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Showing posts with label Sport;. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sport;. Show all posts

Thursday, September 11, 2014

POSITIVE RAMBLINGS

When last did I do this, I mean actually post on this blog? It is kind of hazy and fuzzy, but I think it was after Arsenal won the FA Cup. When you consider that after that trophy, the Gunners have gone and won another trophy, and my tummy has grown a few centimetres forward again, you will understand it has been a while. However, you cannot really gauge by that protruding tummy reference because my tummy has this uncanny ability to keep growing bigger irrespective of everything I do to arrest the protrusion – Beer (No), Eat after 6pm (No), Eat once a day (Yes), Sit-ups every morning (Yes), yet tummy keeps protruding. I think I might have to accept it as a sign because a Yoruba Sage called K1 the Ultimate (I think that is what he is still known as because Fuji musicians have this confusing habit of changing their names every time they take time out of the hard work of praising themselves at every paid shows to release an album) advised that “only big-bellied people should be trusted with money”, probably it is a sign that God is about to trust me with plenty money, you know that kind of money that gives wings to dreams, because at the moment, the money I have is the one that decapitates nightmares so it can stay forever.

You know I try as much as possible not to depress you when you come here, I am sure you get that opportunity from many places elsewhere, but it is always difficult because this is Nigeria and we are Nigerians, one good news is always escorted by terrible news like that 16-year-old weightlifter who became an overnight hero with a Commonwealth Gold, but by the morning after became a villain testing positive to a PED, not once but twice. This is Nigeria! The over 200 Girls are yet to be brought back, actually, about 100 boys have been kidnapped after. The Ebola Virus has sashayed into the country and it is happily dancing across the nation; and the Federal Government has chosen this opportune moment to sack all Resident Doctors in all Federal Health Institutions across the country. In fairness to the FG, the Resident Doctors have been residing in their respective homes for some time now, the FG only chose to help them officially ratify the decision to stay at home indefinitely, and that is a no-brainer, isn’t it? Well, Club Football is back and it provides a sort of escapism from the drudgery of my daily life as a Nigerian because how else do you describe my obsession with millionaires who complain when they are not given cakes on their birthday or when someone is trying to pay them a paltry £100,000 per week for chasing a round leather around competitively twice a week.


Thankfully, what is a worthwhile form of escapism is the fact that myself and a few other like-minded pals have decided to form a Book Club which we have impeccably named “Vibrant Minds” through which we can read, share ideas and develop our minds. If you love books like us, you are welcome to join the fold. In the same vein, my very close friend, Debayo Coker of the #Pausiblity fame is working on a compilation of short stories and yours truly has been commissioned (I kid, all the proceeds are going to charity) to contribute. In addition, I have been a regular contributor to Suraj Oyewale’s JarusHub, a career and mentorship website. I have shared all these information so that in case I go AWOL again, do not assume it is laziness or procrastination (still battling this though), just believe I have my hands full working to develop my mind, do something good for the less-privileged, and mentor some younger ones; all these while working full-time with an Indian company currently being led by a crop of ex-Nigerian Bottling Company Managers, guys, you have to give it to me, I dey try.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!


Twitter: @SirRash

Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi
Google+: Rasheed Adewusi

Sunday, March 30, 2014

THE TRIPLE THREAT

Watching the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump, the Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli, talking about a fellow roaster Larry King said “in this business, Larry King is known as a Triple Threat because at anytime he could have a heart attack, have a stroke, or shit his pants.” This got me reeling in laughter every time I watch that particular “Roast”; but this is not the case when I think about the triple threat to the future of the youths of this country, I always struggle to keep back the tears. Stark Illiteracy, Drug Abuse, and Legalized Gambling are the triple threat to the future of the Nigerian youth.

