Thursday June 26 2014

Wannabe football analysts at their worst

By Sheila Wamboga

By now I know most people are experiencing the thrills (or are they losses?) of World Cup. It is one of the most dreaded times for most women, considering that most matches are screened in the wee hours of the night.
Besides that, there is one thing this football tournament brings with it, wannabe football experts. If you think this is stretching it, try talking to four people the following day after a match.
Even when the conversation has nothing to do with football, somehow, alluding to the previous night’s match is almost guaranteed.
Recently, I watched in awe, as some of my colleagues discussed the opening match, describing the passes, and the accurateness of the goals that were scored. You would imagine they had been paid to critique the prowess of the players.
The gusto with which they described the match, would make any sports analyst resign. Not that there is anything wrong with reviewing past events, but in the case of these overly enthusiasts, their opinions do not count because the people who would benefit from their insight are on the other side of the world.
But such people are not half as annoying as some of the socialites sharing on social media, their predictions on the likely winners of the tournament.
The one that stood out for me was when one wrote that she was predicting Arsenal was going to win the World Cup.
At first, I dismissed it for a joke but apparently it was not one and Miss Socialite was relentless in her subsequent posts.
It is not that I expect her (or anybody else for that matter) to be a pundit, but I strongly believe that if you are not sure of what you are talking about or even have doubts about it, the least you can do is not make any statements at all. In this era of social media, something small can go viral and sadly once something gets out there, it cannot be retrieved.
Which brings me to another matter, what is it about football that makes people feel they have to become team spokespersons?
Uganda Cranes has never qualified for World Cup but you will be surprised at the number of people who will tell you how “our boys beat the other team”
The so called “our team” is a group of 11 players, usually foreign nationals, who would care less what your opinions is about the way they play.
Some enthusiasts even buy jerseys bearing their favourite player’s name which they religiously wear to the nearest bar when they go to watch these matches.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a passion for something. But I believe by the time you forego your sleep, it should be something that will produce tangible results.
While many are shouting their voices hoarse, some with no knowledge on what exactly they are doing or why they are doing it, in the wee hours of the night, I will be enjoying my good night sleep and waking up refreshed.