Bafana Bafana may not be ready but Soccer City is on track

#159. Take a drive to Soccer City where the opening and closing games of the Fifa World Cup will take place in 2010. With 227 days to go until kickoff the stadium on the outskirts of Soweto is close to completion. We viewed it yesterday under a broody Joburg sky — Continue reading

Bafana Bafana 0 – Joburg airport 2

#154. Go to the airport and collect someone. And it took more than an hour for them to make it from the plane to international arrivals this morning. No complaints here though as it gave me extra time to find OR Tambo International’s best kept secret – a brand new super-cool Woolworths store. (Score one goal for the brand) But not just any store — the kind of store that would have made the Tom Hanks character in Terminal, a happy man. Continue reading

Confederations Cup opens with a vuvuzela blast

#119. Watch soccer, even if the home team wasn’t sure what to do with the ball once they got it. Last night’s opening ceremony and game at Ellis Park has been endlessly dissected in hundreds of column inches so for my part – I was in the stands nicely placed behind the goalposts that sadly didn’t get much action from Bafana Bafana or Iraq, the sound of thousands of vuvuzelas like a swarm of very angry wasps buzzing in my ears.

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I can hear those vuvuzelas now

#79. Count down to the Soccer World Cup in 2010. With only 498 days left until the Fifa Soccer World Cup, I am  noticing signs of soccer life stirring. Months ago Fifa President Sepp Blatter visited and brought to everyone’s attention that there was little to suggest this country was close to putting on the greatest show on earth (or is that the Olympics?). I too was concerned but decided not to go to the press with it.

Germany apparently promoted their World Cup for a full three years which led me to wonder whether we are a nation with a short attention span or one that just likes to leave things to the last minute?

Mostly the signs of life are coming from sponsors and their ad agencies who are starting to promote what many hope will be South Africa’s greatest moment on the world stage since Nelson Mandela had his debut. Until now it’s been background stuff — just the occasional shudder in Rosebank as the Gautrain builders blast their way to Pretoria, Continue reading

Sarah Palin, Zapiro, Pieter de Villiers and that sex tape

#36. Wonder if Sarah Palin may be the mystery woman in SA rugby coach Pieter De Villiers’ sex tape — whose existence is as hard to prove as the Loch Ness monster, birth control in the Palin household, and anyone on the other side of the phone when you call the Department of Home Affairs. Continue reading

Is London ready for the 2012 Olympics

#31. Nothing to do in Joburg besides… go to London for a few days, and post my blog from the Apple store in Regent Street (which by the way is busier on an average day than Hyde Park Exclusive Book’s opening sale day — with broadband the norm rather than the exception the Apple store has replaced the “internet cafe”).  

Well the first part is not strictly true, there is plenty to do in Joburg but London was calling. We landed at Heathrow at 6.30am (early), spent 30 minutes waiting for permission to exit the plane and another 25 having our passports stamped and then one hour waiting for baggage at the carousel. To which my ever-ready-with-a-quip assistant responded: “Do you think London is ready for 2012?”. Continue reading

Usain Bolt's lightning fast track record

#23. Nothing to do in Joburg besides … wish I was Jamaican (or as it is now known, “the sprint capital of the world”).  It’s that speed, those colours of the flag, those golden shoes, that accent, that music and that island style. It’s Usain Bolt and his teammates. Continue reading

Naked table tennis

#22. Develop an interest in sport post the Olympics. CNN is reporting this morning that the International Table Tennis Federation is trying to sell the game as a spectator sport by introducing tighter fitting tops and short skirts for female participants. The federation no doubt had to meet well into the night to come to this finding. Continue reading

Beijing Olympics has a silver lining

#21. Celebrate that no desperate measures need to be taken to secure an Olympic medal. Thank you Khotso Mokoena for taking that long jump for 8.24 metres. Kaya FM DJs were discussing plans this morning for how SA could get medals without having to rely on our Olympic Team.  One suggestion was to ensure Zimbabwean swimmer Kirsty Coventry flies home via Oliver Tambo International and receives a rousing South African welcome from the Airports Company Continue reading