teams. All football fans have their idiosyncratic prejudices. Perhaps that’s just one of my own. It’s allowed in this game. For that very reason, I recently gave up watching the much-hyped English Premiership at my local pub every Saturday afternoon. This is a decision I reached upon stumbling on a very important awakening. Its all about the element of chauvinism, the cockiness exhibited in the English game. From those loud-mouthed managers, controversy-plagued players to downright ignorant fans (some in as far-flung places as downtown Nairobi) English football is the epitome of an over-rated, over-priced and over-publicized show.

How sickening it is listening to that tired age-long argument about Man U and Arsenal on those slow Sunday afternoons when all you want is to enjoy the game over a pint or two. Oh, and the degree of ignorance? Massive, for lack of a better word. Picture this; last Saturday at one of my family member’s house-warming bash am accosted by this gorgeous lady – an acquaintance from a previous social gathering. During our brief conversion, Cindy (for that’s her name) volunteers information to the effect that she is a diehard Man U fan, never mind the fact that she doesn’t understand the simplest of the game’s rules like an off-side. Now, fancy that for your average English football fan! Her display of bewilderment when I nonchalantly stutter that I feel nothing for her team or any other English team, for that matter, was all too obvious.

Suffice to say, we didn’t strike it off well with Cindy and I left it at that. My wildest guess is that my convoluted perspective of the game did very little to endear me this drop-dead beauty. And I bet it won’t endear me, either, to the many lovers of the English game – not by one long shot. What am sure of though, is that by bravely sticking out my neck, I’ve practically turned into a laughing stock. For now, you guyz can ha ha ha all you wanna, but rest assured Real Madrid will live to fight another day.

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