Woe is Bafana Bafana
SOURCES in hell are reporting that Satan has unveiled a Bafana-themed torture complex.
The inmates will be entry-level South African sinners, mostly people who give car guards R2.
These bastards will be chained to sofas in cramped viewing booths and forced to watch delayed live broadcasts of Bafana matches for eternity - including the SABC's half-time analysis, while teams of cackling demons take turns blowing vuvuzelas directly into their earholes. Even with long recovery periods between games, being a Bafana supporter is a mild form of hell. It's similar to having a chronic, incurable physical ailment like tinnitus or constipation.
And, while supporters are understandably gatvolafter Sunday's dire draw against Ethiopia, it wasn't a shock, or even a new low.
Fact is, Bafana have always been more or less awful, even without paranormal encrapment by unpaid sangomas. They've always had a talent for nullifying their talent.
The exception was the class of 1996, but Clive Barker's side were (a) not quite as good as we remember and (b) conquered Africa just before the West African powerhouses and Egypt started to get serious. Pitso Mosimane is right when he points out that firing him as the coach will not transform this Bafana side into a bunch of Didier Drogbas. Not by next weekend, and not ever.
But he's wrong to keep dissing his players to the media by presenting their impotence in front of goal (Katlego Mphela aside) as a permanent problem.
It may be true, but he shouldn't say it. He should be defending them, singing their praises ad nauseam and promising a glut of goals. Sometimes creating a delusion of superiority in your team can translate into actual superiority.
Ask José Mourinho.
You should be motivating the boys, coach. That's why they're paying you the big bucks. Leave the negativity to the experts, namely us hacks.
Thankfully, it seems that there is at last some serious intent on Safa's part to end the development vacuum. Safa CEO Robin Peterson says a cunning master-plan is being authored by a panel of "experts".
The idea is to determine a national style (presumably it will include goal-scoring), and train up the vast horde of amateur coaches needed to properly identify elite talent by the age of 12.
Peterson reckons that it will take 10 years for the plan - if it's implemented - to bear any fruit.
But even if South African football somehow stumbles into the 21st century, that doesn't mean the suffering of Bafana supporters will end. Look at the rolling mass misery of the English. They invented the game and most of them love it with a passion. They have the world's mightiest league, which ploughs mountains of cash into academies. Yet, England's mission to Euro 2012 promises to be another comical chapter in a history of incompetence. Manager Roy Hodgson's squad is afflicted with plodders like James Milner, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson. Chelsea kingpins Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill are crocked.
Ridiculously, Hodgson seems to have rejected the classy Rio Ferdinand merely because he doesn't pretend to love the unlovable John Terry.
It's all going to end in tears - hopefully Terry's.