some people think football is a matter of life and death. i assure you, it’s much more serious than that. ~ bill shankly

JG asked me in the evening, who will i be supporting in the malaysia-chelsea match last night. fine, i know the match win is quite predictable, but bro, of course la pasukan bola sepak kebangsaan malaysia! you could not and you still cannot call me the most die hard footie out there, but hell no are you going to call me a bad malaysian, wei! i was there with my malaysian tigers t-shirt, and a little national flag, and doing the mexican wave with all the rest of the crazy screamers out there.

aiya… sakit tekak.

if you are here looking for a match review and analysis, you’d better keep searching. i was there to be part of the crowd, and to see what all the fuss is about. and you know what? to me, the best part of the whole experience is to be that speck in the masses.

there were all kinds of people around me. there were crazy loyal supporters – mostly for chelsea – who came all decked in blue, siap face paint and chelsea jerseys, shorts, hats and towels. there were those who sat perfectly upright, arms folded, wearing grim expressions of their faces. and then there were those going half insane – and in my opinion, these people would scream at anything just for the heck of it.

there was this mamat behind me who was excitedly explaining every aspect of the game to his girlfriend, and spewing commentary to everyone around him.

right in front of me was a stressed out-looking father towing four very young sons who never stopped talking, pushing each other and laughing. whenever there were goals (there were two in the game last night, both to chelsea – told you it was predictable, duh!), the crowd would stand and cheer, and completely block the view of the four young boys. if you zoom into our part of the crowd, you’ll probably see only the tips of the boys’ fingers. but you know, eve though they were blocked by about a few thousand asses, they were happy, i think they really were. then the crowd would settle and the boys will excitedly point out who’s who and laugh again.

further up front, i notice a small lad wearing a most glaring, neon yellow shirt. on chelsea’s first goal, the crowd stands and blocks his view, right… what does he do? he climbs right on his seat, pulls out is shirt – to reveal a skinny body with knobbly shoulders – screams and swings his neon yellow shirt around and around above his head. he is the scrawniest and most excitable thing i have ever see in my life.

in the second half, our little party was joined by a quintet of teenagers – four boys, one girl. while the boys were hauling creative criticism at the players, the girl was playing with her handphone – one of those bright pink sony ericsson models, decked in pink and silver diamond stickers. ocassionally, she would look up, and gaze dreamily at the field. her eyes would search for where the ball if for a few seconds, before returning to the phone. everytime one of the boys passes a comment, she would smile serenely.

i was part of the crowd. sharing commentaries with others. once in awhile, when i hurl a sarcastic remark, the boys in front of me would turn and giggle. the teens got everyone all excited when the mexican wave was approaching and everyone would stand and cheer together – even the mamat’s girlfriend, even the stressed out father, even the girl with the pink handphone.

2 thoughts on “some people think football is a matter of life and death. i assure you, it’s much more serious than that. ~ bill shankly

  1. i’m looking at you in the photo – couldn’t you see me? ;)

    hehehe… if i knew you were going, we could have car pooled!

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