Kass Naidoo

Time for a sports makeover?

2007-11-02 09:03

Kass Naidoo

If you're not a sports fan in South Africa these days, you're the odd one out. If you're still donning the ever-slimming black while everyone else is wearing green - it may be time for a sports makeover.

So, as we await the start of South Africa's sizzling summer of cricket here at home, I thought I'd share with you some tips from my personal idiots guide to being a patriotic South African supporter.

First up, don't get into an argument about sport if you don't know your game. Seasoned supporters will sniff you out, and that will be the end of you. Thank goodness for the internet! To avoid asking your better-informed friends silly questions (like why there isn't a tea break in an ODI), try Google for some great insights.

If you've never attended a game, grab your partner and experience the stadium vibe. If it's too intimidating to attend an ODI with 32 000 people at the Wanderers, then attend a domestic game first, to get a feel of what it's like. I assure you that what you see on TV is only a small percentage of what actually happens on match day.

Savour the moment

Now, at the game: Remember that dealing with defeat can be hard. Don't turn into a cold, heartless fan, who hates losing. Take defeat with dignity and be a true supporter. Standing by your team during the tough times takes some getting used to, but it's not impossible.

After assuming that position, you'll learn that celebrating a sporting victory is one of the most satisfying experiences a supporter can have. Savour the moment, and enjoy that winning feeling. South Africans have a tendency of forgetting to celebrate at the right moment. Winning the Rugby World Cup was a great example. Did you notice how quickly some were back to their usual negative best?

Don't pretend that politics doesn't exist in sport; you will be left with egg on your face. Know how you feel about transformation, quotas, selection, the coach, captain, etc., because those will be the major talking points of the summer, and it's good to know where you stand. You don't have to agree with popular opinion, just because you feel outnumbered.

Envy of your friends

Then, throw a sports party. It doesn't have to be a braai, though it's a great social tradition that you must experience, if you haven't yet. Alternatively, you could host a deli lunch, cook an amazing curry, or throw a tea party. If all else fails, there is always Mr Delivery!

Whatever the case, you will be the envy of your friends, and you will enjoy your TV watching experience so much more. Just make sure someone is taking pictures, these will be memories to treasure in time to come.

Finally, what to do if you bump into a South African sports star at the filling station? First up, don't stare, it's rude! Most of them would prefer you to come up, say your say, get your autograph and picture and be on your way. The conversation is generally long, if you're still talking after five minutes. If he is having an intimate dinner, rather not disturb him. Everyone just feels too uncomfortable.

Sport is taking off

For the fashion addicts, green looks set to dominate as the nation's 'it-look' this summer, as South Africa face New Zealand and the West Indies in back-to-back cricket tours at home, starting next Thursday at the Wanderers.

Always wear your green with pride. People will automatically smile at you, smile back. People you've never seen before will start up conversations you thought only happened on the moon! Sport is taking off like never before; you don't want to be left behind. Light that fire, my friend, summer looks good from where I'm sitting!

  • Kass Naidoo is editor of gsport... for Girls!

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