Tag Archive: world cup


Another World Cup, another sad day for South Africa.

But a happy day for New Zealand who did outplay us in a tight match and after 8 semi-finals make their first one, so maybe this means a little bit more to them. At least we won’t be labelled with the ‘Choker’ moniker except by shtupidheads who don’t understand the concept.

proteas

There are definitely some things i would have loved to have gone differently:

# i would have definitely gone with Abbott over Philander

# i would have liked it not to have rained [which i don’t think helped us with AB and Miller about to hit overdrive]

# i would have loved for those two run-outs and those drops and that other third thing to have gone the way we wanted it

But none of those things caused us to lose. We lost because on the day New Zealand played a better game and well done to them.

If you are throwing IFs and BUTs into today as to why South Africa lost [as the South African public, and maybe every other public? i dunno, it seems like we do it a lot?] then you can also add if the chances QDK and Amla gave in the opening overs of our batting had gone to hand [we would have been even less runs for two] and if they had called for the review that would have given one of our earlier players [forget who?] out LBW with all the boxes red and ticked and if they had made those runouts of AB and Miller and and and…

i am learning [would love to say “‘have learnt’ but i fear i have a long way to go] this lesson from tbV – i love to analyse games, and maybe that’s a guy thing cos i tend to hear this from the dudes, and so when i lose a game of Settlers of Catan [i know? but it happens! ha!] i tend to explain all the reasons why it happened – “The Dice was landing on fours the whole game” or “If i had got to that harbour first” or whatever it is…

Which is great for me. Analyse the game. Know why i lost. Understand how to do better next time.

But is pretty crappy for Val. “Oh, by the way, the only reason you just beat me there is because of something that went wrong, and not because of your skills and brain and strategy or anything like that. i was unlucky.”

Which is really horrible!

i know this cos i have had it done to me – win an amazing strategied game and have someone complain about the dice landing on 8 the whole time [so my excellent strategy of building on 8 worked, then?] or whatever it is.

We do it and it sucks and we need to stop.

Yes we are very very sad that the Proteas lost. But we need to give New Zealand their moment of being really really glad that they won. Especially in a game where there was no obvious sledging or bad sportsmanship or dubious decisions. We lost because we lost early wickets and were too slow in rebuilding. We lost because Mccullum went huge and it came off and he nailed the run rate for them. We lost because having lost to Pakistan and India in the group matches we finished lower than New Zealand and needed a win more than just a draw to get through. We lost because of a great Corey Anderson, Grant Elliott partnership which we desperately needed to break but couldn’t. And more.

Well done New Zealand. Well played and all the best in the final ESPECIALLY if it is against Australia [although it won’t be!]

And let’s keep our IFs and our BUTs at least until their celebration has died down. And then if there are things to learn [like taking Ryan Mclaren along on tour with you] let us learn them and let us bounce back and not lose any ODIs for the next four years to show we are the best.

There almost always has to be a winner and a loser in a team game. And that doesn’t mean we have to throw ridiculous untrue words like ‘Choke’ at our team [they are the first team to achieve a knockout win in a World Cup game after how many attempts?] and it doesn’t mean that the loser is necessarily crap or needing to have a whole lot of IFs or BUTs to cushion it – it could just mean another team did better on the day, and we’ll get them next time!

So proud of the Proteas. You played your hearts out. And doing that and losing is more than okay.

jontyi was there when Jonty Rhodes did the unthinkable, throwing himself through the air and demolishing Inzamam Ul Haq’s stumps to run him out and change fielding in cricket forever.

Well, i mean i wasn’t actually there, but i was at home watching on my tv and my love affair with cricket had just recently started and that moment sucked me in and injected some cricket-watching D.N.A. into my blood.

i was there for the disappointment of 22 runs off 13 balls becoming 22 runs off 7 balls becoming the ultimate ignomy of 22 runs off 1 ball – still, it was England bowling so anything was possible. But that loss hurt.

As did the Allan Donald run-out in the Lance Klusener world cup where he had saved us game after game but this was one game too many. As had the Herschelle Gibbs “You just dropped the world cup” catch and the Steve Waugh century that followed. And that Zimbabwe game that came back to haunt us…

As did the misreading of Duckworth Lewis.

As did the demolition by New Zealand.

