If you think the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach then you are obviously not up to speed with 21st century men! While I will admit that men certainly love their food, I have come to discover an even more powerful passion that most men share the world over. This passion is so strong that it brings men together from all walks of life and for ninety minutes all past wrongs are forgotten, money owing is not spoken of, good-natured slaps are exchanged and drinks are passed around without consideration of cost.
If you are still wondering what this great passion is, all you have to do is walk to the nearest pub which has a big screen TV and you will find a bunch of men looking up to the screen in reverence as they watch their favorite football teams battle it out.
I have never really been able to understand men’s fascination with football but I have certainly been amused to watch how seriously they take it. For a long time I was not in the least possible way interested in football myself but my curiosity was aroused when I noticed that whenever a major football match was being aired on a working day, the number of guys calling in sick with stomach aches or flu would be surprisingly high. Therefore, I decided to investigate the matter personally.
Boldly venturing into a place where few women have dared, I convinced a male friend of mine to take me along to see a game at a local pub where I was certain we would find many football fanatics. I was not disappointed. Donning the shirts of the teams they supported, I watched with barely disguised amusement as the men shouted out instructions as if the players could actually hear them, as they called out penalties and fouls that they believed the referee had missed and as they discussed players as if they were talking of an old and dear acquaintance.
At the end of the match the men whose team had lost consoled themselves with all sorts of creative explanations. I had a very hard time keeping a straight face when a guy leaned over to me and said very seriously, “The only reason we have lost is because the grass on that pitch was very uneven, if they had paid more attention to manicuring it we would have won hands down.” I smiled politely, not mentioning that the grass on that particular pitch was actually carpeted and not real grass. It seemed unfair to point out such a trivial matter.
When the game was over most of the men dispersed and went on to have a drink. Heated discussions about the game could be heard all round. Feeling a little left out I decided to test the little I had learned and piped in saying, “Let’s hope they work on their defense in the next match or else they will never make it to the final.” The men seated near me suddenly went quiet and a strange look passed over their faces. I was almost scared that I had said something terribly wrong when I heard one of the men say, “My thoughts exactly. Now what was that you said you were drinking…” and from then on I was the recipient of several free drinks and treated with a new respect.
On that night I discovered a great truth – today the way to a man’s heart is not through his stomach but through his favorite football team! With the world cup just a few days away I’m busy working on my football lingo and practising shouting at the TV screen … oh and looking forward to some great matches.
Posted by Nambeye Katebe