A Change of Heart

Daily Prompt [Flip Flop]:  Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us TRANSITION.

Growing up on a small Caribbean island, there were two things that irked me greatly that everyone else seemed to love. One I still can’t get, the other has become a big part of who I am.

When I woke up on a Saturday morning there were two things I wasn’t looking forward to. I definitely didn’t want to help my mother and aunts clean the house and I really didn’t want to deal with the males in the house yelling at the television screen over some dumb game of football. Sometimes I’d sit with them and try to get it but the only thing I found exciting was the fighting.

Fast-forward four years and I’ve become one of them – not male, but still you’ll find me yelling at my TV screen every Saturday wondering why x footballer didn’t just shoot at the goal *internal groan*.

It’s a funny thing. I always felt like Saturdays were made for watching my favourite shows on Cartoon Network and PBS Kids (as opposed to going out into the yard to skip and play hopscotch with my neighbours). Then circa 2006 I became inculcated into the football watching culture when our national football team qualified for that year’s World Cup in Germany.

That day we won our football match against Bahrain to become the smallest nation to ever qualify for a World Cup Finals was easily the craziest day ever. The joy and pride of my fellow Trinbagonians over something I once considered unimportant was enough to convert me. The atmosphere on the island easily topped that of a Carnival Tuesday.

HeadbuttI’ve never looked back since. Even though we didn’t win any of our games in Germany (which means we never made it out of the group stages), I continued watching the entire tournament and loved every moment of it. I was surprised to find that I was in absolute horror and completely disappointed when Zinedine Zidane was shown a straight red card for head butting Marco Materazzi. I’d wanted France to win the tournament because they knocked Brazil out which meant they deserved to win it, right? They continued to play well but in the end Italy won on penalties.

Sir Alex presents Dwight Yorke as a Manchester United player
Sir Alex presents Dwight Yorke as a Manchester United player

It was because of that Cristiano Ronaldo winking incident during Portugal’s quarterfinal match against England that I became such an avid Manchester United supporter. I thought that maybe, just maybe there’d be some sort of bust up between the two when they returned to the club, instead I fell in love with their football and the club’s history (not to mention Dwight Yorke was a former Manchester United player – sold!) To be honest, Manchester United was the only football club I really knew existed because of Dwight Yorke.

Mixed Emotions - Manchester United win the 2008 UEFA Champions League.
Mixed Emotions – Manchester United win the 2008 UEFA Champions League.

Basically, the thing that sold me on football was it’s ability to (on November 16th, 2005 especially) bring a nation together and help us forget for however long whatever problems we faced individually and collectively. It’s an emotional sport – full of excitement and many twists and turns – and I love it.

On the other hand, there’s cricket and most Caribbean people get it but I don’t and I never will.

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12 thoughts on “A Change of Heart

  1. Aaah! A football fan. Wonderful! I am a Manchester united supporter too! My love for football started with the tournament in 2006, although I knew only little about club football until 2008. I too became a MU supporter because of CR7. The next year, the world was taken by the Messi storm and my world of football became big! Wonderful sport this! And good luck for your national team! 😉 🙂

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    1. Manchester United supporters unite! xD
      Unfortunately we didn’t make it to next year’s World Cup in Brazil but I have hopes of going to the World Cup anyway. Football truly is a wonderful sport.

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  2. I was a massive cricket fan before the 06 WC, but that’s how I started off with United too. Seriously was expecting Rooney to beat some ass when the season restarted lol. But hen the club just sucked me in and never let me go ;___; ❤

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    1. I just don’t get cricket man. But I was slight disappointed somebody didn’t rip Ronaldo a new one but it’s all good, I think I won out all in all ^_^

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