Keshorn Walcott

1976 was the last time the small dot on the map called Trinidad & Tobago heard their National Anthem in the Olympic games. It is now 2012 a year we celebrate our 50th anniversary of independence. How appropriate we have this ray of hope, a 19 year old boy out of Toco Village, literally out of nowhere just throw himself into the lime light of success! It felt so relieving hearing My anthem, letting the world know how sweet it is, showing them the flag and letting the world now what great talent and potential we have.

This humble young man failed in other sporting disciplines and finally picked up the javelin which was originally a bamboo stalk near his home and look at how far he has come, in just 3 years. A true world champion. Imagine that, someone who was not included as part of our local Elite Athlete was able to do what others couldn’t be at the top of the table. Also the first black man in 40 years to win a gold medal in javelin if I’m not mistaken.

I am glad he has gotten rewards, a bit reactive yes some a bit over the top I may add but i really do hope our Government stays true to their word. Personally instead of naming a lighthouse and plane after me I would rather a nationwide sports programme from the ages 12 and up. It’s time we stop treating sport as a recreation and more like a job. It pained me to know we have Ministers who paid millions to have Shaq come here to have a speech and throw hoops around while our Judo athletes have to pay for their own airfare if they wanted to go to Barbados. But i digress, this post is not about political agendas or the problems of sport in our small island. It is simply to congratulate our Keshorn Walcott. may God bless you and keep you in His gaze, I hope your family and support team keep you grounded. Remember who was there for you, ignore the fan fare and the ‘bandwagonists’ who flock around you for the piece of fame; they will eat you alive. May you go on to greater achievements to further stamp your name in the history books and your country as well

Emancipation

August 1 1834 our bodies were freed from the shackles of the masters that tore us from our homes in Africa and brought us to many destinations all around the world. We are now in 2012 and I can say most of us are still being enslaved mentally by our colonial and capitalist masters even though we choose not to admit it. It is with a heavy heart i say most of us African people are not truly free in the sense of the word. We are ashamed of our culture and choose to adapt to and thoroughly learn and follow the culture of our former oppressors.

Nothing is wrong in learning it though, but we must all have a sense of identity, a knowledge of where we come from, who we are, who we were. There is no shame in looking to the past so that history repeats itself. When I look around I sometimes wonder if it is a matter of history repeating itself or continuing. Sure the chains dropped but did they let go of us entirely or was this just a conditional pardon? We saw America get its first black president and we saw how bad the racial divide is still across there, he has been an inspiration for some but others truly have not taken at least a page out of his book of success.

Being emancipated and independent is not a matter of working continuously on a ’10 days’ it is not about thriving on welfare or sad stories. It’s about making it on your own. That crutch we depend on will transform into a chain that will be yanked on whenever they need us like a hungry dog begging for treats. There is not much to say on this topic as we see it every day on the news; gang violence, poverty, high HIV/AIDS rate etc and we keep on pointing fingers all over the place like the guns our misguided kids use on the blocks, the drugs that we see reach and leave our homes and the drug dens. To become truly emancipated we need to grow up we need to move on and develop. Until we can do that we will remain the pawns of the system today, the lesser beings of the world, the trouble makers. I refuse to be a slave to my past…do you?

Euro 2012- My Thoughts (Post-Game)

Well if you read my previous post you would know i was way off base. Thank God I didn’t bet any money. Spain the first time to wine 3 major tournaments in a row and are back to back winners of the Euro Cup, well deserved I might add. I got my wish though, I saw some very exciting football and a lot of goals so i guess that was one thing i got right in my predictions. Before I continue must rate Alba, Xavi, Iker for their performance today. Round of applause today for Mario for not losing his cool and getting even a yellow card, I saw how frustrated he was for the entire game, it’s not easy not being able to do your job.

I must say from the kick off i was very surprised to see Spain attack with such pace and penetration, really had me wondering what they drank before the game. They were able to effectively shut down the Italian diamond mid-field and render Pirlo useless please note I said they had to do this in order to win. I also said if Spain were to win this it would most likely be with a clean sheet, so said so done. While Spain did outplay Italy and dominate this game, I mean 4-0 in a final is highly unusual and apparently the largest margin in this competition’s history, I must give kudos to Italy for their fighting spirit with all their misfortunes in this game. While today wasn’t their best I must say luck had a lot to do with it. You know things aren’t going someone’s way when early injuries happen or even when a substitute is in need of a substitute as soon as he comes on the field! Playing with 10 men (no fault of Balotelli of course) is a very demanding task especially against Spain.

