I hate to admit it, but I am not a fan of ball sports. I had a brief stint playing netball when I was in primary school, which was a complete and utter disaster because I was always trying to help the other team. (I am a chronic people pleaser and hated lobbing the ball over some girl’s head when the poor dear was trying so hard to catch it.)
In high school, my parents tried very hard to get me to play tennis. I was barely out the womb before I was told that under no circumstances was I to even THINK about getting married before I could play a good game of tennis, a solid game of bridge and had a proper degree (I managed the last one). But the truth is that I really couldn’t see why I should stand on a tennis court for hours in the blazing hot sun hitting a ball backwards and forwards over and over again until I lost the will to live.
My husband later took it upon himself to teach me the ins and outs of Rugby but ended up not speaking to me for at least three days when I happened to mention that it’s all a bit … gay, to be honest. And while I am quite happy with what people get up to behind closed doors, I really don’t want to spend an entire Saturday afternoon sitting on the couch watching men huddle up together in a “scrum” while surreptitiously touching someone’s bum. Long after the ball has disappeared.
Then there’s that funny little “lift” that Rugby players do when they are standing in a straight line. Two team members pick another one up (again by the bum, funny that) so that he can catch the ball. Which is thrown right at him, really, so it’s not THAT hard. Then they get all excited when it lands right in his outstretched arms, and there’s even more hugging. It has actually gotten to the point where I half expect one of the players to do a little happy dance when he’s told that he will be pulled off at half time…
You can therefore understand my deep concern about the impending World Cup because I am really not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I am slightly relieved that soccer players actually HAVE to score a goal, instead of Rugby players who just seem to “try”. And that soccer team members seem able to multitask by running AND kicking – instead of in Rugby where one runs as fast as he can, the other one jumps on people all the time and another one gets to kicks the ball. But the truth is that I really can’t see myself screaming at the TV for five endless weeks in the hopes that one of the soccer coaches or referees can actually hear me.
My husband thinks I am decidedly unpatriotic and that I should be sent into some type of time out or naughty chair for the duration of the World Cup. (Spanking has sadly not yet been mentioned). My mother agrees that it’s all very confusing and that I should rather save my energy for Wimbledon. And my friend Annabel is adamant that the only man with one ball that she is keen on watching … is Lance Armstrong.
I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I am at least feeling SOME butterflies as South Africa holds its breath for the kickoff in June. (Or maybe I ate something slightly “off” for lunch, it’s hard to tell.) Let’s just say that I really and truly hope that the World Cup lives up to our expectations, that the country makes stupid amounts of money, and that some Spanish soccer god kidnaps me and whisks me off to be his sex slave for the rest of his happy and extremely satisfied life. I may not be that good at sport, but there are SOME things I can do with my eyes shut…