Since that faithful moment back on Wednesday, 6th July, 2005 it did bring out a certain feeling of happiness but as quickly as it came, it went as the pondering of the aftermath seemed to knock any positivity I ever had. I think the downward spiral of emotion began with the unveiling of the “official” London 2012 Olympics logo, my reaction of “really?” thusly was that level of apathy for the whole impending event that may come across as being “unpatriotic“. I don’t think I’am unpatriotic as I simply feel that sometimes “bleak British way of life to look at the worst until the best happens” about me. My main problem though comes with the cost of the whole thing as it can’t be amazing as the fact that public transport doesn’t run smoothly as it is, so during a Summer Olympics seems idiotic. This is a country in recession but how does this country choose not to combat that recession but to throw “the sporting world’s equivalent of a birthday + a graduation party + a wedding “, until I see the benefits I’m sorry but as much as I back the athletes, the sports, and the kind hearts of every volunteer, there’s still the issue of “empty seats” which is just ridiculous. It all just helped me realise that the only real benefit of the Olympics was from a corporate stand-point, not a spectators standpoint as I’ve lived in this country for 26 years and I really don’t see the benefit of the British over people from abroad, Britain get ticket lotteries for… tickets. People abroad can simply get it if and when they want them.
This week’s blog will be a BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER of the 1st July 2012 fixture between South Korea vs. Gabon as I’m a man that’s not extreme in “hating or trolling” in particular or to attack the “togetherness” that the Olympics brings or even attack the national teams that participate or even the individual participants. I will always appreciate the sports, it’s just mainly the bureaucracy that comes with events like the Olympics as more times than not decisions have nothing positive for the participants or the spectators. BEFORE is the story of someone that is merely apathetic of it as he went to a pub quiz at The Boaters Inn in which we were in a 3rd place shootout… We lost, silly question. It was there I was asking from my mate Matt if I wanted to go to the match at Wembley Stadium as he had a spare ticket, so it was with reassurance from my long-term friend Liz that I hadn’t sold out my beliefs. I didn’t put my name into the initial ticket lottery for the games, and it was only £20 for a ticket so I was helping a friend and I didn’t put my name forward just to most likely be overlooked, shaking my head at those empty seats.
Well I’m writing this in real-time as it’s past midnight so it’s officially the day of the match but it’s a weird one as I’ve been to Wembley Stadium twice (1 and 2) before, but neither were for football matches, well they were a form of football, but not “British football” (I kid, I’ll never call NFL “football”). So this brings us to the DURING as I wake up this 1st August in which we’ll meet at Richmond Train at 1:30pm, and in my own “quirky but loveable” way I’ll personally use ‘Get Ahead of the Games‘ as I’m sure a straight-forward ride will take a bit longer as a result. Got to the stadium in one peace and it’s starting to wind up to match time as we’re all sitting in a local pub as it seems like the main road outside Wembley Park station is littered with eat and drink pubs/restaurants/bars etc. and one family have entered where we are and they’re in t shirts with the Gabon flag, Gabon flag face-paint and flags draped over them, race is NOT an issue, that is all I will say. I think that’s something my pessimism may not have noticed unless I made my way to “ground zero” and witnessed it for myself, the seats aren’t too bad either as to be honest £20 for an Olympic sport seems just fine as it’s not like I’m dying to watch every moment. Final whistle and I swear to high heavens, The. Most. Boring. Match. Ever. as it finished 0-0 as though I appreciate that neither South Korea or Gabon were there to play an amazing game for the spectator, the Group B table shows as before that match it was South Korea on 4 points and Gabon on 1 point so it was never going to be pretty as fellow Group B team Mexico had already qualified with 6 points. It sucked to be Gabon as a win was pivotal but S.Korea really were the more dominant team but that by no means the match was a “cake-walk” as though South Korea held a majority of the ball and Gabon only had moments on the ball, there was never a “clear-cut/do-or-die” moment for either team and attempts of Mexican waves and minimal chanting seemed to be the signals.
My AFTER was very easy, yes we went to this one pub up a hill after we finally left the walkway out of Wembley Stadium but I’ve never seen an exit so slow and painfully slow at that. But I don’t know if it was the stroke but I was all about one drink (coke – tee total since Christmas 2010!) and then going home, I left Matt with Shane, Dennis, and if they succeeded in trying to recruit a former Cheetah called Owen, I was just pooped and I wanted to just go home and sleep. So I went with Gord back to Wembley Park and I have to be honest, a man that started ever so pessimistic of the Olympics, it all kind of died as though I know “when the event gets closer, this certain level of “meh” will die, but I still never said anything of the competitors, never have, never will, I appreciate all sports and what it takes to do them. I think the underlining fact of me warming to the Olympics is a point I heard from Gabby Logan one “Olympics Tonight” show, how yes the Great Britain public cheer loudest for their own, but there’s still some form of energy for the other nations. It’s a quality that I just can’t imagine anywhere else in the world, or at least to the level it’s normally exhibited. I mean a family that on appearance sake had no connection with Gabon, but face-paint, flag t-shirts, and flags draped over them is just no better example of it. For that, I think the spectators and the sportspeople make me appreciate the fact London held it this year. But facts are facts… Bureaucracy-fail!