Italy switched from three in the back to four which i thought would provide more cover as well as pressure on the Spain short passing, but they clearly had no answer to them in that regard. Spain passing was so productive today I don’t think i was able to see the Italians able to mount a respectable counter at any point in the game. I didn’t foresee them being able to make so many uninvited visits in their opponents box. We saw a tired Italian outfit being torn to shreds by the likes of Torres and Juan Mata coming to the end (and scoring too), two late substitutes adding further misery to the Azzurri. Imagine that, Torres scoring on you in that manner with his current form..brings life to the term “add insult to injury”!

All Credit to the Spaniards for bringing their A-game, hats off to Iker Casillas for another clean sheet and true captain performance. People are asking now if Spain are truly unbeatable, now are they? Surely not, I personally believe if so much bad luck hadn’t been thrown in the Italians way we would not have seen such a one sided affair today. The Azzurri got a grip of the game after conceding  the second goal and if it wasn’t for those ill timed injuries, again I say a substitute getting injured before building a sweat; don’t people stretch and warm up anymore!? Anyway if it weren’t for these obstacles, we would have definitely seen a much closer score line. So what’s next? Spain are more than likely setting their sights on World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Tough task as no European side has ever won in South America if memory serves me right but I’m sure they’re up to it.Image

Euro 2012 Finals- My Thoughts (Pre-Game)

So tomorrow is the big final between Italy and Spain. Two sides known to be ‘tournament sides’ always start off somewhat shaky and finish strong. Spain won Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 while Italy won World Cup 2006. I guess both sides have a point to prove this time around. How do I see this game ending though? Well Del Bosque will pelt a water bottle at Pirlo who will in turn cross it and trip Xavi, this will greatly anger Pique and Iniesta causing a fist fight with De Rossi bringing great war on the football field causing the goal line referee to be killed, the lines men brutally hacked o tiny pieces and the other officials running for their lives and when bodies continue to drop the German side will run onto the pitch after seeing the commotion from the airport lobby end the violence and blood shed and lift the trophy for standing on high moral ground and being the only side with all team mates still breathing…ok maybe I am hoping for too much.

Seriously though, I can’t call who is going to win right now, I don’t even know who i want to win but I do know one thing will be the deciding factor in tomorrow’s match- composure. We all know Spain is arguably the best football side in the world with regards to holding the ball and we also know to score a goal you need the ball. At a first glance seems like Spain has a hand on the trophy doesn’t it? Then again to score you need to get it into the net and by saying that you will be referring to getting it past Mr. Buffon; by the way I hate calling him by that name because he is nowhere close to being a buffoon, that man is a vampire between the sticks! So with this in mind, how come Spain still have one hand on the trophy? That’s why I used the word “composure”. Mario Balotelli is one of the most unpredictable individuals to play this modern game at such a high level, you will never know what will happen with him but in the case of the final if Spain hold the ball as is their signature he will be extremely frustrated.  If you are a viewer of the English Premier League you will know what I’m talking about; he needs servicing and while he will have the ever promiscuous ball passer in Pirlo if Spain manage to control the midfield as they are known to do supply to Super Mario will be effectively cut off. Without the ball Balotelli has nothing to play with and when he has nothing to play with he gets angry, and when he gets angry he starts to kick people and have a fit, and when this happens we all know what happens after that; somebody say booked? Don’t get Mario Balotelli angry give him the ball! *Cue cable commercial.* In essence we could see Italy being one man less according to which referee they use tomorrow, hopefully not one from the premier league who had the pleasure of seeing Mario’s behaviour up close and personal therefore causing the bias to set in.

I can’t see Pirlo being afforded as much space as he has in the last two games to be the backbone of Italy’s creativity, but I can see Cassano stepping up to trouble the Spaniards. Even if I am right and Mario consistently gets the ball, best believe getting it past Mr. Iker won’t be as easy as say all the other keepers they have faced! Hmm as a matter of fact dare I be so bold to say tomorrow will cement who is number 1 and number 2?

