Sunday, June 13, 2010


I whittled away the opening fixture of the day at the World Cup by reading the Times magazine. The fixture was laboriously boring as those damn Vuvuzel's made it feel like a swarm of killer bees lay outside my window just wanting to devour me. Broadcasters are giving out too and the first great debate of the tournament opens up. Will they be banned?
I don't want to step on any cultural toes but if they are I won't be complaining. It don't feel like football and the visuals are distressing.
As I read an article about the son of climbing pioneer, Alison Hargreaves, the game took a back seat as I read of Tom Ballard's forthcoming attempt at a winter climb on K2, the mountain that claimed the life and refused to give back the body of his mother fifteen years ago. Despite being inferior in height to Everest , K2 is regarded as THE test of climbing endeavour. Nobody has ever climbed it in the winter season. Tom Ballard wants to do it, alone and without the aid of oxygen which he regards as a 'performing enhancing drug'.
It's difficult to understand why people do things sometimes. What makes people tick? Why they choose to do differing things? Reason? 'Luck' seems like such a small word to say when one thinks of this sort of challenge. It would make for an incredible story but Bullard is struggling to secure the sponsorship to undertake the climb as he trains in France. Is it because people don't want blood on their hands or simply they know that one of the last great horizons in human endeavour is in fact just a crazy notion and not actually a possibility.
His Father and sister will accompany him to base-camp on this journey into one of the great unknowns. Many reasons guiding them. It's a tough one to call.
As I near the end of the article another goal keeping howler handed Slovenia a 1-0 win over Algeria. The goal keeper sounded Japanese but without DNA testing I can't be sure. Yawn!

The affair rendered me into a deep sleep and I was saddened when I woke to find out that FIFA's call to Ireland to replace Algeria was just a dream. Somethings are just difficult too let go of I guess.
It was with a relief that Serbia and Ghana served up something that resembled the beautiful game. U-20's World Champions Ghana won with an 84th minute penalty in a justifiable result and sets Ghana on the path of repeating their 2006 effort of qualifying for the second round. Further advancement is a possibility for this nation that make men from tank material but you feel their free-flowing and sometimes undisciplined style will trip them up before we get down to the stage that really matters and that's the quarter finals and onwards.
It would be fantastic to watch a team from Africa win a World Cup in my lifetime but I can't see it being on this occasion as the continent hosts the world for the first time in soccer.

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