South African sport holds on for a hero

Is it just me or is there a distinctly grey pall hanging over South African sport at the moment?

At the moment it just seems like there’s very little to get excited about when it comes to our sports teams.

Now before people jump down my throat and remind me about the epic comeback by the Springboks against the Irish last weekend let me explain myself.

For starters, when last were you able to purchase tickets on the morning of a Test match? Those are usually like hen’s teeth and yet this week I heard of a number of people being able to get their bums into seats at Ellis Park.

And then there’s the chorus of boos that followed the Boks into the changeroom at halftime. I’ve never heard a South African crowd react like that. At least not when it came to being blatant about their disdain for their own side.

Chatting to someone during a meeting this week also revealed that the atmosphere at Newlands was a bit flat. The Cape crowd devoid of their usual ‘gees’.

The national cricket side has also failed to capture the imagination during their exploits in the Caribbean. It might have something to do with the fact that the time difference means that matches end at 3.30am but I haven’t heard too many people chatting about the Proteas.

As a guy who writes a lot of cricket, I have been drawn into a range of debates on a number of occasions on a number of issues. In the last few weeks, I actually had one mate ask when the cricket season starts again, not realising that there was in fact, a triangular series going on.

What of Bafana Bafana and their failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations? It’s a bitter pill to swallow when the next best thing is a thrashing of one of African football’s minnows in a lowly Cosafa Cup match earlier in the week.

It’s just not enough to inspire any sort of confidence.

But on the bright side, in 42 days the Olympic Games get underway in Rio de Janiero and there’s every chance that a shining light, perhaps even more than one, might emerge as the event unfolds.

I just can’t put my finger on it but there’s definitely been a shift in attitudes when it comes to the support of national sides. Perhaps some view sport as insignificant in the greater scheme of things?

There are bigger issues to focus on with regards to politics and economic situations people find themselves in these days. Maybe people are just distracted.

Either way, South Africa is in desperate need of a hero. Someone with the ability to steal the front pages for a positive reason.

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