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Posted by on Jun 24, 2010 in BlaBla, Current Events, South Africa, Sport | 15 comments

Will The Anti Brigade Please Take Your Head Out Of Your Arse Already

Sometimes I get a little hot under the collar. It doesn’t happen often, and it normally takes something big to upset me. Soon after the South African teams’ exit from the 2010 World Cup on Tuesday evening I had one of those rare moments.

Lamenting the fact that this is the first World Cup in which the host nation has not progressed through to the Knockout Phase of the tournament, it didn’t take long for the naysayers, pessimists and other sundry ‘disgruntled South Africans’ to start their irritating, hypocritical comments on various news sites and blog pages.

A little like the 3 Monkeys, these pseudo-patriots refuse to see, hear or speak of anything positive about the 2010 World Cup being held here. It’s wall-to-wall doom and gloom with this lot. They embarrass themselves, and irritate the living heck out of me.

For some South Africans, no matter what happens, their reaction to the 2010 World Cup will remain negative. Like these three they remain ignorant. Dumb apes.

The extremely bitter tone of many their comments is what really triggered my ‘shut-the-hell-up-and-piss-off-you-blinkered-bunch-of-pillocks’ reflex. And so for those who simply refuse to see the positives of the World Cup in South Africa, regardless of what happens, I offer a little perspective:

  • Carlos Alberto Perreira coached the national team for 15 matches after his return to the head coach position late last year. 14 of those matches were either wins or draws. Only 1 resulted in a loss – the disastrous 3:0 loss to Uruguay that probably led to SA’s eventually demise. The 13-match unbeaten streak leading up to that loss is the 3rd longest by a national football team in the history of keeping national football team records.
  • At #83 in the Fifa rankings, South Africa holds the record for being the lowest ranked nation to ever host a successful World Cup tournament. No other host nation with such a low global ranking would ever have been considered as a viable venue for the tournament. In short, our ability to play world-class soccer is secondary to our ability to be world-class hosts for the planets’ largest single sport event. 1
  • Something like 465,000 foreign tourist arrivals will be seen in this single month. “Foreigners will stay away in droves” did not happen, despite the best efforts of the negative media SA got leading up to the tournament.
  • These tens of thousands of foreign visitors are spending hundreds of thousands of their lovely foreign currency notes on South African products, services, food and wine. And they are loving every minute of the experience.
  • Every single match so far has had ticket sales of well over 90%. A number have been sell-outs. Match attendances are very positive too, with most games reaching well over 90% attendance figures as well. Chief amongst the empty seats? The high-priced hospitality suites pitched to foreign corporate companies at a time when their budgets were seriously under pressure from a global recession. They remain empty for simple economic reasons – not because South Africa’s World Cup is a disaster. 2
  • World Cup 2010 South Africa will be the most successful tournament ever held. Period. Revenues, attendances, global broadcast coverage, online and print media column inches, infrastructure development, advertising and national reputation points are all unparalleled. Yes, there’ll be more successful tournaments in the future. But right now, 2010 is the motherf-ing bees knees. Period.
  • The global online response to the World Cup in South Africa has been, and will continued to be, nothing short of a phenomenon. Reports show that the two busiest traffic days ever seen on the Internet have been the opening day of the World Cup and during yesterdays USA-Algeria and England-Slovenia games. Read that again. The entire global Internets’ busiest days ever. And we haven’t even got to the Brazil-Portugal clash, or any of the knock out games yet.3
  • If that’s not enough proof of the global impact we’re having, consider the fact that the Twitter service has been experiencing unprecedented load to the point that despite their best technical efforts at increasing capacity, the service continues to land up overloaded and users are seeing the Twitter ‘fail whale’ more often than ever before.
  • And that’s even without going near the impact that the vuvuzela has had. Love it or hate it, the facts are clear. Sainsburys in the UK sold out of them in minutes. Amazon.com lists it as one of their fastest selling items ever. Greek and French unionists are importing them by their thousands to use in protest marches. It’s been seen at American NBA basketball games. German fans are celebrating with it in the streets of Munich and Berlin. Brazilians are placing huge orders for it to ensure that the next World Cup has the vuvuzela sound too. But its origins will forever be remembered as the sound of 2010 and associated with South Africa. Unpaid aural advertising if you like.
  • R582-million goes to SAFA from FIFA for football development projects, and the continued development of the national team towards the African Cup of Nations and qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A local coach who is kept with the team all the way through these two tournaments would be fantastic – Pitso, Gordon, Gavin and/or Clive would be my suggestion.
  • Nicholas Sarkozy, the French president no less, will chair a meeting to discuss what he terms “France’s disastrous World Cup campaign”. This is for a group of footballers, their coach and technical staff whose combined wealth and earnings probably outstrip many small African nations and various island states. This is a footballing nation that was ranked at #9 in the world going into the tournament. And they made it only as far as their South African hosts. With a lot less style, hardly any flair and very little of their supposed skill.

