Running this foundation, trying every day to raise funds for these poor folk, should give Claudio Romano more than enough to worry about but something else has been giving him sleepless nights. The fight for the SPL title. You see, like many Celts around the world, Claudio is still scarred by that day at Fir Park back in 2548 ......
(N.B. - that's 2005 to those using the Gregorian calendar)
Saturday May 21st, 2548. Is the last game of the Scottish Premiership season.
Celtic is about to play his last game at Motherwell and a wee win would be enough to secure another championship title.
One simple win at Fir Park, home of a modest team that sit at mid table and we are champions once again.
Desperately I'm trying to connect my old laptop to internet in order to follow the game on line. After many failed tries I finally succeed. The game is already started and we are 1-0 up, Chris Sutton scored while the huns are still 0-0, this means we have now 4 points advantage and ... we are virtually champions.
Middle of the second half, always 1-0 but the huns scored, we still have 2 points advantage. The internet line is awful, I got disconnected several times but I still manage to follow the game. A second goal would surely ease my tension but we seem to waste so many opportunities up front.
Five minutes to go, both the games are 1-0, but I'm really getting more and more nervous, I fear that we may pay the price of so many wasted chances.... and at the 88th minute, here is the equaliser! F@*k!
I shout, I curse, my wife watches me like as she is unable to recognize her husband anymore! Two minutes later, with the head between my hands, I take another other look at the screen and we are 1-2 down, those "bastards" of Motherwell have scored two goals in the span of two minutes.
The huns won 1-0 and we lost the championship, F@*k! I really feel bad. I feel bad on Saturday evening, and I feel even worse on Sunday. I remain silent all day, no words, just a wee murmur sometimes, nothing else and nothing more.
My wife, poor lady, she does not understand and I cannot expect that she will, but she knows that I suffer for one "stupid" football game and, remarkably enough, she silently respects my pain.
As time goes by the anger makes room for the sadness and this gives time to think and to reflect and I wonder:
How come we humans can get boasted or pulled down depending on a sport result?
Why do we waste some of our precious energies in such an irrational way?
What makes it possible that thousand miles from Glasgow, one Swiss living in Thailand can get deeply depressed because of a Celtic's defeat?
And at the same time he receives a SMS from a very good friend from Verona, Italy that transmits as much desperation?
Without mentioning the message received from my dear friend David who, poor guy, lives in Glasgow!
I wonder what makes so strong the pain of defeat?
Is the fact that to our defeat gave the Championship away to our most hated rivals, "the huns"?
I can surely assert that if we had lost the championship in favour of, let's say, Hibernian the pain wouldn't have been so deep and severe.
It surely is the knowledge that our defeat means joy for "them" that makes our pain much more deep and intense.
This inspite of fair play and sportsmanship.
Are we all potential Hooligans?
Is stronger the love for our team or the hate for our rivals?
And what is the need we have to drive ourselves crazy for a football, hockey, basket or baseball team?
Isn't our life already filled with too many worries, stress and pain?
Then why make it even more stressful and complicate with these irrational passions?
What did practically change in my life after May 21st? Nothing at all!
What would have changed if in that same fateful day Celtic had won?
Nothing at all!
Then why I felt so bad and down?
What brings me to support a football team?
Surely, sport in general has always been used by those in power to bring the masses into submission, to promote their own agenda and raise their own rating, and unfortunately many of these governments were and are dictatorial ones.
Sport is surely used to please the sleeping and unaware masses, to hide from them the real existential problems.
Sport derails the anger of people towards a mistaken direction, where it brings no real change and is therefore extremely useful to whose are in power!
But myself, a Swiss living in Thailand, why I do suffer so much for Celtic so?
I surely cannot blame any government for this!
Why in my body flows green and white blood?
We, the fans, use to say that this isn't just a football club, that we are one great family, Celtic is nothing less than a faith but this enough to explain it all?
The days are passing by, the pain slowly disappear leaving just traces of bitterness but another game is approaching, the Scottish Cup Final.
May 28th, Saturday I will once again try to connect my laptop and follow the mighty Glasgow Celtic.
In the meantime another thought surfaces my mind.
Isn't sport also a metaphor of the life?
I think about the Motherwell game, so many wasted chances and then, finally and unfortunately, unavoidable the defeat.
And I wonder how many chances in our life we do waste to do and say the simplest of things?
To say to our beloved one that we love them, to say and daily show such feeling.
How many chances do we waste to embrace and to kiss our kids, our parents, our siblings, our friends and also our enemies?
How many chances do we waste to make peace with ourselves and the others as well?
How many chances do we waste to say sorry to the ones we know to have hurt?
I do believe that we really lose many of these wonderful opportunities to win or at least draw in our life's game, maybe because we think there is always something more important and urgent than that!
The dramatic side of the story is that, contrary to Celtic that always has a next game in which he can try to make up a previous disappointment, we, in our lives, not often have this possibility.
Saturday, 28th of May 2548:
An Alan Thompson's goal gives Celtic the Scottish Cup, we beat Dundee United 1-0 and I am very happy, very irrationally happy …
… and now Bhoys let's go for 4-in-Row!
BAN NAUDOM, North Eastern Thailand
Sainam Foundation: http://ns.sainam.net/
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Nakamura, Pascali, a Swiss bhoy in Thailand and Celtic inspirations: http://www.monthehoops.co.uk/showthread.php?t=33160
Naka's shirt pays for scholarship program: http://www.monthehoops.co.uk/showthread.php?t=34330