Spain for most of the games in this tournament played a 4-6 formation which of course meant they had no striker and if you know the fundamentals of football you must be saying by now “Ummm but doesn’t a striker normally score for his side?” My answer “OF COURSE HE DOES!!” Bu this is not just fundamental football this is the Barcelona National Team wow slip of my tongue my humblest apologies I really meant to say this is Spain and to be frank the only person who i do not view as a threat to score in the 90 – 120 minute version of the game is Iker Casillas. So Clogging up the midfield with effective ball hogs as well as scoring threats can give Pirlo and company alot of extra work to do. Italy do have a very impressive back line though so i honestly don’t believe the short pass will be very productive if that is part of the formula to score especially on the counterattack. I do see Italy with a lot of energy tomorrow getting through with a couple of deceptive passes that will be slicing through the Spain defense and if that doesn’t work working the long pass to just outside the box would be very possible especially if they get it to Balotelli.

So just to make a quick wrap up on my opinion of tomorrow on both sides: Spain can win, if Italy don’t maintain their composure, get Balo angry, force Italy to play on their terms, Buffon gets the cold or if they start of brave and decide on launching rockets from the outside and hope for it to get scrappy. Italy can win this game if Spain decides to hold the ball in their own half, if they dictate the speed of the game, are able to effective cut out the short passing and create quick counters and if Pirlo has another master class game.

It should be noted that apart from Spain’s first game which ended in a 1-1 draw all the others Spain was able to get clean sheets. This says a lot of their defense while on Italy’s side they only mustered 2 clean sheets while getting 1 goal in all other games. Oh i forgot to mention the in 1 all draw with Spain  their opponents were Italy. I honestly can’t see tomorrow’s game going to penalties if both sides show up to play on the field and purely on paper I can’t give the win outright to Spain unless what I wrote earlier happens. The same men who hurt the Germans in the semifinals are the same men I expect to perform and cause them to lift the trophy. According to what happens in the first 15-30 mins of the game I can see a 2-1 or even 3-2 in favour of them. I could be wrong I admit, Spain can win this as well even though if that is the case it can be as much as 2-0 or a 1 goal margin. So good night to all I hope you enjoy the game tomorrow, I hope we are treated to an exciting game and not one similar to World Cup Final of 2010 and while my side is not in the final I do hope the best team wins and on that note I should also add that with all the tournaments I have mentioned, the team that beat Germany went on to lift the respective trophy, let’s see if this continues as for now it’s what I’m using to give the Azzuri the advantage over Spain. So before the game each team has a hand on it, they are on equal footing, it will come down to either Xavi Vs Prilo or Casillas Vs Buffon maybe even both but whatever is the case I just hope i really get to see some damn good football!

Present day life equals the big easy?

Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes are about to start the ever familiar Hollywood divorce ritual, in other news it has become the quick route to end interactions with someone by simply clicking ‘unfriend’. I can get food, coffee and energy in an instant and I no longer have to do extensive research through various books and sources on any topic of great historical importance but now just refer to someone named Google. Did the journey of life just turn into an ATM machine?

Maybe I am old fashioned or maybe I am looking too much into all of this. So what if Tom and Katie are ending their marriage, I mean marriage ends all the time not so?? Besides I’m sure they had their problems throughout that very long period of five years. Alot can happen in five years, I think i passed a kidney stone or two in that same time span. I could gain 25 plus pounds in that time span heck I’m sure I could lose about 50 or more in that same period. But why am I giving these two such a hard time. 5 years seem like a marathon compared to just 72 days. I have warranties longer than that. Sad reality is i don’t know many marriages, which were made under a direct contract with God mind you, that are as long as i have been on this earth. In most cases it’s the same time frame or even shorter than when they were dating. Hmm one night stands seem more feasible to people now, but that is a different story altogether.

Touching base on the finer things such as manners and chivalry. The new means of interactions via the devil-err i mean internet has broken all boarders with conversations between humans. I don’t think there exists a share option of emotions and true ideas between individuals anymore, just facts, statements and emoticons. I have a sneaking suspicion that people are slowly programming emotions into their core processor. I can’t remember when last I heard a stranger say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ or ‘may I’ as a matter of fact it’s easier for me to hear someone say ‘lol’ and ‘OMG’.