I could go on, but I won’t. If you are one of those still not convinced of the positive value that the World Cup has had, is having, and will continue to have on this country, then nothing more I say will change your mind.

Yes it would have been fantastic if Bafana Bafana had progressed to the next round of competition. But to suggest that this failing is ‘disgusting’, ‘a disaster’, ‘a national disgrace’ and many other ‘dis-‘ words is a display (!) of the poor and sad state of mind and lack of national pride that some fellow South Africans have. You are the disgusting disgraces in my opinion.

If you are one of those that will continue to refuse to acknowledge these facts, let me be bold enough to suggest that you might want to pull your head out of your arse sometime and smell the air. You might realise that it isn’t all as crap as you seem to think.

1 Based on FIFA rankings history: http://tinyurl.com/2u9wbwx

2 Based on official FIFA 2010 Match Report figures: http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/index.html & sample at: http://tinyurl.com/2bdnhuk (Australia vs. Germany match report)

3 This statement is based on information tracked by Akami which is the world’s largest operator of news network computers. Their servers tracked spikes of over 230% above normal levels on the WC days I mentioned. Akamai does not report on the world’s total Internet demand. But it does carry most of the world’s major news organisations (including the BBC, CNN, and NBC) so it seems a reasonably fair representation of the “whole entire internets’ usage levels” and also a fair indication of how World Cup fever is driving Internet traffic. See http://www.akamai.com/html/technology/nui/news/index.html for more.

15 Comments

  1. o?????<()¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤øº? ? ?

    Well said Bla!

    • Sort of figured that is meant to be a vuvuzela – not sure why the image broke like that…

      o=======<()

      And a mexiwave too!

      ¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø„¸¸„ø¤º°¨¨°º¤ø„¸

  2. ooops … that was my little pic of a vuvu … no idea why it broke like that.

  3. South Africa has never gone past the first round in history either….So, did we do bad? No, we have done brilliantly! Most tourists are so happy the could shit, that and tha overwhelming demand for flights from THE NETHERLANDS has caused a rush to add extra planes to the route….

    Even the two Princes would rather be in SA watching the footie as apposed to their own country watching boring Wimbledon….

    • Too right Voted! The band of merry Oranges is outdoing all the other nations in terms of supporting their team at the moment.

      Mind you, the Americans and English supporters are still pretty vocal as well – for how long though remains to be seen…

      I hear they have the longest tennis match in history going on at the moment at Wimbledon. 10+ hours when I last heard. Mega thrilling stuff. At least for the first hour. After that, not so much…

      • Just sore necks all round…..

        • And a bunch of well-worn balls.

  4. You are an IDIOT!

    Come to SA Sucks if you want to know the TRUTH about your feel-good Lala Land SWC!

    Hahahahahahahaa….!

    Knorrig
    (Editor of SA Sucks)

    • As tempted as I am, I won't lower myself.

      Away with you now ugly troll – we don't feed your type around here.

    • Greg is way to much of a gentleman….

      FUCK OFF TWIT!

  5. South Africans & The World Cup – Will The Anti Brigade Please Take Your Head Out Of Your Arse Already

    MY RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLE

    Be very careful not to confuse the issues here. Sure, there are certain people out there who thrive off spreading negativity and making it seem as if SA is the worst country on earth and is incapable of getting anything right. These elements have a hidden agenda – which is to make it appear as though the current government is more incompetent than any other government in the world or the previous government who enriched themselves and the minority of this country by virtue of institutionalized corruption. The truth however is that the competence of governments, like the levels of corruption, like so many other issues are not simply black and white issues – all governments around the world suffer from these negatives to some degree or another.

