I’m not a sports pundit, but I’ll watch the World Cup for the superb athleticism, human drama and ball control, the same reasons I watch porn. I’ll cheer for our guys, because I’m South African and because I genuinely believe we’ll win it. After all, we’re a nation of millions of COSATU members so somewhere we’re bound to find a striker.
But I’m not paying extra to wear the ridiculously overpriced supporters’ gear. I won’t buy a cheap Fong Kong soccer shirt probably made in China either, even if I can’t tell the difference between it and the genuine article that costs ten times as much… and was probably made in China. Besides, no matter how many tough guys I see doing it, it’s still pretty naff wearing another oke’s shirt.
A few seasons ago, Springbok rugby fans were supposed to wear kit to show that our blood was green. Seasons? Do we even have sports seasons anymore? Every sport is played all year round. One day all major fixtures will clash in the same stadium and Ernie Els will beat the Aussie cricket team by two goals to nil. Never mind, my point was the hype. Having green blood would make me an exotic insect instead of an ordinary sucker who just paid six hundred bucks for a glorified t-shirt. Hang on, I saw District 9! Maybe green insect blood is the secret weapon Bafana Bafana needs. A player with 6 legs and 2 pairs of wings might even score.
I’m fed up with merchandising. The FIFA Football World Cup is ring fenced by so many copyright laws and merchandise restrictions that it’s better protected against crooks than a Joburg townhouse. I’m not even sure that just mentioning it by name won’t bring some terrible, legal rapid response retribution. FIFA officials haven’t been encouraged to shoot to kill yet, but if that day comes, I’m switching to jukskei.
Can’t we be left in peace to enjoy the soccer? I’d drink a champagne toast to that… Oops! Only the French are allowed to call their bubbly plonk “champagne”, so for copyright reasons, I’ll have to drink a sparkling wine toast. Seems we can’t escape this issue, so maybe we should start playing to win. What do we have that we can get unsuspecting internationals to pay for?
Here’s my suggestion for a letter to those who have infringed our rights:
Dear International Community,
South Africa, which includes the Sterkfontein caves world heritage site, acknowledged as the cradle of mankind, is the birthplace of all original humans. We claim all rights to this intellectual property.
With immediate effect, you are hereby ordered to cease and desist using the term “human” or any translation thereof to describe yourselves.
You owe us a whole pile of money for all the counterfeit humans you have made over the years without our authorisation.
Should you refuse, we reserve the right to wear whatever we like, shop where we choose and call our booze by whatever name we bloody well please.
Worth a try?
Catch Al live
Elephant & Friends Pub, Moreleta Park, Pretoria
Al Prodgers is a proudly South African stand-up comic and experienced corporate MC. His mission is to get us to Lighten Up for a Change by focussing on the powerful potential that we all have for making a positive difference in the world.
Al was a finalist in the prestigious international comedy competition, the Yuk Yuks Great Canadian Laugh Off, but his great love is touring throughout South Africa performing in English and Afrikaans.
Al is a truly abysmal golfer.
TV work includes Isidingo, Zooming in on Men as well as the MNet Africa series, Stand Up Zambia and Stand Up Uganda.
To read more of his comedic musings or book Al for your next event follow the links alongside.