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by djp

Province & Proteas made it good year!!

December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

If you’re a big fan of different sports & teams like I am, you’ll just have to accept the fact that the teams or players you’re supporting are not going to win every tournament or league they’re participating in. So with that in mind, I decided to look back at the year of 2012 & share with you what teams gave me more joy we as fans crave every time our team steps onto the field or court.

Ps: you’re gonna have to forgive me if I might get some details or facts wrong coz I live by an honorable code when it comes to watching sports: if my team is winning, im celebrating!!

Rugby

Supports: Springboks, the Stormers & WP

If you look at those 3 teams I’m supporting, it should be quite obvious what team put the biggest smile on my face & the biggest hole in my wallet this year. I actually pulled a whole-nighter that Saturday & Sunday when Province won the Currie Cup against the Sharks IN Durban. I remember my friends & I previewing the final & we saying that we wouldn’t mind if we lose But all we want is for that young team to play like they’ve been playing for most of the year: All out!! When we started noticing that we’re standing our man in the scrums & starting to dominate the lineouts, we started believing that we could win & we didn’t even care about the score or how much time was left. But when de Jongh scored that try, that typical hand-off, side-step, show for the fans Juan de Jongh try & with Dimitri adding another penalty before half time, we knew we were going to win. I remember watching the 2nd half of that game much like I did the ’07 RWC final: with the believe that it didn’t matter what the other team was going to do, my team was going win this because they wanted it more. And it showed on the field. So next year we can sing ‘die currie cup kom Weer’ met volle bors.

Honourable mention has to go to the Stormers beating the Bulls in Pretoria. I think we lost the game against the Sharks the week before & needed that win against the Bulls to remain top of the SA conference. I don’t remember much of that game but Habana scoring a try off Kolisi’s brilliant run & pass, Well that & that we BEAT the Bulls!!

 

 

 

Soccer

Supports: Real Madrid, Bafana & Brazil (if SA isn’t playing)

If you support Madrid, only 2 things matters: Winning the Champions League & beating Barca anytime you play them. Even though Real did win La Liga as well as the Super Cup against Barcelona, it wasn’t the big fish they really wanted & I recall them celebrating it like that especially the Super Cup. So my soccer highlight has to be beating Barca in Camp Nou with Ronny scoring the eventual winner in the 2nd half. I don’t speak Portuguese but I remember Ronny gesturing to everyone to be cool while saying “Calma, calma”. I on the other hand was quite the opposite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basketball

Supports: Lebron James

I remember back in 2007 when Lebron James basically single-handedly beat the then defending Eastern Conference champions Detroit Pistons in their own arena to take his team one step (game) closer to reaching the NBA finals which they did. LBJ’s heroics in that game was so amazing that his shoe sponsor Nike immediately ran an campaign dubbed Witness or Are you a witness with ads, t-shirts & billboards. Lebron himself even had the word ‘witness’ tattooed on one of his legs. The reason why I’m telling you this is because in May & June I got up at 2 in the morning for all of the Miami Heat’s conference semi-final, final & NBA final games to be a witness & I wasn’t left disappointed. Lebron had a couple of big games for his team; Games 4 against the Pacers in Indiana & Game 6 against the Celtics in Boston (that one was brilliant actually) comes to mind but he left his best for the finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  Losing Game 1 of the finals, James & the Heat went to work winning 4 straight to capture his 1st & Miami’s 2nd NBA title and LBJ did it by averaging over 30 points & 10 rebounds a game while constantly flirting with a triple double in each game. After all the criticism he received for leaving Cleveland & for choking in the finals against the Mavs the season before, he finally did it. And with that monkey now off his back, the king can rule the NBA kingdom for the next 5 – 8 years. Be a witness!!

 

 

 

Cricket

Supports: Proteas & Cobras

As much as I love sticking it to the Ozzies & believe me, few things in sports give me greater joy & satisfaction by beating them in anything, but my highlight of the year has to go to the Proteas beating England in England. The Aus-SA series played out nicely & when it came down to the winner takes all final test, SA showed how big the gap between nr.1 & 3 actually is but the SA-Eng series for me had more quality, much more drama, much more momentum changing sessions throughout the series And I could actually follow a whole day of cricket without having to wake up 2 or 3 in the morning.

