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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gone to Pot

The world has gone to pot.*

The 32 (ahem) best football teams in teh wohle world now know who they may come up against at South Africa 2010. Herr Sepp, the great curator, has seeded the top 8 World Cup qualifiers into 'pot' one and allocated the rest into the 3 other pots.

The gardening metaphor of pots and seed is worth exploring.
Pot one is for Sepp's treasured fruit trees- the 8 teams which will bear the coveted summer fruit of South Africa 2010; flowering, blossoming and bringing the honey bees of world media attention to the garden:

Pot one (Current Fifa rankings in brackets)

South Africa (85), Brazil (1), Spain (2) The Netherlands (3), Italy (4), Germany (5),Argentina (6), England (7)

The remaining pots are comprised of the deciduous bric a bracken, the garden's hedging and borders; unlikely to win awards but neccessary to make the flowers and fruit stand out and be noticed.

Some, like Nigeria and Cameroun, are the exotic detailing- tolerated for the colour they bring, but hardly sustenance worthy of being included in the garden's autumnal harvest. Others like New Zealand, Honduras and North Korea are the cute little bonsai- cultivated to a point and then clipped, pruned and set aside as curiosity pieces. Hopefully dusted off and shown a little care and compassion once the great garden show is over.
When the pots were announced the biggest intake of collective breath was reserved for the decision to drop France down to the unseeded pots- not as a karmic kick in the nuts for the Henry affair, but as just rewards for their recent poor form, proving that a Grenouille's green thumb does not guarantee perpetual verdancy in Sepp's magic garden.

Following FIFA's own procedures I made my own mock draw, using an online Excel tutorial to randomly order the 32 teams. As time-unworthy as this excerise was, much like pissing on a lemon tree in a howling southerly, it was a bit of fun. I can tell you that according to my draw New Zealand would be grouped with the Netherlands, France and Chile. Extending my gardening metaphor a little I can also say that if that was the scenario NZ would be mere fertiliser for the Oranjeboom,the Chile plant and the Fleur de Lys.

(For my friends over the ditch, according to my most unscientific draw, Australia ended up with Algeria, Serbia and England. How do you like them Apples?)

*The phrase gone to pot is actually not associated with gardening nor recreational drugs. It is in fact from the industrial revolution when defunct parts were tossed back into the smelting pot to start their time again. Oh cruel fate which tossed Ireland, Bahrain, Bosnia, Egypt et al unceremoniously back into that bubbling pot.

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