We were the fat kid

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?

13 thoughts on “We were the fat kid

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention We were the fat kid « Pink Hair Girl -- Topsy.com

  2. Wow! Sally! From my thoughts to your finger tips. Exactly the way I see it. Our country needs our support to the bitter end! We are the host nation and what sort of image does it portray to the world when our support dissappears when things get tough? Where is the feeling of ubuntu? To use a line from the official rugby world cup song “Win, lose or fall, there is a winner in us all!”

    I cannot stand fair weather supporters. I’ve seen it too many times with rugby too. Everyone who knows me, knows that win or lose I support South Africa and Western Province Rugby! It is especially needed when losing as it helps pep the team up. Again, to use a Christian story:

    “A man walking on a beach with God noticed that there were 2 sets of footprints but when things were going bad in his life he asked God why? God replied that when there was 1 set of footprints, that is when God was carrying him through the bad times”

    Whether you believe in God is not the point, the point I am trying to make is that when things are bad, your support is what is needed, not turning your back on the team. Those same ppl would be celebrating if we had won that game. Where is the South African can do attitude?? I never say anything but we will win. If the final whistle blows and we lose then its fine. I never give up on my team or country!

  3. You are absolutely right. I see this same thing happening at rugby games as well. The people who support the team who are loosing, will stand up and go before the end of the game and that is not support at all. You support until the end or none at all.
    Imagine how that players felt last night after seeing their supporters walking out of the stadium.

  4. It is very sad to see the way the spectators left the stands, but sadly it was not a big surprise. It seems to be a culture in SA to just give up and leave.
    I love the analogy you used, though

  5. Sally, I could not have said it better. It was terrible seeing them leave before the end of the game. I sat and watched it with the boys, and although our boys were not at the winning end, we still watched the whole game and still had hope.

  6. Nice post Sally. Agreed. It must be the most soul-destroying sight for a guy on the pitch. I’ve never understood it because I’ve watched it happen in English/Euro football for years. We must not think it is a South African phenomenon. It’s a sport supporter thing. We love our teams when they rock and turn our backs when they don’t. We’re fickle and disrespectful, on average. And the fat kid analogy makes it even less acceptable.
    Keep writing 🙂

  7. Thanks everyone
    Antony: I have seen fans leave in Europe and UK before when I lived there. I always think that is is a poor show. But it is, and I am willing to be wrong, usually teams of the same or at least similar caliber playing each other, the fans walk out to show their disapproval over their team not playing as well as they wanted them to, but in this case we were at such a big disadvantage to start with it was not a sign of disapproval it was abandonment.

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