So, the coach was murdered after all… Far from me to suggest murdering coaches is ever a good idea – well, okay, not often, it’s not; or not always, anyway – it must be said that Pakistan has a long history of livening up an otherwise incredibly boring game, whether the stories their teams are involved in have to do with (alleged, alleged – of course; don’t come and strangle me: – alleged!) match-fixing, ball tampering, crowd control problems, the occasional, sheer nuclear exchange with their Indian rivals or, as now, with the murder of their coach.
One has to admit that Pakistan does its best to liven things up a bit. At the very least, the stories they generate are way more entertaining than the ordeal of having to watch some of the more traditional, white-dressed, inbred, public school gits drink tea while they wait for it to stop raining – or, when it doesn’t rain, wait for something else – anything else – to happen. ‘Watching grass grow’ must be a term coined by some hapless cricket commentator.
Being a cricket commentator must be a bit like being on meteorite watch. You wait for thousands and thousands of years for something – anything – to happen and then, of course, you take the eye off the ball for just a moment, so when the big one arrives, you sleep right through it and all the other (ghosts of) dinosaurs are pissed-off at you for not having seen it coming and given fair warning of the event.
Anyway, back to the case in hand. It is passing strange that it wasn’t a football coach who was strangled. For one, there are so many more of them who’d be more deserving of this hands-on approach than the actual victim – and two, football, much more than cricket, has always offered enough occasion for raised voices, riots and even murder. It once was reportedly a cause for war.
What’s more, with players from all over the world crossing themselves publicly and asking God to lend a helping hand, and even the late pope admitting he was more than an average fan, it is a small wonder not many more football coaches get murdered or wars get fought in the name of God.
So, maybe it’s a good thing that the new pope doesn’t seem to care for sports all that much and has other weighty matters to keep him concerned. When he (and his staff) are not busy frowning upon Dylan or smiling on Tom Waits, he’s condemning one blasphemous novel and praising the other.
It will ultimately not be much of a relief to the murdered Pakistan coach but his football colleagues will be glad enough to know that this pope’s stern eyes are not on them but on the even gaudier world of popular music and bestselling airport novels.