Monday, October 10, 2005

The Agony of being a Naija guy

Allow me to reflect on how my sad Saturday afternoon unfolded.
NB: All times are subject to African time.

1345: I sit down in front of my laptop, with my Bible close by, and get ready to start monitoring the scores. Two hours of BBC sports online here I come.
1350: Receive phone call from El Nombre. “Homie, BEN are showing the Naija match.” Really, PRAISE GOD.
1355: Soak Garri and epa to help calm my nerves.
1358: I turn on the TV and see that the match is about to kick off.
1400: Kick off: Nigeria Vs Zimbabwe in Abuja, and Rwanda Vs. Angola in Kigali….and a whole host of other matches that I couldn’t care less about.
1435: GOAL! Nigeria 1-0 Zimbabwe. Obafemi Martins scores for Nigeria. Assist by Taiye Taiwo. PRAISE GOD. At least we’re doing our own part. We’ve been camped in Zimbabwe’s half and have finally breached their defence.
I recall how when Naija flogged Ireland in London a couple of years ago, I told Martins that I’d let him marry my sister if he wanted. He just smiled then. I start wondering whether he’s still interested cos I think she’s still single. As for that Taiye Taiwo guy, omo boy is just solid. Future Naija captain for sure (especially if Yobo continues to F&@# up for Everton). I love the guys discipline During the Under 21 championships in Holland, the guy Taiye was man marking was about to be substituted. So Taiye follows him as he heads off the pitch, and picks up the guys replacement and escorts him on to the field. Since then he’s been my favourite Naija player. I hope Chelsea buy him 
1447: HALF TIME. Nigeria 1-0 Zimbabwe. Rwanda 0-0 Angola. Please God, let it just end like this.
1507: Nigeria 2-0 Zimbabwe. Ehen, finally some breathing room. I can relax small now.
1515: Toilet break
1528: Return from toilet to see Nigeria 2-1 Zimbabwe. Bloody Naija defence. Bunch of Aperes.
1530: Substitution for Nigeria. Kanu comes on. OH GOD.
1532: PENALTY for Nigeria as Kanu is brought down. Now I like that Kanu guy. I don’t get it. The guy can no longer do shit in the premiership but whenever he comes on for the Eagles he changes the game.
1534: GOAL! Nigeria 3-1 Zimbabwe. Obafemi Martins, my brother in law  converts the penalty.
El Hombre calls to give me the bad news cos the BBC site is being very slow. Angola haven’t won away from home all qualifying, and Rwanda haven’t lost at home. So much for the form guide. I start to panic. By my reckoning only like 10 minutes left God please let Rwanda score. I promise I’ll never swear again.
1557. Nigeria 5-1 Zimbabwe. Kanu and Osaze Odemwingie scored two late goals to complete the rout but its all in vain. I suddenly develop a headache and need to go and lie down.

Cue the following phone conversation between Alaye Scoro and Alaye Sabi (aka “She who must be obeyed”)

Alaye Sabi: Baby, how are you doing?
Alaye Scoro: I’m so upset right now, and I think I’ve just developed a headache
Alaye Sabi: You don’t sound good.
Alaye Scoro: I want to die. I can’t believe it,
Alaye Sabi: What happened? I hope its not more bad news from Nigeria. Are your parents alright?
Alaye Scoro: I don’t even want to talk about it. Chai.
Alaye Sabi: What happened?
Alaye Scoro: It’s too painful. Bloody Angola, Bloody Rwanda, Bloody Eagles. Super my arse.
Alaye Sabi: So it’s not about your parents. Is this about football?
Alaye Scoro: YES, we didn’t qualify
Alaye Sabi: Oh no. So we didn’t qualify for the world cup.
Alaye Scoro: No we didn’t, can u imagine the first time since 1990. And there I was already planning on how I was gonna storm Germany with awonboys.
Alaye Sabi: Look don’t worry, there’s nothing you can do. Just forget about it.
Alaye Scoro: I can’t forget about it, this is football, this is soccer, this is LIFE, and LIFE IS OVER.
Alaye Sabi: Oh don’t be silly, life is not over. The world cup is still going to take place, and shebi England qualify, you can support them with me
Alaye Scoro: My friend, are you mad? I said life is over. Look don’t annoy me oh, I’m upset just let me be upset, don’t try and console me with talk of England. Those bloody English who think they’re so cool but couldn’t even beat Northern Ireland.
Alaye Sabi: At least they qualified, that’s more than you can say about Nigeria
Alaye Scoro: Look they BLOODY qualified cos Europe gets more BLOODY places than Africa. The whole thing was rigged  England haven’t even won their F%&~@#G group and they’ve qualified, the whole thing is just BLOODY nonsense. All this F%&~@#G head to head nonsense. Arrgh.
Alaye Sabi: Look control yourself. It's Football. Its just a……..CLICK

End of conversation

The Eagles have done it to us again. They allowed us to dream that the improbable (or more aptly the impossible) might happen. They forced me to put my career plans on hold whilst I combine pressing refresh on the BBC Africa Sports page every 30 seconds whilst simultaneously watching Nigeria thrash Zimbabwe on TV.
Rwanda, Bloody Rwanda. This is exactly what happens when you place your destiny in the hands of a country not quite 10 years removed from one of the most horrific genocides of modern times and expect them to do what you weren’t able to do.

Once again the inability of Nigerians (and yes I view the Eagles as a microcosm of Nigeria at large) to perform when their backs aren’t against the wall has been our undoing. LIFE IS OVER.

If you’ll excuse I’m off to go and kill some Angolans.

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