    The point I'm trying to make is that I am not one of those individuals who make broad stroke generalizations about SA simply because of a couple (possibly even many) imperfections. SA has done remarkably well over the past decade and a half in many areas, and yes, we have also failed in many areas. I am overwhelmed by how well we have hosted the biggest show on earth thus far – a sentiment which is moderated only by the fact that I always knew we would make a success of the 2010 World Cup!

    As a keen soccer fan and a self-confessed patriot I do have to say that I am bitterly disappointed by the POOR performance of the national team. Saying this does not make me any less of a patriot. The team performed dismally, and being delusional about this fact does not change that – nor does it make one any more patriotic by throwing around comments like "our boys did well" when they in fact clearly did not. The fact that they played well in the last match is even more disappointing, since it speaks to the poor strategy and poor temperament of the team during the earlier matches.

    The balls up with getting a foreign coach like Joel Santana (in the absence of Parreira)in the run up to the World Cup – who couldn't speak a word of English is nothing short of hilarious. Imagine him standing there trying to convey his master strategic plan to a team who doesn’t understand a word he is saying! Ridiculous. Lastly, the "but they're only ranked 83rd…" argument I would argue is flawed in so much as it is based on a misunderstanding of the cause-effect relationship. I would counter by saying – why is it that SA is ranked 83rd? – the answer is simple – because they are CRAP! Which is simply what I’ve been saying all along.

    Is it the end of the world that we have a CRAP national soccer team – of course not – but let's take our heads out of the sand and work on improving their chances going forward instead of merely lying about how "well" they performed!!! Just because I am Proudly SA does not mean that I am Blindly SA. LOL!

    • Hi Ian.

      Thank you for taking the time to respond – you make some excellent and very valid points.

      To clarify my intentions: it was certainly not my aim to whitewash the performance by Bafana Bafana. My singular intention was to highlight my personal irritation at the bitter and vitriolic comments being made on various news and sports pages.

      That the team suffered through poor management and farcical levels of incompetence in terms of coaching in the lead up to Parreira's return is unquestionable. Santana was a stupid idea and SAFA should have taken the opportunity to insert a local coach when CAP left initially. As I said in my post, I sincerely hope that the deep-thinkers at the top table of SA football administration make all effort to ensure that the team continue to develop properly under the guidance of a suitable coach that actually stays with the position for a solid period of time. My only concern with appointing a SA coach is that this would remove a good coach from the local PSL environment, and heaven knows that the PSL needs all the help it can get!

      I personally think that the whole ranking thing is a little over-done. In all honesty, the FIFA ranking system is flawed and not perfect by any means. In tournament play, the ranking becomes even less relevant – witness the demise of the French and the Italians at this WC. Sure, both teams had their issues but if the rankings were of any value, they both should have sailed through to the knockouts. In fact, I think there's a post in here somewhere… there must be a good number of examples of monumental mess-ups at the top level.

      Finally, to the point of blind patriotism. Again, not something I advocate at all. I urge people to question, investigate, probe their situations all the time. Never take anything for granted, and never accept mediocrity as the norm. But what I saw in some of those comments amounts to blind negativity and blatant hypocrisy. Like the idiot who commented above you. And those I cannot accept either.

      Ultimately though, I think its' okay for us to show our pride at hosting the World Cup here. And to acknowledge the efforts made by the players in their 3 games. But lets not allow them to fall into a trap of complacency and comfort – they have much room to improve. I personally won't go so far as to say they are entirely "crap" – I see some talent in there that needs to be nurtured and managed properly in order to up the levels somewhat. And the improvements need to be made to ensure that the pride some of us have in them at the moment is not wasted or taken for granted.

      To be honest I've always had a bit of a silly spot for teams that need improvement – Bafana, the Lions, Ferrari, Pirates, Liverpool. It's a burden I have to live with! 🙂

    • My two cents worth on the ranking system….

