Well, it’s been real, chaps

2011-04-27 00:00

WELL, there is no easy way to say it.

This will be last mindless natter of this particular Armchair Expert.

It’s been real, and while goodbye has never been a favoured word of mine, I felt compelled to at least pass on the good news to all the Liverpool and Arsenal fans of the city.

No more will your Wednesdays be greeted with the agitating words of a bitter Leeds fan who takes cheap shots at your team’s countless misfortunes.

This scribe has been plucked from the relative calm of the Maritzburg way of life, and will be chasing waves and irritating new victims as of next month.

It is a bittersweet week this, because despite the excitement that comes with a new challenge, comes the weary relinquishing of a particularly enjoyable time at The Witness.

I am torn between slumping into the corner, sobbing silently into a bottle of cheap Merlot with Coldplay in the background, or getting a bit of bubbly and toasting new beginnings.

I have been rather lucky to get away with some of the tripe that I have passed on as words of wisdom — especially from someone who has never kicked a ball in anger in his life!

And yet — for better or for worse — my superiors have allowed me to take pot shots at every chicken-bone-wielding Gunners’ fanatic out there.

Perhaps they were hoping that my wayward words would one day catch up with me, and it got pretty close at times.

But in truth, I have had a blast.

This place, and its familiar faces, have become a second home to this unkempt excuse of a young sports journalist.

Despite my best efforts to suggest that I don’t take matters seriously, I am extremely grateful for being handed the chance to vent my spleen every Wednesday.

While the rest of you have had to confine your misgivings to coffee shops, bars and conveyor belts at your nearest gym, I have been afforded 600 words to have a rather biased word.

Who knows whether I will ever be given such reckless freedom of speech.

Even Julius Malema himself has been reined in for his musical choices, but - thus far — I have got away with murdering the Reds of Liverpool and the soft-bellied lot who ply their trade at the Emirates Stadium.

What can I say? I went for the easy victims, and I am honest enough to say that I have not a single shred of guilt at this point.

I still think Arsene Wenger is a chop for not diving into the transfer market in the same manner that some of his players hit the deck.

I also doubt that Liverpool will win another league for the next decade or so — the Rafalution will take a while longer to weed out.

But, and let’s be fair, they have played more encouraging stuff of late.

There are countless colleagues who roam the corridors and the press room of this institution who wait for the very rare dominant display by Kenny Dalglish’s men just to tell me where to stick it.

Heck, after Saturday’s 5-0 drubbing of a useless Birmingham side, a certain Reds fan was lying in wait at the carpark on Sunday with his hand flashing like a car indicator, five triumphant fingers on display.

I suppose it’s the least I deserve. But I can still venture to say that they will not smell fifth place, this season or the next.

And while we are on lofty predictions, I am of the firm belief that Real Madrid will unattractively — but resolutely — do enough to land another Champions League triumph for the “Special Uno”.

He just knows how to win when it matters, and I guess that’s why he has earned the right to call himself, well, a bit special.

United have romped to the league, and locally — as much as it pains me to say so — I think that sea-robbing, ref-conning Orlando Pirates lot may just sneak the title on this side of the pond.

My beloved Chiefs have become as entertaining as the latest Harry Potter sequel — it just gets lamer and lamer.

I will not reduce myself to tears by revisiting their farcical exit from the cup over the weekend.

It’s bad enough that we tumbled out, but them blerrie Pirates — with ten men, nogal — still found a way to sneak into the semis.

I tell you, life is not fair.

Alas, all good things come to an end.

All that’s left is to doff a cap at those precious few who made my time here as recklessly fun as it was.

To the distinguished gents that gave me a chance to write — and even play sports editor — my sincere thanks.

Mine was a reign that lasted less than the dodgiest of Bok coaches, but that’s the way the pecan nut crumbles.

To the super subs, who spit and polish this copy until it resembles something worth reading, ngiyabonga.

And of course — to the A-team — that fine lot of nightshift workers who man the press room, the canteen and occasionally my parking space — baying for my blood.

They know who they are.

From the little man who wears white socks and a very rare grin when his team has won, to the smug United mob who have far too much fun at his expense.

It’s been real, lads.

And much like my beloved Leeds said to the Premier League, this is not goodbye. Just a see you later.



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