Come on guys, you mean you don’t cry every time you read comments on blogs and websites? The youths cannot keep a conversation going without resorting to ethnic mumbo-jumbo and verbal assaults; and these are usually written in English that is at war with the standards of spelling, grammar, or context, you would think the law has been rewritten to allow everyone determine what the rules of spelling, grammar, and context are. Yes, I know English is not our first language, but how many people can even write in their mother-tongue? Please, do not come to me from that angle. Is it not disheartening that we have so many schools, public and private, from the Primary to the University level, and our youths are still stark illiterates? Most of the Youths cannot keep a logical argument going, they cannot draw conclusive deductions or inference, and they do not read. All the guidance we need in this world is in books, but the youths will not read. Imagine my disgust when Achebe died and I came across some youths who had smartphones and had never heard of Chinua Achebe, come on guys Wikipedia and Google should be bookmarked on every youth’s browser for the nation’s future sake. Most of the time when I see this, I ask myself- are these people normal or are they under the influence of some substances? Maybe!

Substance Abuse is also another threat to the future of the Nigerian Youth. Substance abuse has been around from time immemorial, but it has never been this blatant or pervasive from time immemorial. I remember growing up, anyone who smoked hemp was considered a deviant and anyone who is suspected of taking cocaine or heroin is considered a shame to his/her family. Now, these are considered some of the coolest things to do. Not so long ago, taking a hard drug is considered one of the three axes of ignominy, alongside armed robbery and prostitution. Nowadays, substance abuse is considered a fad of maturity. It is hard to believe that cannabis is an illegal drug because you can always see people smoking them everywhere you turn, and our youths are so creative with its use that they boil and drink it like tea, they also spice their food with it. Yet cannabis is not the worst of the drugs that most youths have become dependent on. Benylin with Codeine is a staple drug for some, while some are slaves to painkillers even when they have not lifted a finger at all. Then comes the creative sniffing of petrol/diesel fumes, sniffing of drainage dregs, and the sniffing of cocaine. Come on people, are you not scared?

Now comes in the cankerworm of Legalized Gambling. I used to remember people pointing at other old people who look as if they have wasted their lives and singling out “pool” as the sole reason why they were never-do-wells. Gambling used to be a vice meant for the demon-possessed and the cursed, but now, it is for everyone. From Government-floated gambling medium like “Lagos Lotto”, to private ones like “Baba Ijebu” to the countless sports-based ones like NairaBet, 1960Bet, Bet9ja, SportsBet, MerryBet, and any other Prefix+Bets you can think of. Gambling is in concordance with the average Nigerian love for the get-rich-quick syndrome, and people will tell you that even life itself is a risk and when nothing is ventured, nothing is gained; but not everything we term risk is actually risk, some are actually stupidity, and I believe gambling falls perfectly within that scope. I am all for one using one’s knowledge and expertise to profit oneself (is that not the only sane thing to do?), but when you think because you watch a lot of football you can always predict the happenings in the next football matches, I begin to doubt if you have not been sniffing too much of “drainage dregs”. If a lot of people actually win, the Gambling outfits would have gone into extinction; the percentage of people who actually win is infinitesimal and the probability that “e fit be u” even less infinitesimal. Gambling is meant to fleece the people of their hard-earned cash with the promise of multiplying it for them, but that promise is like a mirage that keeps shifting its position once you get close.

Honestly, I will not pretend to have solutions to the ills I have highlighted above, and thoughts on the way forward will be most-welcome from you, and while I am still waiting, let me go to Nairaland and read some more of the mumbo-jumbo; then take a walk around my neighbourhood and try to hold back the tears at young guys smoking and sniffing their lives away at every junction, while also trying not to laugh at the guys lamenting over missing the 1960Bet Jackpot of six million naira because Chelsea lost to Crystal Palace.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash

Sunday, January 27, 2013

AFCON 2013: HAIRDOS, DANCE-STEPS AND DODGY CALLS


The Festival of Ginger Dance-steps and Weird Hairdos, better known as AFCON2013, has been on for more than a week and being an African with a fanatical love for football, I think it is only normal I devote this post to CAF’s pre-eminent football completion. This post should have come up last week, but due to dearth of information on the teams cum players, it couldn’t, and after 9 days of football, I have to confess there is as much to write about as describing the features of a unicellular organism.