Should i be shocked with how life has transformed to what it is now? As soon as something goes wrong you can pull the plug or press restart and you will be on a brand new page and happier place? This sounds so much like a game, then again people are probably fashioning their lives behind one that they have played all their lives. I’m sure it didn’t take 3 seconds to make anything “back in the day” neither did one disagreement cause the lawyer letters to come out to make everything null and void. Even naming the year is faster who says 2012 anymore? That was so 1997, now I have to say 12 and it is universally accepted that we live in modern times. Oh yes technology is somewhat impressive if you think of some of the advances. We haven’t gotten a cure for cancer let alone the common cold but seeing a movie jump out the screen by just wearing special glasses has us shitting bricks!! I always wonder if we matured as a people though, from animals still being on the endangered list to still be worried about global warming it really leaves me hanging out on a limb waiting for an answer.

Could it be that life isn’t really easy but rather priorities are just chicken shit? Why should I be concerned with the sun being hotter when I have air  condition installed in my house? So what I can install a pool in my back yard and throw some ice cubes in the bitch. Now i got a large cool drink- killed two stones with an angry bird! *disclaimer* we are in the 21st Century ye old sayings are no longer relevant, we must adapt man! I know our kids will not grow up to learn the value of patience as they won’t have to wait for anything or the value of learning as spell check is automatic and gratification will be top of the agenda so sacrifice will probably be an option for a happy meal at a fast food restaurant near you.

für die Liebe zum Fußball

1990 World Cup Finals West Germany Vs Argentina the crowd favourite at my community was Argentina of course but for me it was the Germans. It has always been the Germans it wasn’t only because of their power, it was also their history their culture, their philosophy, their life! I’m not someone who supports something just because of success, so many factors come into play before i throw all my weight into it and as a little boy back in those days from the start of the tournament i told Germany ‘YES!’

Of course like all competitive spirits we are never content with the current victory/reward, there is that desire for more the continuing wave of success because the taste of victory is always sweetest in the present it cannot be savoured from the past and you cannot anticipate it for the future, it is only in the now you will know its taste, its sweet nectar only for champions. I will have to wait 6 years for this again with the Euro Cup. Like all good things you always hope they continue along the line they are on; at times they may seem to dip or even waver but you know the destination will be the desired one. Germany seemed to miss the bus after that. I could be a proper historian and give all the stats but that would do more harm than good as wounds are horrible to reopen so i will just fast forward to today.

28h June 2012 Euro 2012 Germany Vs Italy in the Semi-final round. The winner will face Spain in the final. Germany has faced heartbreak from both these teams in recent history (Euro 2008 World Cup 2006 & 2010) as these two teams went on to win the respective trophies after sending home my boys. Germany starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm, Holger Badstuber, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira; Lukas Podolski, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil; Mario Gomez. No big surprise here except for Kroos starting but a strong team none the less so the hope was well alight in my eyes with us getting revenge on those damn Spanish ball hogs on Sunday but as you can see from my trend in writing today this was not to be and i shall show you why with the Azzuri line up (4-3-1-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Pirlo, Riccardo Montolivo; Antonio Cassano, Mario Balotelli. You may be watching and thinking to yourself “This man clearly has lost his mind, where are the other names?” I only put the names of those who left a bad taste in my mouth with their great performance.

I had hoped Balotelli with his unpredictable nature would have gotten an early card to keep him in check and give us the advantage whereas my God decided to let him score an early goal to have us at a disadvantage and of course the man upstairs with his great sense of humour would let me have my wish for him to be carded a little later on..AFTER SCORING THE SECOND GOAL!! REALLY NOW?? REALLLLY!!!?? The englishmen gave Pirlo so much space and respect in their quarterfinal match up it was basically a ballroom affair where he could whip and spank the ball to his heart’s content around the dance floor  further elevating his recognition as one of the great Italian midfielders. One would hope Germany would have learnt that Pirlo can’t dance when you mash his toes but they opted to paint nail polish on it instead. It’s ironic for me to see someone score a text book header from a cross on Germany so regular now I mean they were known as the Great German Wall from since War struck days not so? Seeing the Germans hustle back to defend as if their captain had waved a white flag is not a common sight for me seeing the coach, who i shall call as Mr Lowe right now because this is not the highest point in his career, with his hands up in despair was something i never even dreamed of happening. But i need to ask why….why..for the love of God and football did we lose to Italy AGAIN!!? Goals that were the result of poor marking the first being Badstuber who made the bad decision of choosing the night job of being a training cone to let the Mario power up and head in the close range effort and the second from Lahm who was a plate of food to let Balo slip pass him after collecting the long ball to rock it past the German keeper. I was hoping for a more challenging match up between the two Marios, clearly Italy is the home ground of real Super Mario Power.

