The 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia is upon us! Gird your loins oh citizens! Get ready for a battle that would be brief for some and very long (one month max) for others. Gather all the grains in the storerooms to prepare for the siege.
Unfortunately, being enmeshed in a World Cup is not as dramatic as a biblical battle. It is just a game in the final analysis that some people take rather too seriously.
Hopefully, though, the political swords would be kept to one side as the performance of the Super Eagles transport the nation out of its current reality.
As long as the Eagles are there Nigerians won’t have to pay attention to the crazed rantings of the likes of One FFK and Pastor Reno ‘Wendel Simlin‘ Omokri.
Maybe, even the killings across the country, especially in the middle belt, would take a pause for the World Cup.
But you can bet your right arm the National Assembly would still be actively looking for imaginative ways to mess with the rest of us. No worries though, Nigeria News would remain vigilant to keep them on their toes.
For most of us though, the World Cup is the time to indulge in some of our football-related delusions. These are the things we tell ourselves to cope especially if our chosen team disappointed big time.
So which of the lies below do you prefer to hide behind during important football tournaments like this 2018 World Cup?
1. I don’t care if my team loses as long as they play well
Come on, only flaky football fans don’t care if their teams lose matches. Football is a zero-sum game. The end result is all that matters.
Football fans know for a fact that it even hurts more if your team lost after playing so well or even better than the opposition. ‘How can life be so unfair?’ you would ask yourself in these situations.
2. I’ll enjoy all the matches; after all, it is the World Cup
We rabid football fans confidently shout that out. It is likely that the four-year wait for another World Cup had wiped clean the memories of some dreary and dull games of the previous tournament.
Fact is if your country is not involved: and the match doesn’t feature any football powerhouse, you’d find yourself thinking your time is better wasted thinking about all the lost opportunities of your life.
That is another way of saying some matches are so boring you’d nod off to sleep right there.
Hopefully, you are not holding a bottle of beer or a stick of cigarette when it happens.
3. Club affiliations don’t matter
This is the lie supporters of one European super club or the other tell themselves.
Let be honest here. We all take our club prejudices to the World Cup. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us watching some matches is to salivate over the performance of our club’s player.
You would rather have a player from your club score goals. And even though you’d scream in joy if a different player from a rival club scores for your national team, in the cold light of day, you’d be a bit jealous.
For instance, though I like Portugal, I wouldn’t like it if Ronaldo scores for them. In fact, I’d be happy if he breaks a leg and sits out the whole tournament.
As a Barcelona fan, it is natural I hate everything he does. That is the tribal nature of football.
4. Football is not that important
We tell ourselves this lie to convince outsiders football doesn’t define our lives the way they think. Actually, football doesn’t define our lives because it is life.
No honest football fan can do anything else while a match involving his/her team is going on.
Can honestly imagine somebody doing an honest job at the workplace when Nigeria is playing Argentina?
Sometimes, football fans lie to themselves that they have to watch it live for their team to win.
Maybe, their intense concentration while watching can somehow transmit some psychic powers across to the players to help them overcome opponents.
5. I’ll support other African teams
What kind of Pan-Africanism is this? Patriotic Nigerians should not have any cause to support other African teams especially if they are Ghana, Cameroon, South Africa or the North Africans.
These countries would rub our noses in it if they have a better tournament than us.
We don’t want to hear things like, ‘You guys are only good at bragging about jollof rice.’ Ordinary football match against Iceland you couldn’t win. Giant of Africa my foot.‘
Please…! I want Nigeria to be African best in everything. And I know most fans feel that way about football even if they don’t say it out loud.
6. God, please give us victory…
This is one lie many people believe. Somehow, we have decided that football is so important that God even takes time out to intervene.
Perhaps, the theory is, if He had refused for some reasons to end Boko Haram once and for all, He wouldn’t mind interfering in a football match.
After all, divinely fixing a match shouldn’t be as hard as eliminating some murderous, mis-educated Islamists.
Don’t be surprised to see fans bargaining with God to hand over more than 10% of their earnings if Nigeria wins by his grace. Amen.
7. Football would unite us all
It would only unite football fans for only as long as Nigeria continue to do well.
You want to ask girlfriends and wives all over Nigeria how they feel about the World Cup? Especially those who positively hate the game?
Or you want to ask the politicians who would view Nigeria’s success at the 2018 World Cup as a victory for the ruling party?
Some of them would openly support Nigeria but secretly hope the team fails spectacularly.
The lady would get the attention of her man back.
For the politician, failure of the Super Eagles is another dart to use against the government to show up its ineptitude.
So these are some of the lies and delusions we would live with for a whole month. However, we would definitely take away fond memories of the 2018 World Cup to cherish for another four years.