Luckily, I was able to watch 7 out of the 16 matches played so far and damn right I was lucky, ask those who watched all the matches what their action would be if they were given access to a time-machine, I bet the answer would be a resounding AYE to availing themselves of the opportunity to travel back in time to February 18th. Here are a few snippets as to why: out of the 16 matches played so far, 8 of them were draws (3 were scoreless draws); only 26 Goals have been scored (4 matches account for 14 of those); thousands of sleep-inducing minutes of football have been spent, and a bazillion officiating errors have been recorded. To look on the bright side, a dozen new dance-steps have been demonstrated, and a million hairstyles have been showcased.


Ordinarily, we are all guilty of pessimism when it comes to the land of Africa, anything African, and we Africans, but I have to concede that the pessimism is well-founded this time around. I was one of the few who stuck my neck out for AFCON2013 to be a veritable testament to how far African football has come, but I have to apologise, I was wrong. This logical optimism was based on two major factors: the large contingent of African footballers plying their trade in Europe, and the other far recesses of the world where football development has penetrated; and the huge number of footballers who had taken advantage of new FIFA rules to switch nationality to African countries. But all these seem to count for nothing as the North Africans – Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria – who benefitted most from nationality switch are faring the worst in this tournament.


Officiating has been another sour-point of AFCON2013. There seem to be no consistency to the calls and there is obviously a lack of understanding between Referees and Assistants most of the time. Knotty calls like “active and passive offside” and “goalkeepers handling outside the 18-yard box” have continued to make fools out of match officials, and the players and coaches have started speaking of conspiracies. Nigeria’s Super Eagles, albeit not being a fantastic team, has been at the receiving end of this dodgy decisions, and those were painful to say the least.

Axiomatically, even if the cloud is as dark as Aristide Bance, there would still be a silver lining somewhere, or even golden lining like the hair on his head. The competition has only gone halfway, and it is just getting to the crucial stages where some teams have to remain in South Africa only for sight-seeing, which means the Grade C and D chaffs would have been separated from the Grade B and A chaffs, (if you have ever visited the pre-Fashola Yaba Railway Line and you pretend like you do not understand this, God is watching you in 3D), and things can only improve. Moreso, most of these players come from different teams in different leagues and the philosophies are different, so let us take this to be acclimatization period and hope the cohesion will start manifesting henceforth.

Let us keep the hope alive, things can only get better, and if they do not, the matches would only have reduced, and February 10th would have been closer, let us endure till then. 





Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Monday, July 2, 2012

LA ROJA FURIA - LOS CONQUISTADORES

The Stage was the Olympic Stadium in Kiev; the Duel was between Spain’s La Furia Roja and Italy’s La Azzuris; the Occasion was the Final Match of Euro 2012; the Prize was the Henri Delauney Trophy, and the opportunity to write their names into European football folklore. More than 64,000 people crammed into the stadium to watch the spectacle; thousands more trooped into the streets to watch on Giant Screens; and millions more sat in front of television sets worldwide to savour the delicious dish of football that was about to be served by the top two National Teams in European Football.

For the better part of four years, the Spanish Conquistadors have lived up to the appellation by winning both the “2008 Euro Cup” and the “2010 FIFA World Cup.” La Furia Roja did not just win those tournaments, they imposed a playing style which more less make the opponents to chase the game from the beginning to the end. The core of the team is from Barcelona and Real Madrid, two of the most successful and formidable clubs in European Football. So, they are not an unknown quantity. Spain came into the Tournament as one of the Favourites, alongside Germany, Holland, France and Portugal. In the 5 matches they played in the tournament prior to the Final, they had won 4 and drew 1, scoring 8 goals and conceding 1. Many pundits have labeled them boring and predictable, thus reducing their invincibility in the eyes of many fans who rely on the Media for information and analysis.
The Azzuris are not an unknown quantity in World football either, but in recent times, have not been seen as a major force in world football, thanks to the Media also. The last major trophy the Italians have won was the 2006 FIFA world Cup. They came into the Competition as an outsider, won 3 out of the 5 matches played before the Final, including a Penalty shoot-out defeat of England in the Quarter-Final, and a defeat of Prime Favourite Germany in the Semis. The performances against England and Germany made them the new-found Love of the Media who needed a new topic because they were tired of telling us how boring Spain was. They swooned on Andrea Pirlo and Mario Balotelli, and nearly convinced all of us that Spain are not much better than the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The D-Day came and Spain provided a footballing display which borders on Rape. The match was a display of footballing masterclass by the Red Armada from the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish Conquistadors conjured a Furious Mist of Red around the Italian Azzuris who found themselves chasing shadows for the most part of the 93 minutes that the duel lasted. Italy’s cause was not helped by injuries though, but nothing could diminish the Iberians deserved victory. All the statistics spoke for themselves and at the end of the game, Italy’s goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon summed it all up:
"Tonight, there was no contest, they were too superior - so the bitterness at losing this final is only relative. It was a great adventure."
You cannot but say thumbs up to Buffon for being classy in defeat, anyway, that comes with experience.
Reflectively, any time I look at Spain’s success, I always see the same strain that is applicable in all walks of life – strategy, talent, ambition, dedication, belief, improvement, camaraderie and humility. Quoting Andrew Carnegie:
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”








