Men, women and football - three mutually exclusive institutions. A sudden bust up out of the blues that I recently had with a platonic female friend over a game of football reaffirmed my long held belief in this school of thought.
Picture this: it’s an easy Tuesday evening, Match Day 3 of the just concluded African Cup of Nations. The Pharaohs of Egypt are up against Nigeria’s Super Eagles in one of the most titillating Group matches - a must watch encounter. Just as am getting all comfy and cozy on my armchair, my cellphone suddenly alerts me of an in coming text. Its Fay, my across the street neighbourhood lady friend. “Am home, kam join me 4 coffee”, her sms is curt and concise.
Ordinarily, on any given day this is an opportunity I would gladly jump at, but today there is a little problem. Kick off time is just moments away and I don’t wanna miss any bit of the action. What to do now? Simple! Just do what your average halfwit man does when faced with this kind of a dilemma. Contrive a blatant lie as a quick escape avenue! “Sori Fay, got a visitor @ my place, kant kam” I quickly dispatch my reply. Easy, right? Wrong!
Now, Fay is one overbearing lady whose idea of nurturing a friendship is a misplaced sense of overt patronage. Simply put, she relishes playing mother-hen. Within 10 flat minutes there is a knock on my door. Busted! Its Fay. My hunch is that she must have correctly figured out that my unusually turn down of her benevolent overture was a clear indication of some possible mischief that I was up to. So there she was to corroborate her suspicion and possibly, if need be, reprimand me for my uncouth conduct.
To say that Fay was not amused by my flopped double bluff and that what followed was an unsavory verbal exchange would be an understatement. In the heat of the moment, she stormed out in protest, but not without a final stinging parting shot: “Have fun entertaining your football of a visitor!” I was dumbfounded. And she is not even my girlfriend! I pity all those married men who still pretend to love football. No sane woman willingly accepts a ‘co-wife’. Sorry folks, there is no middle road here.
If you think that spat with my otherwise convivial and benign friend Fay was the end of my football related misery you are dead wrong. It so happened that the daily double-header matches in Angola were slotted at 7pm and 9:30pm local time. Now this is prime time on local TV channels. Soon enough, my homely neighbour’s kids would come trooping with one agenda in mind, “Storm Over Paradise” (That annoying Mexican soap in which the cast spends 99% of their time shouting and hurling lewd profanity at each other). In my opinion, “Storm in a Tea Cup” would be more apt for a title. Needless to say, that spelt out a long cold silence war over the control of the remote with the minors over the entire duration of the Nations Cup coverage.
And to throw a little spanner to the works, Man U vs Arsenal’s EPL match coincided with the Nations Cup final match. I have no allegiance to neither (in fact I despise both in equal measure) so I didn’t waste any time on the Devils- Gunners mumbo jumbo. As expected, Man U mercilessly spanked the Emirates wannabes for good measure. But what caught my attention post match, was Sir Alex Fergusson war-like mentality. Listen to what he said concerning the impending London derby featuring Arsenal and Chelsea: “Arsenal are still not out of it. I hope they can go to Stamford Bridge and come out with something.” It all reminded me of the proverbial mouse that nibbles away at the fingers of a sleeping kid who fail to wash hands after dinner, while at the same time blowing on the wounds to pacify the clueless child. The war has just began and nobody does it better than Sir Alex Fergusson when it comes to playing that invaluable psychological card.
But have you ever wondered why when it comes to matters football in the corridors of power no one meddles and spins a better yarn than PM Agwambo? Moments after Mariga’s bid to join mega rich Man City flopped, the Right Honourable was at it again trying to pacify the masses. Whether his claim that he managed to seek audience with his British counterpart Gordon Brown on this saga within hours to the closure of the transfer window was purely for PR is a story for another day. I can’t help wondering though if this guy really has a job description other than running petty errands for the docile Emilio.