But this year was meant to be our year. With AB Devilliers on an all-time high and with Hashim Amla dominating attack after attack, with Steyn destroying and Tahir picking up the pieces, and with Faf and Miller finally gaining some consistency and scoring some regular runs. i have never been more confident before a world cup that we had the team to win it.

Then came the Zimbabwe game. A little too close, but we were warming up into it.

And the India game. That hurt. And i really thought we had the team to chase an even bigger score had they gotten it, with India looking like one of the weaker attacks in the competition.

We needed to have a big one to restore my confidence and West Indies was that.

But then Pakistan and a target we really should have gotten to took the air out of my lungs again. Was this going to be another one of those world cups.

proteasAnd today, as we head into ‘battle’ with Sri Lanka, and a team we really should be capable of beating on most days, i think most people believe that we are going to find a way to lose it. My stomach is part of those most people. My head is screaming at me to just give in and admit that it’s probably going to happen. My Improv partner-in-rhyme Megan Furniss has probably run out of nails pre-game and is chewing on a corner of the sofa [she’s probably not!] and as much as she desperately wants to believe [and will be stressed out by my optimistic tweets throughout the game no matter how it is going] she is strongly suspecting that this will be a repeat…

But against all that, i choose to believe!

This is going to be different.

Today is the day we win our first knockout game and the impetus from that will propel our confidence to new heights and make the next two a breeze in comparison.

This. Is our world cup final.

Today.

And i choose to believe.

Nervously, for sure.

But because i KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that we have the team to do it. We don’t need to play an exceptional game of cricket. We just need to play our traditional game of cricket.

i’m not sure if they’re going to do anything different at the top because QDK has been killing us with his nervousness and bad run of form. If he gets going and gets going well it will be game over before it starts. But will they drop him down a little in the hopes that we can get a solid opening platform – Rilee and Amla or even Faf and Amla. But if he does start, then he really needs to get a score – even a quick 30 off 15 will be good enough to get us out of those starting blocks at pace.

We have the team to do this. AB needs to not be doing it alone.

It is time for the fire to be lit. And for the game to be won. Come on ‘boys’ – i believe in you.

Who is with me?

[And whichever way the result goes, i back you guys – you have entertained me well through the years – you’re my team, win or lose. But win!]

this is something that my friend Deborah Dowlath reminded me in her simple blog post, A Drop in the Ocean which included this line:

I wish that followers of Christ would be as vocal about the injustices that occur on a daily basis as they are about the progress of their favourite team.

and this passage:

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

i think what strikes me the most is that i hadn’t thought of it this World Cup yet until i read her post.

it is something that has bothered me a lot.

and maybe, for a moment – which has passed, thankfully – i gave up on being bummed by it, because what is the point…

WHAT’S YOU DRUG OF CHOICE?

# when a new Star Wars movie comes out, people line the blocks for miles sleeping outside, sometimes for days, to get a ticket.

# when your favourite band is in town, you will pay an exhorbitant amount of money for a ticket to a live show.

# last night my mind wandered to the place of trying to imagine – i had no chance – just how much money was spent on fireworks in the Oakland area alone, let alone the United States of Americaland or the world… hm, let me see if Uncle Google has anything on that… [according to Eric Dye over here, it is over $600 million spent on one day’s entertainment although with the conscience-easing quote of ‘You wouldn’t ask Michelangelo how many buckets of paint he used to paint the Sistene Chapel, would you?’ but ending with the more provocative question:

With a nation in debt and a world full of needs, it makes you question the wisdom of burning-up $600 million in one day, doesn’t it?

# don’t get me started on how i get ‘attacked’ on social media [usually by christian friends] for daring to suggest how ridiculous it is to me that football/soccer players are paid millions of dollars in transfer fees [which you can translate to $20 million for an actor to star in a movie or whatever it is singers, politicians, business owners take home]

THE IMPORTANCE OF COUNTING BACKWARDS FROM TEN

i totally believe there is a moral question in here for everyone to be asking, and if we are looking at redressing the balance of the world where [small percentage] of the people own [ludicrous] percentage of the stuff, this would be a good place to start.

but specifically for people claiming to follow the ways of Jesus, this feels like an even deeper, more pertinent question not too many people seem to be asking, or answering.