For the life of me, I can’t remember when last i saw Germany reeling from 2 unanswered goals in the first half or when was it ever customary for an opponent to beat not 1 or 2 but 3 defenders at the same time with such ease. Get past Germany?? Was that even possible back in the day!!? I thought defense was German for..GERMANY!!! It is supposed to be apart of their DNA! Trying and failing at setting up the offside trap and giving so much free space to the midfield to send long balls into our third so many times seems as if the German defense had turned into a flirt, well the Italians took advantage and they raped us- SIDEWAYS! I mean to be fair there were group games i looked at and found too much composure or was it ‘trust’ with the ball as if to say “This wall is tall, nobody can cross it” I continually think back to he game especially the second goal wonder and i find a false sense of security by telling myself apart from Mario the only other person i could see scoring that chance was Messi, not that it matters as we only have ourselves to blame for allowing the Azzuri the stage to display excitement which had long retreated behind the curtain many moons ago.

I’m not going to rant on about how this loss feels because my head is not drooping and am not an emotional wreck, but i have to think about all the players especially Schweinsteiger and Lahm to relive disappointment at this high level and over such a period too. How do you pick yourself up from something like this..again? What do you tell yourself..again? How do you push forward to try..again? Can you take this kind of heartache again? I guess only the players can answer these questions and convince themselves they can do better next time. This is where the heart of the true champion is shown to the world; the desire to try again. Maybe it is their dream or simply passion to represent their country or could it be a more simple answer as all for the love of this sport called football.

Shot To The Gut

There’s that feeling you get that makes you double over and question yourself..”What just hit me?” Through all the confusion and pain you’re still lost trying to find your bearings, recollect your thoughts and just get the answer to “What the hell just happened?!?” 

Sometimes you find yourself in a process of doing things whether right or wrong and there are always a series of steps don’t kid yourself, you just don’t have a set number next to each one but it’s a process. Step 1. Get bottle of alcohol, Step 2. Get empty clean glass, Step 3 Get ice (optional), Step 4. Pour alcohol in glass, Step 5. Drink, Step 6. Repeat 4 and 5 until bottle is empty. We go though this process and most notably with more than one bottle mind you, yet when we see black and wake up after french kissing mother earth we always wonder “How did I end up here?”

These instances like the first punch in a fist fight can be summed up in one sentence; you had it coming. Deep inside we enjoy playing with danger most of us if not all always taunting the bull with that big red cape dangling on the hope that it won’t gore us in the butt throughout the dance. Then like babies we complain and wonder “Why did this happen to me!!?” I guess it’s easier to take up the action than the responsibility, it’s like that napkin at the dinner table, since it’s out there why not just use it? Most times we walk with our chest out as if we’re bullet proof ignoring the fact that we’re really soft and yellow bellied making the target even easier to hit. So confident in movement as to declare there is no way we can be hit. Is it the heights of irony that a mortal being feel immortal to make a mortal decision that end up have them wish they were young again? Or is it that irony is the plastered word for ‘stupidity’? “OH the irony!!  Imagine this actually happened to me blah blah blah” it sounds to familiar as if we’ve been here before. Is it Déjà vu or just a different view from a delusional fool?

Words escape me when mistakes are repeated and cause the same effect, under the sun, over the moon and around the corner 1 plus 1 equals 2 but 1 and another 1 will make you see 11. This is so easy to comprehend yet the definition for insanity is always repeated “Doing the same thing over and expecting a different result” 

I guess that’s how we are in this walk of experience, we do what we want because we can worry about what will happen next later on..didn’t know ‘later on’ had a time span; to me later on can be the next instant when you get that punch to the gut that makes you forget everything else and ask again “What happened?”