Being a South African supporter is taxing. There can be no doubt that South Africans are among the most vociferous in the World, which is a wonderful thing. But many fans forget that the price paid for losses is equally proportional to the rewards of winning.
We’ve been spoiled as South Africans in recent times, with positive results aplenty to cheer. But as with any house of cards, the converse has also proven true, with our teams crashing in the most spectacular manner.
I for one was confident ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy. The Proteas had over the past months proven to be world beaters, earning the number one world ranking in both ODI and Test cricket. But as with the three little pigs, the Big Bad Wolf has blown down the Proteas house, confirming the “chokers” tag that hangs like an albatross around the neck of SA Cricket.
It’s not a first for South African cricket. In all, we have hosted three big tournaments – the 2003 World Cup, 2007 Twenty20 World Championships and the 2009 Champions Trophy – but have failed to win any of them, even as favourites.
Our swimmers and athletes are another case in point. The Awesome foursome – Ryk, Roland, Lyndon and Darian – made a massive splash at the 2004 Athens Olympics. There were Silver medals for Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Hestrie Cloete (individual Silver for Roland Schoeman), as well as Bronze medals for Schoeman, and rowers Donavan Cech and Ramon Di Clemente. At the Beijing Games however, team South Africa had to settle for a solitary silver medal.
Need I also mention the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations Champions, Bafana Bafana, who’s downward spiral continues to provide hours of debate, fury, bemusement and well, let’s face it, laughter.
As defeatist as it sounds, it’s not all doom and gloom. History has proven time and time again that the wheel turns, and in the darkness shine several beacons of hope.
From the new generation of swimmers in the mould of Cameron van der Burgh, Suzaan van Biljon, Gerhard Zandberg and Chad Ho; to long jumper Khotso Mokoena, and Tour de France cyclists Robbie Hunter and John-Lee Augustyn. We have hope with the likes of young Sifiso Nhlapho who ranks among the top 5 in the world in the newer BMX code.
But the lesson we continuously face, is that happiness on a field or track is always short-lived, so enjoy it when it comes. This rollercoaster never stops.
Your weekend in Sports
Top 3 South African Sporting events
1. Absa Currie Cup semifinals on Saturday 17 Oct.
– Sharks vs Vodacom Free State Cheetahs, Absa Stadium Durban. 3pm
– Western Province vs Blue Bulls, Loftus Versveld Pretoria. 5Pm
2. Absa Premiership Soccer on Saturday 17 Oct.
Mamelodi Sundowns v Kaizer Chiefs, Super Stadium Atteridgeville, Pretoria. 3:30pm
3. BDO Hockey Champions Challenge. Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium, Observatory, Cape Town. (Currently on until Sunday 18 Oct.)
Top 3 International Sporting events
1. u20 Soccer World Cup Final in Cairo, Egypt
Friday 16 Oct. 8pm (Teams to be decided)
2. Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, Sao Paulo
Sunday 18 Oct. 5:30pm
3. T20 Champions League – Cape Cobras vs Victoria Bushrangers
Saturday 17 Oct. 12:30pm. M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore