Get this, they call me speedster at my running club, and some even go to the extent of referring to me as a top runner. Sometimes I believe the hype, it boosts the ego somewhat and forces one to push himself more after all.
On Wednesday though, it was all put into perspective for me when Comrades Marathon champion-producing coach John Hamlett referred to me as a “social runner”. Damn, the man even offered me a glass of Coke despite his having earlier described the drink as not good for runners. He gave his athletes David Gatebe, Gift Kelehe et al protein shakes.
That’s being put in your place right there.
Among my peers at Fat Cats FC I might be a top runner, but in the company of Comrade champions, I am a social runner. Levels!
Pitso Mosimane, the Mamelodi Sundowns coach, moved to remind the local football fraternity of such this past week.
His team in danger of surrendering their Premiership title to Bidvest Wits, Mosimane no doubt must have gotten irritated by the narrative that was seemingly pointing to the Clever Boys being better than the Brazilians.
Perhaps even more, Jingles appeared to have been feeling as though his achievements are being somewhat undermined.
And in his inimitable way, the man from Kagiso was only too glad to put it all into perspective for those with poor memories.
Speaking of his team’s hectic schedule that has seen them play 60 matches between June last year and now, he questioned the narrative that seemed to suggest their being behind Wits on the table is because they are failing to compete with Gavin Hunt’s team.
“When we were in Japan in December (playing in the Fifa Club World Cup) below zero degrees, people were on the beach resting and playing golf. In June last year, people were resting and we were playing Champions League. The reality is that no one can compete with that kind of schedule. Sure you can play against us and beat us, but put 59 matches there and let’s see.
"Wits don’t focus on the Champions League. They have a different objective than we have. But we have a bigger ambition. Sundowns is a bigger club. We are not competing with Wits in anything. No ways. We compete with (Orlando) Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, that’s it. We want to win on all fronts, and we are trying again this year.”
Some would probably have read those comments as Mosimane’s way of diverting from his team trailing in the title race. After all, it was largely due to that defeat at Wits that the Premiership crown is now sitting uneasy on his head.
Be that as it may, there can be no denying he is right on most of those aspects. Sundowns have had a pretty hectic schedule that is set to continue, given their progression to the group stage of the Champions League.
While Wits were off at the weekend, Sundowns hosted Ethiopia’s Saint George on Saturday evening. Funnily, Hunt was complaining about Wits’ tough schedule that came about because of their Caf Confederation Cup participation following their win over Maritzburg United the other day.
As Mosimane said, Sundowns have won many league titles (seven in the PSL), while Wits are angling for their first. The Brazilians are the reigning African club champions, having not only won the Champions League, but the Super Cup too.
Wits are yet to play in the group stage of any continental competition. They probably don’t even care.
But, as Orlando Pirates fans used to like to brag, until any club add a star above their emblem, they will remain below Mosimane’s Sundowns – their winning the domestic league notwithstanding.
It’s about levels!