Friday, 11 June 2010

Friday 11 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY ONE

Everyone is in on this game now. We are now wired into this commercialised trip that is supposed to bring us all together but really just now serves as a machine to generate revenue for the companies savvy and rich enough to get behind proceedings. After such an anxious wait why am I now feeling so cynical about it all?

This morning I run around making preparations for the beginning of events. These preparations include buying shitty food from Tesco and putting up my copy of The Sun World Cup 3D wallchart in my apartment. What more should I do?

Sad news comes through today that Nelson Mandela’s great granddaughter was killed in an accident last night so naturally while his family deal with their grief he plays a low profile although his presence looms heavy over proceedings.

At 1PM (UK time) the opening ceremony begins on ITV. It is the expected craziness and a lot of fun in the process provided you remove the cynicism of these people just being puppets. Halfway through proceedings a giant dung beetle walks onto the pitch and it is a truly crazy vision. Then as each of the African nations have a representative belt out a song it all pinnacles with R Kelly pitching up and doing his thing. Trapped In The Closet the football episode. Thankfully it is doesn’t outstay its welcome. All it needs is Diana Ross taking a penalty.

The opening match unsurprisingly turns out to be a noisy affair as those fucking horns buzz non-stop sounding as if the game were being played right next to a beehive. It’s cool though, it lends a genuine bass to proceedings and a sense of pulse to the game. After a cringing introduction by the head of FIFA or Africa or something on cue the national anthems get played and the Mexican anthem sounds like it was penned by John Williams and could easily have been on the same album at the E.T. theme. Mexico also come equipped with a Jimmy McNulty lookalike in Franco. Unfortunately by the time it kicks off I find myself all partied (World Cupped) out, even falling asleep towards the end of the first half. Up until that point though buoyed on by the horns South Africa looked really good. When Tshabalala scores for South Africa early in the second half the crowd eruption literally wakes me up. The finish is truly majestic as he pulls away on a glorious break before rifling the ball in the top of the net. Unfortunately despite the tide of play the Mexicans eventually pull back an equalizer as Marquez scores at the far post. Eventually the game ends at a satisfying 1-1 draw beginning the competition in fine fashion.

Coming fresh from a defeat by China, France do not come into this game the rightful favourites that on paper they should be. The camera keeps showing their Eugene Levy lookalike, the man that is being help responsible for all the French woes. He begins with Anelka leading the charge and Henry on the bench. In the end it is an ugly game. France has the bigger share of possession but never on either side does the finishing touch arrive. Eventually Henry enters the stage but little goes his way. Ten minutes from the end Lodeiro gets sent off for Uruguay. In the end you feel that both teams could have played all night and still fail to score as the game finishes at 0-0. Neither of these teams will win this World Cup.

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