i remember a few years ago when i helped organise a New Year’s Worship event at a megachurch building in Cape Town where we were hoping to have thousands of Christ followers from around the city coming together to worship God into the new year – and we did. i was purposeful about letting the countdown into the new year take back stage [or no stage at all if i’d had my way] so that we could focus on what really mattered. but somehow it still happened and i remember being broken by the fact that 2 to 3 thousand people seemed more excited about counting backwards from 10 than they were about worshiping the Creator of the Universe and Saviour of their lives.

one of the main reasons we were not allowed to use the same church the following year and the only complaint we received from the church leadership [most, if not all, who had not been at the event] was that we didn’t give the New Year’s countdown a big enough focus. It is clearly important that people are given the best opportunity available to count backwards from ten.

IF WE BELIEVED WHAT WE SAY WE BELIEVE…

then surely this picture would look different.

if we truly believed that there is a God, who created the Universe in a moment [or a million years of moments] who came down to earth and lived among us to save us from ourselves and that this God desired to have intimate and profound world-transoforming relationship with us and involve us in the redeeming of this planet and this people, then surely we would be inspired to do a little bit more than simply attend a meeting once a week and throw the excess money we have in our wallet into the bowl out of guilt as it passes us by.

if we love God more than the Football World Cup.

if we love God more than Star Wars.

if we love God more than U2 or Mumford or The Smashing Pumpkins or One Direction or Beyonce.

if we love God more than J.K.Rowling or Johnny Depp or Lionel Messi or Manchester United.

if we love God more than fireworks and Christmas presents and turkey and chocolate eggs and bunnies.

if we love God more than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube or Pinterest.

then surely, surely, SURELY, things would look different. things would be different.

because clearly we are so much more excited about SO MUCH OTHER STUFF.

does that mean we don’t really believe?

or that we simply see the God part of our lives as significantly less of a priority and focus than a bunch of other things?

“let the person who has no sin cast the first stone.”

i definitely am not without sin here. i HAVE to start this question by asking it to myself. and it is one i wrestle with.

having just returned from a week of speaking to young people about Jesus on houseboats on Lake Shasta, i can definitely say with no doubt that speaking to people about Jesus and writing about Him is one of the things that gives me the greatest joy and feeling of life in life. so passion for God and the things of God is definitely up there.

but there are definitely many areas where my excitement and passion for other things is out of sync and definitely a lot of time spent on things that could be spent on better things. definitely a lot in my life needing to be wrestled with and some changes to be made.

one question i am hoping to better figure out after our next transition [coming August 6th] when we move back to South Africa is which of the ‘least of these’ i should be engaging more with. that feels like a call that has been placed on all of us and something most of us could be more intentional about.

what about you? i would LOVE to hear some feedback on this one based on what you see when you look into the mirror. are you doing well? is this an area that needs some more attention from you? what is your response to the idea that we tend to give so many other things so much more focus, attention and out-of-control passionate support and celebration?

and what does this verse mean to you?

Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Fireworks

so a very small bunch of us take part in these dream league teams from time to time but it would be rad if for the world cup we had a bit of a bigger league – the game is free and what’s on offer between us is bragging rights and so if you would like to play send me your email address (brettfish@hotmail.com) and i will send you an invite once we’ve set up the league – game is free and being involved brings even the random games to importance… in other news i am quietly confident about this being our world cup…

Cricket World Cup Fantasy League
Round 1 starts on Saturday 19 February. Enter your team now at www.udt.co.za/worldcup

New challenges for Fantasy Managers
This year we bring you some exciting new enhancements to the game that will challenge your fantasy skills even further:

Substitutes Bench – use your bench to strengthen your starting team (key decision is who to start as players on the bench score half the points of starting players).

Tighter Budget – choose wisely how you spend your budget as you won’t be able to afford all the top players and need to balance your team.

King of Leagues – this is where our top performing league groups battle it out to see who’s got the most skilled group of fantasy managers.

2010 world cup standings

the world cup rankings have been released by FIFA and we came 20th out of 32 – not bad for a team that wouldn’t have even qualified for the event if we were not hosting it – hopefully inspire us on to greater things – note the previous world champs down in 26th – go bafana!

