Cape Town – In 1993, Groundhog Day was one of the surprise hits on the United States movie charts.
The movie, starring Bill Murray and the gorgeous Andie MacDowell, was the 13th highest-grossing motion picture in the States that year, and featured alongside blockbusters such as Schindler’s List and Sleepless in Seattle.
According to Wikipedia, Groundhog Day is about “a TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event, finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again”.
Every morning, Murray woke up to the annoying tune of “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher, and, while he tried to do something different and outrageous, even suicide, every time, he would end up waking up on February 2.
Since I have been back at work, following a rather short holiday because of the playoffs and Bafana Bafana’s trip to Zambia for the Cosafa Cup, it seems like I’m having my own “Groundhog Day”.
It seems as if SA football has become so predictable, and we relive our nightmares over and over again. A new season comes with new optimism, but in Mzansi, it normally comes with old problems.
The fixture list is again a shambles, with the gap between the first and second league fixtures almost three weeks. It doesn’t help that there’s an international week in between, but how do you explain some teams having a 19-day gap?
The PSL’s money-making machine, the Disciplinary Committee, is also in full swing. And Clinton Larsen and Steve Komphela can brace themselves to spend some of that hard-earned money on fines after they lambasted the officiating in the first (and only) round of league fixtures.
Favouritism is also back, with Orlando Pirates being handed more favours than a public servant ahead of a tender meeting.
Pirates’ players were withdrawn from the Bafana squad ahead of the match against Nigeria on Wednesday because of this weekend’s Champions League clash against Zamalek, while Tuesday’s league game against Ajax Cape Town has been postponed because of their MTN8 semi-final against Kaizer Chiefs next weekend.
Manchester United are also playing this weekend, but they didn’t withdraw their players from the England squad who played Scotland on Wednesday ...
This sets another dangerous precedent, as it again gives the impression that the big teams in South African football have the power to do as they please.
Meanwhile, Ajax continue to sell their best players, although it has been a struggle to get rid of Khama Billiat. The new regime’s first few transfers have been the stuff of nightmares, with Billiat and injured defender Nazeer Allie in limbo.
On the national front, we were again slapped in the face by the déjà vu snoek when Bafana’s players again showed us that their brains seem to switch off in the final attacking-third of the pitch.
I’m sorry for being so negative in my first column back, but there are things in SA football which just gets to me in a way that “I Got You Babe” got to Murray in Groundhog Day.
Here’s hoping things get a bit better. If it doesn’t, I will need to buy a silent alarm clock.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@Joey7Barton (Barton praises England’s new hero): Made up for Rickie Lambert. What a header that is. About time he had a call up. That’s what happens when you pick form players and not names!
@markfish74 (on Bafana’s performance against Nigeria): Just not good enough!Not sure when we ever will be!
WHO TO FOLLOW
@_ronwen: Follow one of SA’s hottest prospects, SuperSport United No 1 Ronwen Williams.
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