Everybody's blogging at me. / I don't hear a word they're saying, / Only the echoes of my mind:
Welcome to the life of a football tragic. I grew up in the last large landmass to be discovered, a long necklace of pearly jewels dripping from the humid South Pacific to the cold Southern Ocean- not exactly tropical, but lush and fruitful, and full of warrior mystique.
I'm talking about New Zealand/Aotearoa, which glistens like a pearl at the bottom of the whirl.
Heavens above, so many myths abound here about aggression and confrontation- how the demi god Maui stunned the Sun so as to create more hours in the day, or how the true-to-life chieftan Te Rauparaha created the All Blacks a new Haka by hiding from a raiding party in a kumara pit under a Kuia's fanny.
It's like our men and women were born to punch above their weight- a typically aggressive turn of phrase that is wheeled out every time our sports teams achieve somesuch semi-miracle, or a rural bred scientist has split some past-participle or otherford. But last Saturday night, as a football tragic, I witnessed a true sporting miracle, when for only the second time in my lifetime New Zealand qualified for the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa-Praise Sepp Blatter!
I had the honour of playing a behind the scenes role in the tragi-comedy too- employed by New Zealand Football to recruit and organise the Stretcher bearers, and to coordinate the darling wee players' escorts; the juniors who hold the players' hand during the opening stanza.
Here is a Youtube clip taken by my colleague Ken, of us all lining up in the tunnel- the atmosphere is electric, but tragic as I am I am far too focussed on the job at hand, to be overwhelmed by the moment. Can you spot me:
More about my tragic life in the days to come, and more about that fateful night too
Stay tuned amigos~