On the wrong side of the goal


Thursday, July 10, 2014

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"It matters not if you win or lose but how you play the game..."

BRAZIL'S inglorious and humiliating defeat at the feet of the German soccer juggernaut is painful and distressing to anyone who is/was a Brazilian supporter now walking around in a daze muttering "Cyaan believe it...nutten cyaan go so". But so...and more...it is.

The waggonists, of course, have no problem with it. Once the slaughter was evident, they quickly dropped the green and yellow emblem of Brazil and went for the red, yellow and black banner of Deutschland.

Round town, the Brazilian flag was asked to give up its space on the taxi antenna before you could say "Goal". At half-time Germany had already delivered the first round of the subjugation, which many had already begun to call "Batteration in Brazil" and was catching their breath to return for the kill. Up the street, riding on the wrong side of the road came a cyclist, waving his German flag. I am willing to wager that it was newly acquired.

By the time news of Brazil's annihilation became known, the waggonists were already at work. People looked you in the eye and declared how they have supported Germany from Day One and how they knew all along that Brazil would be crushed like ants when they crossed the Germans' path. "Brazil? Who dat? Bring it awn!"

I digress to ask what Mr Holness told Madame Lagarde when she came peddling IMF ideology the other day. We have not been enlightened as to all that they talked about, but being known for his willingness to give the media tidbits of his wisdom, Mr H let it be known that he and Madame did talk World Cup football. She chose France to win, not surprisingly. She's French. He opted for Germany.

Today, he can say "I told you so". He's not made a big thing about it yet. Politicians like to be on all sides of the fence. As to whether he was able to play the game with the Grande Dame of Global Economics, is another matter. Surprise-surprise. Except for a passing mention, no press conference on the subject yet.

While I'm talking Lagarde, I wonder if she has heard all the things we have being saying behind her back about her and her economic strategies? Our heated debate has cooled somewhat from last week's excitement. Perhaps smart-mouths are searching for who and what we would get to replace her and the IMF, but let us return to the real world.

It's football we're talking. We move from the goal quake in Brazil on Tuesday to "whatta gwan in Kingston" where the tremors were being felt. Parliamentarians at Gordon House didn't have the time to listen to MP Horace Dalley who had the ill-luck to have to speak that afternoon. He did his level best to report on the status of labour and social security. He trotted out his statistics, etc, only to find his colleagues would rather hear the goal count coming across the airwaves.

He, too, must have wished to know the score, but duty called, so he spoke on and on, obviously hoping to catch somebody's attention. Later, it was said by an observer that Mr Dalley should be allowed to give the speech again, seeing as how he was upstaged. Not even his comrades on their own side of the aisle were listening, as the goals kept thundering into the back of the Brazil net.

Would it be appropriate to express sympathy and solidarity to our Brazilian friends, especially as the agony of defeat, the pain of humiliation being felt by their nation, is not over? Not only has one of the most beloved teams in the history of the sport been so thoroughly defeated, but that humiliating score of 7-1 has already entered the history books and will continue to haunt them for generations to come.

In the World Cup scenario, very few nations have turned defeat into victory like our friends, the Americans. Despite being ousted by the Belgians in the semi-finals, the reception they got when they returned home could have deceived them into believing that they had won the entire competition, even if they came out "bloody but unbowed", as a famous poet said. In other words, they lost.

Now the "big buzz" is that soccer/football may become an American

game. This, you may be surprised to know, doesn't please some of the American people, who have been making a political football of the suggestion, already labelling it an immigrants' game brought in by "Latinos and Carib-beans".

Supporters of the Conservative right have promptly declared it un-American, like just about everything in the era of Barack Obama. So far, they haven't blamed him for it, but give them time.

Right now, red-blooded Americans seem to have very little regard for what we know as "football" while they stick with "soccer", a children's game introduced into prep schools and played by young girls. See the point? A girlie-girlie sissy sport.

It has also given the world the term "soccer moms", identified as middle class, SUV-driving suburban women ferrying their offspring to and from the game to ballet and all that jazz. Real, red-blooded American men are not ready for that, certainly not when it is put alongside the gladiator sport which has another interpretation of the term "football".

The inference is that this alien business of soccer/football as a game cannot be taken seriously, even if some college males make a success of it. The political fanatics believe that America must be saved from another alien invasion. Believe it or not, this has actually become a topic for political discourse.

However, if a Team USA could dominate, that would be something else. The "anti-socceristas" have been heard to say America would be

weakened in its global authority by becoming just another nation if it took up playing the game like the rest of the world. Well, if they knew how to speak Jamaican, we could settle it by teaching them the meaning of "Gway wid dat".

PS: Before we sign off, here's the question — in the final match on Sunday, who are you backing? Come on now... On Monday, speak the truth.

COURAGE UNDER FIRE is the only way to salute the Fab Five aggregation, one of Jamaica's longest-surviving bands, which demonstrated the meaning of the saying "The show must go on".

Last Sunday morning, the vehicle in which they were travelling to the Boston (Portland) Jerk Festival became involved in a traffic accident. With members of the group, headed by leader Grub Cooper, suffering minor but painful shake-ups, it was agreed that nothing would stop them from keeping their appointment. That they did. Nuff respect to real professionals.

SAD NOTE: Fire destroyed drums belonging to the master drummer Count Ossie. This is one good reason why we need the Jamaica Music

Museum, so that among other things, artifacts from our history-making musical developments can be protected and preserved. What are we waiting for...money? ...But we can find it for less-important matters, though.

PS: To the dollar exploiters, you should be ashamed... but I forget, conscience is not in your vocabulary...




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