You might recall that during the World Cup, I had vowed to stop going to pubs to watch football. This was because there was an outbreak of temporary fans that were pretending to have better knowledge about the game than the real fans. Even my grandmother had become a soccer fan during the World Cup.
She was supporting Cameroon and Cameroon was not even in the World Cup. She asked me how many goals Roger Miller managed to score and I told her seven. (Roger Miller retired in 1994) I’ll go to hell for that. Sorry grandma! I love you!
OBSESSED WITH FACTS
I have an unhealthy obsession with facts, so whenever I see someone talking about issues that I care about without commissioning facts, I tend to get irked. Pubs had lots of fact-less soccer fans during the World Cup so I stayed away.
Sometimes I even find myself enunciating accurate information to the wrong people. I’ll be talking to the watchman then find myself spluttering something like, “Do you know Lil Wayne’s latest album sold 481,002 copies in its first week?”
This past weekend, one of my friends asked me to join him at a pub in his hood so that we could catch up as we watched a game. Given that we are currently in the club football season and the fake soccer fans disappeared after the World Cup ended, I agreed to go.
It was on Saturday evening and as we settled in the pub to watch the Manchester United Vs Newcastle United game, the whole place was full of people in red jerseys.
My friend told me that this was where the rowdiest supporters in his estate came to watch the game.
My only wish was to see Manchester United lose again so that I would troll my friends. If a genie asked me to make one wish that day, I wouldn’t ask for millions of coinage, a mansion in Beverly Hills or a lifetime supply of fried chicken; I would ask for Manchester United to lose again.
You see, Manchester United fans are very proud of their club. Too proud even. They believe theirs is the greatest team in the world.
BADGE OF HONOUR
They constantly make sure to remind everyone what they represent. They are like doctors and engineers. When they introduce themselves, it’s usually something like “Hi, I am Doctor Mike” or “I am Engineer John.”
Yes, you better recognise. Their occupation is a badge of honour.
Imagine how awkward it would sound if the rest of us introduced ourselves with our job titles. Like “Hey, I am Writer Philip” or “Hello, I am Taxi Driver Omondi.”
Young models are notorious for this too. A model can’t sleep without telling at least one person in a day that she models for a living. Deep inside, you feel like yelling “who asked you?” but you remain quiet because being nice is important.
So yes, Manchester United fans have always been proud, despite the fact that their club has been ailing from poor performance for the last few seasons. But it’s all good.
About the game, it was the muffled, subdued affair that everyone expected. That declaration is of course, preposterous. It was absolutely chaotic.
By half-time they were 2-0 down and the mood in the pub had flattened. It had been a poor, poor first half from United. Clubs of substance do not disintegrate like that. Clubs with the stomach for a fight do not allow themselves to be demolished like that.
I could bet the whole of Kirinyaga that it was going to be another humiliating defeat for them. I was certain that by the time proceedings would be over, everyone would be left in emotional shambles. And boy did I love it.
I made sure to taunt everyone near me and boast how my beloved Chelsea would forever be above them in the league. I kept shouting and cheering for Newcastle while ignoring the malevolent stares that were being directed my way.
Things changed very quickly.
A few minutes before the game ended, Manchester United had produced some exhilarating football and equalised to 2-2. What a roaring comeback!
Then a 90-minute header from Alexis Sanchez gave them an unexpected victory. They had finally lifted themselves out of the doldrums. People went wild. Some were dancing on top of tables while others were screaming.
Then I found myself shouting ”Mtashindwa tu tena!” (You will be defeated soon)
Fatal mistake! Everyone immediately got hostile. People began chanting “Toka hapa wewe! Kwenda!” (Get out of here).
Trust me, I had just made the comment innocently and I had no idea that things were going to spiral out of control like that.
One of the guys who was seated near me stood up and began prowling towards me. He was clearly drunk and vexed. He looked like Danny Trejo, that guy with a hard face who acted in the movie Machete.
“Toka ama tukutoe” (You either leave or we kick you out) he commanded.
I was tempted to showcase the Kung Fu skills I have learned from movies but I realised it was a dumb idea after just 2.37 seconds of thinking about it (You don’t want to know how I came up with the decimal points).
People all over the pub continued chanting. I feared for my safety. I even feared for the safety of my wife and kids. And I don’t even have a wife and kids.
Two other fans also stood up and began approaching me. I had to do something quickly before the hostility degenerated into an all-out assault on me.
I did the wise thing. I ran and unlike Lot’s wife, I never looked back until I was several metres away from the building.
My pal came out laughing. My heart was still beating so fast. I had to tell him goodbye and head back home. I think I am now going to stay away from pubs until further notice.
I am of the opinion that in future, whenever Manchester United scoops a victory; the fans should be placed in quarantine for a day or two to allow them to cool off.
We cannot have all this arrogance on the loose. It’s dangerous, very dangerous.