Monday, June 16, 2008

More Than a Football Game

First, to the players of our national football selection: Congratulations. Thanks for another "Marion Jones Moment" for us as a nation. But maybe it was an even greater moment, considering that our players are 100% Belizeans, representing the length and breadth of our cultural diversity. And maybe it was an even greater moment because they are working men who simply love to play the game, and excel at it. Unlike their Mexican counterparts, they are not paid on a salary; they don't enjoy the world-class facilities that other players from other countries enjoy. Yet, by placing their heart on their cleats, our eleven ambassadors illustrated the difference between "impossible" and "deficient". If you listened or read the commentaries before Sunday's match, most reporters gave our players no chance of competing, much less of winning. They instead amused themselves of how many goals our opponents would score on Shane Orio. To them, our chance of success was "impossible." Of course, if you focused on statistics, such as the great disparity between Mexico (16) and Belize (172) on the FIFA rankings, you might agree that expecting a Belize loss might not be an aloof thought. Moreover, looking at the fact that we had to play our "home" game in a stadium of roaring Mexican fans, our chances of victory looked even more unlikely. Yet, our players ignored these facts, accepted their supposed "deficiencies," and made more Belizeans proud in a loss, than the Mexicans who were proud for their country's victory. (click for the FIFA.COM article entitled "Unconvincing Start For Mexico")

Finally, Belize's game against Mexico signified more than "just a game" for many of us, as it reflected a stark reality that exists in our society. Imagine, our players were essentially forced to play many miles away from Belize for their home game, just to be given a chance to compete, and complete, their fairytale journey. Doesn't this trend sound familiar? Doesn't it sound like the yearly exile that our Belizean students undergo, simply to further their education? From Asia, to America, to the Caribbean, our students travel all around the world in order to prove that the depth of their potential has no boundaries and requires no visa or passport - that their intelligence, our intelligence, is universal. This is done for the same reasons that our players were forced to play in Reliant Stadium. And the end result is the same as the final result in the game played on Sunday: We prove, that if given the opportunity, "impossible" is only a state of mind.


Anonymous said...

HOORAY! I fully agree with your comments and feelings expressed therein.

It would have been nice if link to the FIFA article were included.

Lastly, on a note of constructive criticism, where our team fell short is our perennial failing: our lack of or low team aptitude .... great individual talent (in this case, great for effective defence) but low team effectiveness (in this case, essential for ball passing and offence).

A Belizean to the Bone!

Anonymous said...

I too applaud and agree full-heartedly with the comments and feelings expressed on this page. My only wish is that our boys know how much we all are supporting them, keep up the good work and bring it harder in the next game....really stick it to those Mexicans! Show them what we Belizeans can do!! Yu betta Belize it!!