#125. Feel the love. And so we sat, on the edge of our seats, our eyes mostly glued to the pitch (which by last night was starting to show some wear). Mostly glued because the game was utterly captivating, nail-biting, excruciatingly suspense-filled. (The other few minutes had me glued to Twitter #confedcup). Around 48 000 of us packed Ellis Park along with about 47 000 vuvuzelas.
In the men’s bathrooms, fans stood at the urinals singing shoshaloza (I got this on good authority). People waved placards of support (we are good that) and Booooooooo-thed for Matthew Booth (apparently this had been picked up by Spanish media who not understanding the SA fans love for certain players — Feeeesh and Shoooooes come to mind — called it reverse racism and were alarmed by the fact that the white guy kept getting booed. Check out Yahoo questions and answers for more and sportswriter Carlos Amato’s piece on Mahala, SA’s hippest new online “magazine” offering a fresh take on all things cultural.)
And as the minutes ticked by the tweets started to take on a different hue as a wave of love for and pride in South Africa’s soccer team washed over the twittersphere. The much vilified coach and players may not have won this battle but for now they have won the war. 1 – 0 to Brazil. 87 minutes of holding one of world’s greatest teams at bay.
Driving home we pondered why SA, being a nation of strikers (this week alone it was the doctors, EMS personnel and taxi drivers) hasn’t produced the strikers we need on the field. With less than a year to go to the FIFA World Cup 2010 the excitement about what it will bring is finally palpable. Bring it on.