Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns (c) celebrates goal with teammates after scoring against TS Galaxy. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Themba Zwane of Mamelodi Sundowns (c) celebrates goal with teammates after scoring against TS Galaxy. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Eshlin Vedan: The good and the bad of my sporting year

By Eshlin Vedan Time of article published Dec 31, 2020

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THE GOOD

Learning new skills: Considering social distancing, many of us were forced to learn to up-skill. I had to learn to find new interview techniques and use platforms such as Google Hangout and Zoom in order to interact with people.

I certainly have more skills than I had last year and am now able to find better strategies to compromise when things go wrong. However, it's safe to say that the “personal touch” when doing interviews via Zoom or Hangout is just not there as compared to doing it in person. It has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The unpredictable year

The year has been very unpredictable and that also goes as far as sport results. A few months ago, Sheffield United was touted as a surprise package after finishing ninth in the Premier League. Now, they are one of the most painful sides' to watch in the Premier League era, and the jury is out on whether they will be able to beat Derby County's record low points tally of 11 set in the 2007/08 season.

Kaizer Chiefs looked to be on the verge of winning the league last season before a late slump led to them losing.

Would the unexpected results have happened without Covid-19? I think not.

THE BAD

Frustration: Most of us lost opportunities that we would have otherwise have had if not for the Covid-19 pandemic. The period of having no sport to focus on for the first two months of lockdown could get boring, mundane and depressing.

While reporting on games and attending press conferences virtually does have advantages, there should be a balance of both going forward, depending on the magnitude of the information given.

For various reasons, this was arguably the most frustrating year in the history of humankind.

Witnessing the Proteas collapse

Apart from their series victory over Australia this year, it has been a bad year yet again for the Proteas. They seem devoid of ideas and lacking confidence. Granted, the losses did come against top quality opposition.

They seem somewhat comparable to Premier League side Everton right now, that is, they do have some quality players and will win games here and there against top-guns but will not be viewed as a threat let alone win a major trophy.

The bowling talent has always been there and still is but what is needed is more batsmen who average 40-plus.

The toxicity of social media

South African sports fans are currently as polarised as ever. The so-called “unity” created by the Springboks 2019 Rugby World Cup win seems to have been a farce as is clearly evident on social media.

Rather than take time to understand the viewpoints of each other, people are quick to condemn and slander others for having different viewpoints.

The most hostile of users appear to be the right-wing individuals who will harp on about how the quota system is causing the downfall of South African cricket, even if the players of colour are all performing.

Any opposition to their views is simply followed up by emotional hissy fits and ad hominem attacks.

@EshlinV

IOL Sport

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