By Kim DeRaedt
Sure “ultimate”, by definition suggests easily understood synonyms such “best”, “greatest”, and “supreme”. Still, some soccer supporters redefine the term, reach higher, go further, and set themselves in a class of their own.
World Cup warrior
FIFA’s greatest event comes only every four years and Thulani Ngcobo wasn’t about to make light of the opportunity. When the obsessed Bafana Bafana fan won MNT mobile’s “Last Fan Standing” contest, he embarked on a 17,000 mile record-setting journey. Ngcobo attended 38 matches and 31 complete games, sometimes travelling as much as 2,000 miles for four games in a 48-hour period. Vitamin jabs helped the sleep-deprived 29-year-old to shatter the previous Guinness record of 20 matches, but the taxing trek couldn’t crush his passion. Still, he advises this stunt should not be attempted by nonchalant novices.
“I’m looking forward for a passionate fan to challenge me, but he must know that this is not easy,” Ngcobo said. “It’s very tough. After this, I’ll really, really miss the World Cup.”
This ultimate supporter is now in search of a sponsor for the 2012 African Nations Cup or 2014 World Cup. It’s safe to say the 2010 voyage gave him a taste that has left him hungry for more. Soccer, like sugar, is addicting!
Ever heard of Francisco Marcos? How about Werner Fricker? Well then, chances are you aren’t aware that Francisco Marcos won US Soccer’s Werner Fricker Builder Award in 2007, the foundation’s greatest recognition presented to a person whom has worked untiringly to extend the enthusiasm of soccer without concern for individual recognition or promotion. Francisco Marcos, in a layman’s term, is a builder. If soccer bodies, public relations initiatives, and expansion achievements were pieces of art autographed by their author, “FM” would be inked in the corner of a whole gallery of masterpieces in Soccer’s Museum of Art. What exactly did Mr. Marcos build you may ask? This is a blog, not an encyclopedia. Take a look for yourself but know that he is the founding father of varied works including the American International Sports Exchange, the Southwest Indoor Soccer League, and the W-League. http://www.uslsoccer.com/aboutusl/contactus/166754.html
Pelada: NOT showing in a theater near you
Two years, 19 countries, and 400 hours of video later and out comes “Pelada”, a 90-minute soccer movie packing a serious punch. “Pelada”, meaning “naked” in Portuguese, strips the game down to its roots and documents pickup soccer as the world wonder that it is. The film didn’t top the box office charts, but only because it never had the chance! Read the story and watch the trailer.
Seeing is believing
Dispelling the myth that pictures are only worth 1,000 words…