Spain has always been known to favour the football strategy which is based on actually playing football, not running like headless chickens, or lumping it around like a watered-down rugby. It was based on skills and efficiency. It was based on possession football, and let us be honest, how can you use the football on the pitch if you don’t have it? These ambitions have been transferred to the clubs who incorporate them into their footballing philosophies. They scout for exceptional talents who they then develop into technically gifted footballers who make the football their slave – they send it on any errand they want to. Yet, they still always seek to improve. Compare England to this.
Someone might ask: how come they have not been successful all these while, why now? The answer is: they have brought camaraderie and humility into the fray; they have dropped their egos at home and brought a team mindset to the national team. The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona extends beyond the football pitch, it is deeply rooted in socio-political realities and these divisions are usually transported into the national team thus allowing discord and enmity to militate against their common goal. Spain has never been short of talented footballers, only short of necessary camaraderie and relevant humility. And with these players at the top of their games, and winning laurels, trophies, and accolades, not forgetting hefty paychecks on weekly basis, as easy as breathing, they are still able to keep their heads and pursue their common goal the way a Medical Doctor normally goes about their work. They do not shout at each other, they cover for each other, and each gives his all for the team. Juxtapose Spain with Holland and/or France and you will begin to understand the importance of camaraderie.
Belief is another very important factor in striving towards success. Yoruba people have a saying that can be loosely translated as “you do not go to the market and start paying undue attention to the noise in the market, you instead focus on what you have gone to the market to do.” Teams realising their own shortcomings against the Spaniards always decide to employ Mourinho’s popularised “parking the bus” approach thus forcing Spain to continuously keep hold of the ball passing it among themselves, taking tiki-taka to another level of monotonous domination. The Media hound-dogs jumped at them calling them boring and labelling them kill-joys. The Ukrainian crowds in Donetsk were barracking them in their semi-final clash with Portugal at the Donbass Arena. Even Arsene Wenger joined the bandwagon:
“They have betrayed their philosophy and turned it into something more negative. Originally they wanted possession in order to attack and win the game; now it seems to be first and foremost a way not to lose”
But like true professionals with clarity of purpose, they stuck to their guns and got on with their games. It is worthy of note that Spain is a dynamic team that can adapt their play to meet the formation the opposition plays. The ruthless trouncing of Italy in the Final Match proved all doubters wrong. Funny and enjoyable how Spain made them eat their humble pie.
Interestingly, this group of players have written their names into European Football Folklore by doing the basics and giving their all. And we have not seen the end of these Spanish domination in football, just look at their bench before you raise an eyebrow; and a whole lot of other players are still left at home nearing their peak. As they savour their moment in the sun, amidst the shouts of “oles” coming from the crowd, I am sure they are already thinking of 2014 in Brazil and asking “why not?”
Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Otubanjo Receives Armenia Golden Boot Award

 Otubanjo Receives Armenia Golden Boot Award *BY BOSUN ADEYEMI* Ararat-armenia Nigerian forward Yusuf Otubanjo receive is Golden Boot award ...