Social media banter adds fun to football

S’Busiso Mseleku (File)
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

There was a time when busses, taxis, trains as well as the water cooler at work would be abuzz with conversations about the weekend’s soccer events on any given Monday morning.

Not that this doesn’t happen anymore, but social media has taken over a huge chunk of this banter.

Previously, there were people who would avoid certain modes of transport on a Monday after their clubs had lost as they knew they would be the butt of all sorts of jokes from their peers.

These days, football supporters can no longer hide or run away as the banter has become so "in your face" as all you need is a smart phone and you are part of the conversation.

Not so long ago, Kaizer Chiefs were on the receiving end of all jokes after Mamelodi Sundowns won the CAF Champions League and earned a star on their jersey.

By so doing, the Tshwane side joined Orlando Pirates who have been proudly donning a star on their shirts since achieving the feat in 1995.

Chiefs had it dished out to them as pictures of the Pirates and Sundowns logos with a star above them started circulating along with those of Amakhosi - either with the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) star or even a picture of a fly atop the logo.

That joke had hardly sunk in when Pirates suffered their heaviest defeat in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) era that started in 1996 when they were walloped 6-1 by SuperSport United.

Now, it was the turn of Pirates to be the butt of all sorts of jokes that saw people drag out file pictures of the classic 1960s car that sported six tail lights which became famously known as a “Six Mabone”.

The back of the car had the Buccaneers logo between the lights this time around.

Another one that did the rounds was a Pirates team picture of 11 players with a caption that read “The uncles had asked for 11 cows”. You see, in township lingo, any boy with poor football skills is called an inkomo, a cow.

With this past weekend’s Telkom Knockout results that saw Sundowns being knocked out by neighbours SuperSport and Chiefs bundled out by unfancied Free State Stars, the two are back in the spotlight of being at the centre of all jokes.

Already, one smart alec posted one of the 2016 Idols SA Wooden Mike contestants singing a song dedicated to Chiefs with these lyrics: “Siyanibongela the invisible star is really killing you boys”.

But where would football be without soccer fans and the banter that always goes around before and after matches?

For the record, Sundowns lost 3-1 to SuperSport on penalties with Chiefs being bundled out 6-5 by Stars through the dreaded penalties method as well.

In other matches, Baroka FC suffered a 4-3 home defeat at the hands of new boys on the block, Cape Town City, while Pirates beat Highlands Park 2-1 at Orlando Stadium.

Pirates will visit SuperSport, while Cape Town City will host Highlands in the other semi-final.

That’s football for you and social media is just adding to the fun.

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.
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