Expat-ish

Expat-ish
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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Euro 2012- a female perspective (from Africa)


In short, I'm over it.

That doesn't really cut it as a blog post, does it?

OK, the long version. So, I live on the (almost) very end of Africa (I was going to say arse-end but Cape Town is far too wonderful to have the word "arse" used in any description of it) yet a European football tournament has taken over my house. The TV remote seems stuck on the sports channels and for 1 or 2 ninety minute periods every day for the last 2 weeks, adult conversation is limited. Clearly, once football grips a man's soul, geography is no obstacle.

I feel that UEFA, FIFA, Sepp Blatter and all other football related power houses (c.f. killjoys) have, in their planning and marketing, largely ignored the female population of the world who are NOT interested in 22 men getting far too emotional and upset about the placement of a ball sewn together from small, black and white pieces of leather. When I say 22, I refer to those on the pitch, not the trillion watching ,who are at their most emotional when their team is playing.  Wanna make a man cry? Show him footage of his team winning or losing some game for some trophy they consider important.

Anyway, in the interests of a more harmonious world (in respect of gender wars) I have a few tips for the organisers which they may wish to implement in future football events. It will keep the (billions) of  uninterested females much happier and therefore your mostly male audience much more rapt and less anxiety and divorce prone.

1. Cancel the whole thing. I know it sounds crazy but rather than keeping the organisers in plush accommodation deals around the world and a bunch of thugs in tattoos, tricology and bling, you could instead spend the money on, I dunno, maybe helping world poverty? Or anything else nice and altruistic!

No? Don't like that one. OK...

Suggestion 2: Make it all low key and old school. Small grounds.  Think pub football. Last minute announcements as to where matches will be. To bring the passion back to football, that playground joy, rather than mansions in Epsom and Grazia front pages as the  ultimate goal. So much more authentic, close up, interactive and would save the huge salaries, the constant demands from SKY for more airtime.

Sponsors and players not keen on that one? Alright...

3. Change the timing. My TV access has been severely limited during the tournament and I am beginning to feel resentful. I know you've already rejected my plea for cancellation, so I am now just asking for a change of timing. Perhaps one match a day on at 2230?  And if you must be outrageous and  have 2 a day, I feel it is only fair that the second is on at 0100. You know the real fans will always watch anyway, so what's the problem?

I'm still not detecting much enthusiasm for my proposals, but I will persist.

4. Why not cram the while tournament into 5 days- or less? Kind of like speed dating: "speed football?". The players are so knackered already at the end of the season that a short, sharp tournament won't do them any harm. And while we're at it, why no shorten the games to, say, 20 minutes in total? Imagine the excitement  crammed into a mere 20 mins!

5. This is my final offer. Absolutely final. If the FA, UEFA, FIFA and all other sporting bodies that are determined to diminish the quality of my life persist in going ahead with tournament upon tournament, then please, I beg you, at least only use players that are good looking and outfits that are pleasing on the eye. What you may lose in men being dismissive about the quality of the game, you gain in female viewing. I'm thinking Bradley Cooper in goal in a royal blue uniform and Ryan Gosling up front in aquamarine. It would make the whole thing so much less stressful on the eye than the current bunch of eyesores in all manner of disturbing attire (cf Croatia).

I hope you take my suggestions in the spirit in which they are meant and consider applying them to other sports.

Rugby's beginning to get on my nerves, for instance. I mean, do these people EVER have a break. They even go from one hemisphere to another to play when season is over on their piece of planet. What is it with these people, some kind of OCD about constantly having to play rugby..?

But that's a whole other conversation..

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