But ask me about my favorite World Cup moment to date and it won’t be the Robert Green howler against America, or even Tshabalala’s wonder goal for South Africa against Mexico.
I won’t even bore you to death with tales of journalists being robbed, and the constant need to look over your shoulder everywhere you go in Joburg.
So thank you Nkela and thank you Africa
-- so far it’s been a pleasure.WORLD CUP SIDELINES
MONEY: FIFA may have a billion euros on reserve in their Swiss bank, but money is tight round these parts.
The South African players who performed such heroics in their opening draw against Mexico have each received a bonus worth just over $2,500.
Compare that to the $25 a day some workers at the match stadia are getting, and you can see why the locals are green with envy.
And just to put it in even more context, every mother in South Africa gets about $30 a month in government support for every child under the age of 18.
Sadly for many women, this children’s allowance is their only source of income.
Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up. Soccer fans will know all about Robbie Savage, the former Blackburn Rovers
midfielder who currently plays for Derby County
Robbie’s a bit thick to put it politely, and proved it on his arrival in South Africa where he’s working as a pundit.
After a 5k jog with one of his producers, Savage decried those who are complaining about the altitude problems at the World Cup, claiming he didn’t know what they were moaning about.
It’s just a pity that Robbie’s training run was on the beach in Cape Town
-- which happens to be at sea level and not at altitude!
A few minutes after Steven Gerrard’s opener for England
on Saturday night, Team USA won a corner which got the American fan next to us very excited. “Get ready for the equalizer,” he urged us with one of the tournament’s more memorable quotes. The equalizer didn’t arrive then but it did arrive just before halftime -- and even the partisan U.S. fan found it hard to believe.
JUDGE: The whole of South Africa is behind their team at this World Cup -- including the judicial system. Johannesburg judge Willem van der Merwe has been turning up for work all week with a Bafana Bafana jersey under his legal cloak. Wonder is he any good on the offside law?
NOISY: Vuvuzela fan George Hamilton has put his money where his mouth is, and quite literally at that. The legendary RTE commentator was spotted leaving Rustenburg on Saturday night with not one but two of the traditional South African horns. Go blow that thing George.
boss Big Mick McCarthy
was spotted with three Big Mac hamburgers on a tray outside the media center at Ellis Park, but the Wolves
manager was adamant he was minding two of them for fellow BBC
pundits. We believe him.
Memo to South African radio -- it was the Republic of Ireland who beat Italy
’94 and not Northern Ireland
, as your commentator stated during the Italy-Paraguay
game here on Monday night. Just thought I’d clear that up for them.
ENGLAND: Hand of Clod. Green Fingers. Stars and Tripe. Yanks 1 Planks 1. Tainted Glove. Worst Howler ever. Hapless Green. Nightmare Start. Don’t you just love the headlines when England take to the World Cup stage!
South African police had no trouble handling thousands of England fans in Rustenburg on Saturday night -- pity the same can’t be said of their goalkeeper Robert Green and the ball!WORLD CUP HEROES
The great Eamon Dunphy
and I had a bit of a disagreement at a recent World Cup bash over Germany
’s World Cup hopes. I said they’d do well. He said, as he repeated on RTE on Sunday night, that they are crap. So guess who’s very happy that Germany stuffed Australia
4-0 on Sunday night? They’re right up there with Argentina
as the best team in the tournament so far.WORLD CUP VILLAINS
Over a hundred thousand people have signed an online petition to ban the Vuvuzelas, those African horns, from the World Cup. Have they no sense of belonging? This is an African World Cup on African soil. The Vuvuzelas may be annoying as hell and they may be noisy, but they are very much a part of African football folklore. Thankfully FIFA said again on Monday that they have no intentions of banning them from this World Cup.