      If it was accurate then only the top 32 teams would quaify for the tournament, and obviously that is not the case.

      The fact that SA was only in cause they were hosts make the fact that 1w-1d-1l is not a bad record….

  6. Stay in the pond boet, stay in the pond.

    Sometimes pessimism and being realistic go hand in hand. One could say the same for optimism and naivety. You are clearly an optimist – drunk on positivity (either that or a Christian who are often detached from reality by an over optimistic mindset ….i cant quiet put my finger on it)

    Dont get me wrong, Im all for the positive impact the SWC will have on africas beacon of hope, good old SA. In fact I secretly believe that an African revolution is imminent – its africas time to take a step forward and progress. Thats as much positive energy as I can summon for now.

    Having said that; I admire your optimism but don’t lose track of reality. Once the SWC hype is over and the circus leaves town to focus on the next SWC in 48 months time, it will be back to business as normal. The poor will get hungry, B.E.E will continue to eat at the competence within the workplace, the unionists will have nothing to watch on TV and plot more strikes, the rich will get richer, a white university graduate will be denied a job because of the colour of their skin, a few hardcore AWB knumbskulls will vow revenge for what they did to baas ET and that buffoon malema will make an appearance and no doubt say something stupid.

    This temporary 4 week SWC event will not solve the housing backlog and sadly is wont stop the high murder rate (correct me if im wrong: I understand there are 50 murders and 60 attempted murders a day?), it wont stop the raping of women, the abuse of children, the killing of farmers, political corruption, nor will it deter the career criminals in the chosen profession of car hijacking and burglary. As someone with ties to both the education system and the medical profession there would be no need for me to comment on the strain that these two basic human rights are under.

    It should come as no surprise that I no longer live in SA. Its is very sad and frustrating because I miss SA and its kind people. My heart will always be in SA. It would bring a bead of sweat to the surface of Bob Mugabe’s forehead but I consider myself a white African.

    Whats my point? I would love to move back to SA, I would love to see that many police on the streets as I did when I was there for the soccer, I would love to bring my skills and experience back to SA and make a contribution, I would love to fire up the braaivleis and drink a few castles friends and family, I would love to come home and sleep with the windows open unobstructed by burglar bars, I would love to raise children in SA, I would love to come back and feel truly safe and secure but I am far to realistic. I know this wont become a reality in my life time. The sensible option is to stay in a country which allows my family and I that kind of freedom and peace of mind.

    My opinions are not pessimistic, its more like being realistically sensible.

    • Barry – you are an ex-pat after my own heart. I think there's clearly a touch of sentimentality evident in your comment. Your reasons for leaving these beautiful shores with your family are sound, valid, sensible. You are amongst those that could afford to relocate and took the opportunity to do so. And I'm pleased to see that you are not one of those who now spends all his time trying to justify that decision by slating and bitching about the country from afar.

      However, I think it's a little unfair of you to paint me as naive optimist, blind to the realities of the life that those of us who are still here have. Nowhere have I suggested that SA's problems have or will miraculously disappear to be replaced by a Utopian paradise. Nor did I imply that the WC glow will be replaced with a shining rainbow under which we all live, play, dance and sing together in perfect harmony.

      I agree entirely with you that the World Cup will not solve South Africa's undeniable problems. In fact, it won't be a huge surprise to me if after the trophy has left our shores (to Brazil, imho!) all manner of issues and problems are reignited and our society goes back to finding ways to cope with them, or sweep them under the rug, whichever our powers-that-be feel is most appropriate at the time.

      But, the whole point of my post was to simply suggest to people that there is nothing wrong with living in this moment, and soaking it all up while we can. You don't say how long you've been away, but if you were here in 1994 you'd have an inkling of the vibe, the emotion, the spirit that is in the air here at the moment. I think that the national mood right now is even more positive and spirited than it was back then.

      I trust you and your family are supporting us from wherever you are – wearing Bafana shirts, flying the flag, and chugging as many imported and over-priced SA beers as possible! We need all the foreign currency we can get 🙂

      And don't worry about things back home – I promise you in a few short weeks time everything will be back to normal again. But at least we'll have had this time to shine before we get back to the same-old-same-old again.

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