Jon Swift
3 minute read
19 Oct 2016
2:10 pm

This soothsayer should clearly stick to golf

Jon Swift

There are any number of theories on the reasons people support the sports teams they do, but in practice, being a fan is far more complex than many would imagine.

Jon Swift

The 55-17 hammering the Free State Cheetahs dished out to the hapless Golden Lions in the weekend’s Currie Cup semifinal at the Free State Stadium provided proof of this as the usual assembly gather for what had been roundly punted as having all the ingredients for a cracker of a game.

The confident manner in which the Arithmetically-challenged Golfer pushed his way to the front was the initial indication of this. But his somewhat discourteous usurping of a front-row seat was totally eclipsed by the outburst that followed.

“The Cheetahs have no chance even if they are at home,” he said, totally ignoring the inescapable fact that the home side had won all eight of their regular season games and had beaten the Lions 37-29 in their last encounter in Bloemfontein. “We are simply going to murder them.”

Dave the Silent’s eyes rolled slowly heavenwards. It was hard to say without the Silent One’s explicit explanation, whether he was beseeching the deities or merely tacitly saying: “In such foolishness beats the uncomplicated heart of a fan who sees things in a simplistic, blinkered form of myopia.”

But it must be mentioned at this juncture, that the Silent One has put his support behind Manchester United purely “because they tend to win things” rather than from any deep-seated loyalty, while the colleague from the serried ranks of the usual gathering is one of those died-in-the-wool Lions devotees.

“Here we go,” said the Arithmetically-challenged One as the whistle went for the start of proceedings. “Just watch this. The Cheetahs are in for a big surprise.”

To cut what was to become a long and uncomfortable afternoon for the Lions and their faithful, nothing seemed to go according to the script the Arithmetically-challenged One had so vocally and graphically painted as the half stretched into a narrowing tunnel of darkening misery for the visitors.

At the half-time whistle, with the Cheetahs leading 26-0, several things became apparent. The first of these was that there was absolutely no way back for the Lions, who had been comprehensively outplayed by their opponents.

The on-field onslaught had also caused the Arithmetically-challenged One to become as shtum as a gargoyle, his face pulled into the rictus of the stone heads that guard the corners of medieval cathedrals. It was also clear at the break that the Arithmetically-challenged One and Dave the Silent had lost all interest in the eventual outcome, the former because Everest had just become unclimbable and the latter because he had his hand covering his mouth – except when reaching for a conveniently-place libation – closely monitoring his colleague.

Suffice to say that it all ended on the last peal of the final whistle as the Arithmetically-challenged One gathered his belongings and fled, the humiliation obviously just too much for him just a week after the Boks had been humbled 57-15 by the All Blacks in Durban – another result he had not come close to predicting.

Why, was the universal question among the gathering, had he left in such unseemly haste? The Silent One gazed into space for a moment. “I suspect,” was his verdict, “that he cannot stand the sight of blood.”