Fifa 2010 World Cup standings:

1 Spain, 2 Netherlands, 3 Germany, 4 Uruguay, 5 Argentina, 6 Brazil, 7 Ghana, 8 Paraguay

9 Japan, 10 Chile, 11 Portugal, 12 United States, 13 England, 14 Mexico, 15 South Korea, 16 Slovakia

17 Ivory Coast, 18 Slovenia, 19 Switzerland, 20 South Africa, 21 Australia, 22 New Zealand, 23 Serbia, 24 Denmark

25 Greece, 26 Italy, 27 Nigeria, 28 Algeria, 29 France, 30 Honduras, 31 Cameroon, 32 North Korea

[http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/world_cup_2010/8814195.stm]

it is here less

so it’s finally over

i remember when it was announced that south africa would be hosting the soccer world cup and countdowns of four years or more and then 300 days and finally a few weeks and then it was tomorrow…

we missed a large portion of the group games due to being on a namibia namrocking trip but we got to watch the opening ceremony and game in a restaurant called amazink in kayamandi township [where i used to live before i got married] with a completely diverse crowd with such spirit and life which was a complete vibe

we missed south africa/uruguay (namibia) but got back in time to watch a heartbreakingly close SA/french game which at half time looked headed towards the 4-0 we needed to progress – then my buddy dunc took me to watch netherlands/cameroon live at the cape town stadium, after watching slovakia take italy out at a packed quay 4 complete with orange saturated vibe in the afternoon before the game

and then tbV, Reegs, Muscle-John and myself did the fan walk which was a complete crazy exciting buzz (yes, and vibe|) and watched netherlands take out uruguay at on broadway

and finally back to amazink for the final with some okes from enGAGE for what i thort was a pretty awful game of soccer and reffing (and the third worst one i watched after france/uruguay and brazil/portugal) and afterwards really thort they should have given the cup to germany or just maybe kept it til the next cup – way too much acting on both sides, some questionable reffing decisions (netherlands missed out on two corners at least) and yellow carding and apart from a few exciting moments and a decent goal from spain, a pretty boring affair after some really quality games leading up to it

south africa proved we can host and did an incredible job which i think the whole world is pretty much agreed on

and so far no sounds of the feared xenophobia so hoping and praying that the hoping and praying has paid off – so much good in terms of unity, bringing people together and nation spirit has happened it would be tragic to lose that now

so well done south africa – brilliant job and bafana bafana you did us proud (agonising equalising goal from mexico on that first nite)

but, having enjoyed it quite a lot, and enjoyed hanging with people, i am relieved and ready for it to be done now

too much worship not directed at or near God – too much focus away from the things in life that count – way too much distraction

“it’s life Jim, but not as we know it” [dr bones, star trek]

aaaaaand….break.

so the other knight i had a way too intense discussion with a friend of mine on whether things like the Henry hand ball goal, the Maradona ‘hand of God’ goal, nicking behind and not walking in cricket etc etc are cheating or just incidents of luck and it’s up to the ref to spot them and if not then ah well…

and then the England Germany game happened and apart from me backing Germany and predicting a 4-1 scoreline before the game happened (yes yes completely lucky guess but got Argentina 3-1 over Mexico as well – if only i could convert that talent to my F1 dream league…) there was that controversial blatant should-have-been-a-goal and what makes it worse (for me) is that the goalkeeper seems to have admitted that he knew it was a goal and that he deliberately tried – and succeeded – to fool the ref

http://g.sports.yahoo.com/soccer/world-cup/news/german-keeper-feels-he-fooled-the-referee–fbintl_ro-germankeepr062710.html

deliberately trying to fool the ref into missing what was a blatant goal – to me that’s cheating, no question. and yes i think this is a little different from some of the incidents mentioned above like the cricket one where i get that it goes either way and so you get a lot of bad calls so why not take a lucky one when it happens (but still think that someone who nicks and walks like Jonty or Gilchrist or Amla has bucketloads more character than someone who doesn’t) so the question is did he cheat (and why the heck would he admit to it after the game anyways?) or was it just a lucky incident down to his quick reflexes and does it matter either way?

i do think Germany played better soccer and deserved to win…

BUT if the goal had been allowed and the score had been 2-2 the momentum would have been with England and it could really have changed the game around completely and we will never know that ever and so can only surmise which is a good word. and surely as a player (actually i doubt this for a lot of them) you want to win the world cup (or any sporting event) knowing you were the better team, not cos the other team was full of injuries or because you got some lucky but incorrect calls…

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