Anger. Hurt. Sadness. Tears. Confusion. Loneliness. Depression. Cursed. Heartbreak. Feelings. You work sometimes to contain them telling yourself anything can happen. We could win, we could lose. Uruguay after all is a strong team. But so are we. So it could go anyway. You inoculate yourself from bad news by saying it is still an achievement that you have gotten to the quarter-finals. And yet when anything and everything happens like it did in this game you are left totally unprepared. Numb. In shock. Pained. Bewildered. Questions.
The beautiful game? Try the tragicomic one. The header, handball, the goal. Or not. The penalty and red card. Joy. It’s finally here. Ghana is into the semi-finals for the first time representing an expectant continent. But for the small issue of the kick. The sounds of vuvuzelas rise as one and no one sits. The run up, the kick. Oh, THE KICK. What just happened? It hit the bar and flew up? On the last kick of the game in extra time with a chance to win!!! Head in hands. Clothes are pulled unconsciously. Unbelievable. Cruel. A sick joke. It is replayed over and over again. In your mind, at home on tv, in the bars after the game. It just does not make sense. Noooooooo. Play it one more time. A rueful smile accompanied by a head shake and a brave face.
But then out there in the distance a couple of days away perhaps is Hope. Pride. Appreciation. Joy. The very things that make you watch every time your favorite team or your country is playing. You swear off the game for a while but like a drug it pulls you in. Slowly. It starts with a glance. Then a full half. You realize it is not so bad. It is actually enjoyable. And those losses? Never mind, you are one game away from a win.
Selective amnesia sets in. We made the continent proud. Our boys played like a team. They gave it their all. The penalty kicks? What penalty kicks? What more can you ask of from a team without arguably its best player Michael Essien? You remember Sulley’s goal, Kevin Prince Boateng’s enthusiastic and determined runs and deft touches, Asamoah Gyan, yes Asamoah Gyan’s crucial winning goal against the US, Dede Ayew’s excellence, Anthony Annan’s ball sense, Jonathan Mensah’s promise, Hans Adu-Sarpei’s steadiness,the team’s spirit and stirring performances.
And then the dreaming starts. 2014? Sure banker.