Today I tweeted : You support your country like you would if your kid was the fat kid in a race with no chance of winning. You would not walk out on your kid!
I am really sorry to use such a non-PC analogy, but I hope you will forgive me and see the sentiment. I am a parent so it was just what naturally sprung to mind. I watched the game yesterday, along with millions of South African supporters, and at the end I had a very heavy heart, but not because we lost.
Last night we were like the fat kid turning up to run the 3000m at the big inter-school athletics day. Let’s face it. We’re ranked 83 in the world, playing a team who is ranked 16! When you are the parents of the fat kid, you know that they are really not in it to win it. Yes there is always an outside, blind chance but that is not the point. You are there to watch and support them because they are YOUR kid (team). Everyone loves a winner, it is fun to support the winner but it’s the underdog that needs the extra support. They need to know, no matter if they finish the race long after all the others, or if they come in 3 goals behind, that you are still there for them and proud of the way they played against all odds.
I am not going to talk about the bad decision from the referee, off sides, red card, fair or not. But that WAS the moment the wind was knocked out of our boys, who were so out-ranked,yet knew they had the hopes of a nation on them. I am not a football expert by any way shape or form, but I am a mother. I know that to support, means to stick by your kid and your team through the good and the bad. Yes, the game did not go our way, but I am not one tiny bit disappointed in our boys, they turned up and they fought with heart, they were the fat kid and yet they played until the end. I was (and am) however disgusted when the unthinkable happened, the supporters started to walk out! I am furious at every fan that lifted their butts off their seats and walk out on their team. There is no excuse. You let the fat kid run the home straight with no support, and for that I am sad to be amongst those who “call” themselves SA supporters. I only hope the boys know how many of us love their guts and their willingness to try and to play for a country who has pinned hopes on them against all odds.
Imagine you were the fat kid, unrealistically, blindly, expected to win. And your parents walked out when you didn’t! What hope do we have for unity and support for our fellow South Africans if we are so quick to turn our backs, when the going gets tough?