The series was tipped as the battle for nr. 1 between the top 2 sides in the world & most pundits favored England to win the series. One former ozzy leg spinner actually predicted that England will win the 3 match series 2 – 0. I sent him a tweet after the series saying: “Sorry Nostradumbass, you were saying??” But he didn’t reply (bbmsadface). I remember following that final day of the 3rd test more closely than women follow 7de Laan (some men too actually) & rushing home to watch that final session. Prior, Swann did provide a little bit (focus on little) of drama at the end & Morne Morkel also added his part with a wicket-taking no ball but once the new ball came, I knew it was going to be curtains. Looking back, we really dominated them. I’m mean if it wasn’t for KP’s 149 (I think) in the 2nd test, we could’ve taken that one too. Yeah man, this is easily the highlight of the year for me. We went into the king’s castle, ate his food, took his crown & his queen, kicked him out & all he & his countrymen could do is marvel at brilliance & magnificence which we did it in.

Now, let’s hope my beloved Springboks will be the highlight of the year come the end of 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m outy

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by djp

Keep riding Proteas but know the end isn’t far for JK

December 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s so much fun isn’t it? Comparing newly found “superstars” to legends of the game. Or making those supposed to be superstars bigger than they really are. The media loves doing it & we love gobbling it all up. I’m mentioning this coz I saw this happening 4 years ago & it looks like it’s about to happen again.

I remember when JP Duminy burst onto the test arena in Australia with that brilliant knock (& make no mistake – it was brilliant), he was immediately dubbed a superstar.

One guy even tipped him as South Africa’s first ‘black’ cricket superstar (http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/387181.html) & he’s probably not from SA coz there is a difference between black & coloured people here in SA. Sorry, but he’s messing a bit with my coloured pride here.

What pisses me off about that article is that just a couple of years before JP made his entrance onto the international arena, his schoolboy hero (Gibbs) played arguably one of the greatest one-day innings ever witnessed, oh & by the way, he’s also ‘black’. First Non-white cricket superstar? No, sorry but that role was already taken.

I also remember reading somewhere that JP was being dubbed the next Ricky Ponting!! Now I don’t like Punter, I for one am glad he’s retiring but I thought that was very disrespectful to the then Ozzie captain; that a test rookie was already mentioned in the same conversation as him. I had nothing against JP, I was very happy for him when he made those knocks but I honestly thought he was being overrated afterwards. That he was already being labelled some things he has the potential & talent to be but wasn’t there yet. And he proved my point the following 2 seasons after his debut when he struggled with spin bowling & bouncers & eventually got dropped from the test side…

Now back to 2012 where Duminy showed that he’s grown & matured a huge amount since that debut 4yrs ago as a 24 year old & he showed that maturity when he was required on a number of occasions to bat with our tail in the SA-Eng series earlier this year. I think he was a huge loss to our side because his absence upset the team’s balance especially when we went into that 1st test without Tahir. But one guy’s injury is another man’s test debut & JP will know that better than most. And what a debut it was!! A man of match debut!! I could even go so far as to say a man of the series debut because Faf du Plessis’ excellent & resilient knock really took the stuffing out of the Aussies, giving us the mental advantage heading into the final & deciding test in Perth. But here’s the thing..

I feel that just like Koppe played himself into test team, Faf did too but we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves coz just like with JP, 2nd season blues could be looming for the Titans batsman (touch wood). And even though he may be better known internationally than JP was, there’s still a huge difference between test & limited overs cricket. Case & point: Kohli, Raina, Warner.. Morgan.. Guys that excelled in the limited overs arena but are struggling to do it consistently in test cricket. Luckily they’re all fairly young (including JP & Faf) so they still got time to settle in and that’s what we as fans, coaches & selectors should allow them to do: Settle in!! Especially with a rookie like Faf because he’s not going to be our hero all the time – something that a quality batting team like the Proteas doesn’t need a lot of anyways – there are going to be tough times because as brilliant as the 2 weeks was he just had, it’s still just 2 weeks.

 

Also, there’s been lots of rumours going around that Kallis will not bowl against NZ and Pakistan & that’s fine coz like the panel conferred on Supersport’s Inside Edge, we should have enough in our bowling attack to get 20 wickets against those 2 sides without needing JK to bowl. But I hope the selectors are thinking beyond that. By that I mean: What happens when Kallis the Batsman is no longer there? & make no mistake people, that time is approaching. Who will occupy that crucial nr. 4 spot? AB? JP? Faf? Elgar? Do the selectors even have an idea because I would hate to see what’s happening to Australia at the moment with the loss of Ponting happen to us.

 And let’s not forget that unlike Punter & probably-soon-to-retire Tendulkar (the other two 12 000+ run getters), Kallis is also widely regarded the best all-rounder of his generation, so that will make our loss even more difficult & more complicated than that of the Ozzies & India. Look I’m not saying chopping & changing needs to be done now, Not at all, we’ve got a nr.1 test ranking wave we’ll need to ride the crap out of. But have a waterproof watch to check the clock every now & then.

I’m outy.

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