We Miss our Football : A Football Fan’s Journal


By: Olamilekan Mashika

The excitement, the rush, the euphoria, the pandemonium, the rancor, the sheer brilliance, raw skill, pace, absolute agility, colossal strength, immovable stamina, the blunders, the genius, the magical moments, goal keepers’ howler, the unending argument. All of these are what we are missing in this new pandemic blighted session. The cheers of the crowd at the SUB football pitch, all shouting to cheer their department’s or faculty’s players. The shout of goal when it is scored. We have missed this, we have missed it all.

It is not an understatement to say that we all wish this semester a speedy journey of no return and go into the next semester with full anticipation of the sports events in the university. We can’t wait to cheer the players again, we can’t wait to bask in the euphoria of our department ending up winning a match. We can’t wait, we all can’t. In the spirit of our anxiousness, this piece is written to give us a written football match. An illusion of the writer.

On a sunny Friday, the SUB is filled up with spectators in anticipation of the finals of the AFAS Dean’s games. One department to the left, the other department to the right. They lined up, walked out onto the pitch with the crowds incessantly shouting the names of their department. There was plethora of happiness going around, albeit racy hearts of each and every of the spectators. The match has been billed as the match of the decade. The two star players one for each of the two finalists waves their hands, and the uproar increased.

Then the match started, the referee’s whistle went loud, and the all-white department kicks off. It was a cagey affair although a fiercely contested match, then in the 20th minute, the match burst into life. A solo goal from the star player of the all black department, ensured pandemonium reigned in the stadium. He collected the ball from his own half, skipped past four players in a mazy run, rounds the keeper and the slots home into an empty net. One nil to the all-black department. You think that was all the magic? We are just getting started. A brilliant team goal, draws the team level, on the 30th minute of the match. The all white team, in a sequence of 52 passes, had the ball onto the back of the net via a tap in from the striker who was unmarked in the 6 yards box. That was supposed to be the last play but immediately after the restart, the all-white team had the ball in the back of the net yet again. This time from a thunderbolt of a shot from the brilliant midfielder of the all-white team. Just at the edge of the box, he released a sizzling shot that went right into the top corner to take the all-white team into the lead for the first time in the match.

As that drama was all. The all black team equalized via a brilliant free kick that riffled into the top corner of the net. It was the last kick of the game, the whole stadium burst into euphoria, there was admixture of emotions flying around. The pathetic dejection of the all-white department at not winning the cup in normal time, and the absolute joy of the all black team that they are taking the match into penalty shootout.

Then there comes the penalty shootout. The fans were on edge, the players were shot out at their nerves, you could feel the tension flying around, silence reigned as people were toonervous to make a sound. Then the first player stepped up to take the first penalty of the final. It was the captain of the all-white team. It was a straight run up and he buried a low shot into the bottom corner. Advantage, all white team. All players had their penalties into the net and it headed into sudden death. At this point, the nerves skyrocketed. It was as if the whole university was there to watch the match, the spectators had doubled from when the match started. 

Anything goes at this point, the spectators had resigned to fate. Then a player from the all-white team stepped up to take the first sudden death shoot out. He took his steps almost to the middle of the pitch, had a funny run up, dummied the keeper, and calmly placed a low shot into the back of the net. Cheers, jubilation followed, now, if the all black players missed his penalty, the all-white department will be champions. And he stepped out, the tall all black player to take the next penalty, potentially the last kick of the game.

He stepped up, rolled his socks, placed the ball at the penalty circle, 12 yards out, moved calmly back 5 steps, gassed out heavily, then he ran towards the ball, then the god of football struck. He slipped, oh he slipped. And blazed the ball over the crossbar. The stadium erupted. The all white department are champions of the Dean’s games. They have won it. Then the euphoria shot up. The exhilaration, the jubilations, the joy, everything was raised to the summit. To the loosing team, dejection was casted on their faces, the god of football had frowned on their day, and sadness reigned supreme. To the winning team, the bask in the euphoria of their win. They are the winners, they are the conquerors, they are the jubilant, and they are the celebrators.

Do we all agree we have missed this? Now shall we all pray for this semester to go away very fast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *