Thursday, May 27, 2010


First thought best thought.

I'm really excited about the World Cup being in South Africa.  I really am.  Inevitably, there are going to be problems, be it with the altitudes, crime, unsold tickets, whatever, but at the end of the day, I think it's going to be an excellent tournament in an exciting country with a lot of spirit and hospitality.

Read my lips:  The following critique is about South Africa's team, not on the country's ability to host a world class tournament.  You hear me?  Do you?



Dear South Africa-

I'm charging out of the gates with an insult:  Your team nickname SUCKS.

Bafana Bafana may sound cool in whatever of your country's eleven languages it originates from, but it means "The Boys, The Boys."  Now, I heard your bullshit story about reappropriating the name from it's originally mocking origins and turning it into a positive identity, but I don't buy it.  At all.

Next up on "reasons you suck," you suck because you're a bunch of homophobes.  Well, maybe.  At the very least, you're complicit in silence.  Watch at least part of the SUPER DEPRESSING video below to find out why.

Let's recap:  A member of the Women's national team was raped.  Raped because she was a lesbian.  And killed.  Killed because she was a lesbian.  Is this the Men's team's fault?  No.  Could they at least have shown some solidarity for a fellow player?  Yes.  Certainly.  More than that, they SHOULD have.

Yes, I know this is a pet issue.  And, yes, I know that I can't expect Americanized attitudes about sexuality in other parts of the world.  I'm not asking for the entire team to sit down, hold hands and sing a song where the lyrics are something terrible but still moving like "It's ok / for a girl to be gay / please don't kill her / for being that way."

However, imagine how much it would mean if my boy Tshabalala made a PSA that said "Yo, it's your boy Tshabalala coming at you to say that you shouldn't kill and rape people.  Being gay may be wrong, but let God deal with it.  Raping and murdering is totally not cool."  I might not agree with him, but at least he would be trying to make things a little better.

To sum this section up, I really do believe that as the more respected counterparts to Eudy Simelane in her sport, the players on the men's team had an obligation to do SOMETHING about it.  There.  That's my piece.

Oh, and if you ever wanna feel absolutely horrified by the state of human discourse, read some of the comments on the video when it was posted on

I'm really done, now.  Moving on.

To provide some completely soccer-centric commentary, you suck because you're going to break my heart.

Odds are you will be the first host nation in World Cup history to not advance to the second round of the tournament.  Your group is tough, and I'm just not sure that the advantage of a home crowd is going to make up for your shoddy defense and overall sub-par players.  Do I want this to happen?  Decidedly no.  That's why when it does happen, I'll be super disappointed.

I started this letter by talking about a name I thought was stupid, and I'll finish it by talking about some names I think are sweet.  South Africa, I hate your team because almost every single person on it has a better name than I do, and that makes me MAD.

Now, for an American male, my name is pretty awesome.  It fits within the standard conventions of what a name should be, while at the same time, flowing with an extended originality that's enough to make any of my contemporaries jealous.  A grand part of my identity is crafted around the idea that I'm pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to names.  Then, you assholes came along.

When stacked up against names like Innocent Mdledle, Surprise Moriri, Siboniso Gaxa and MacBeth Sibaya, I just don't compare.  I'm not even in the Top 100.  And that hurts.

Alright.  I've said my piece.  South Africa, I hate your team.


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