7 June 2010
There are no losers here. Each Pop World Cup manager set off on a crooked path some months ago, and to fall at the penultimate hurdle cannot be counted as shame. Rather, let’s doff our caps at the achievements of both these two. Carsmile Steve, whose management of Honduras will stand as a truly great example of underdoggery, both cheery and plucky. Weston, whose Cameroon teamtalks have brought an entirely new flavour to international Pop Football – and he’s going out just as he went in (and out) – in a bleeding great blaze of glory.
There’s a purity about the third place play-off: winning doesn’t mean so much, it’s pop football played for its own sake. Plus, of course, it’s an amuse bouche ahead of tomorrow’s main course.
This match closes at midnight on Sunday 13th June
HONDURAS: DayZ – “My Turn To Live” The Manager Says, Tears Streaming Down His Face: “This is the proudest day for our little nation, who would have thought two months ago that we’d ever get this far, it’s a dream come true! I must take a moment to mention manotazo who have been the Peter Taylor to my Brian Clough here in this tournament, I really really couldn’t have done it without you guys. DayZ was the first spark of light I found in the slightly scary world of Honduras-related myspace pages, but I’ve not managed to get her a run out before now (partially because she’s recorded with Josh DiBrasco, Sherry y Sheyla, Acidmunky AND Los Bohemios, and I couldn’t double up on their tracks). Also this lovely heartworn ballad had nowhere to be played in the rough and tumble of the knock-out rounds, so here she is now, still hopeful and looking forward to the day when everyone has heard more Honduran.”
CAMEROON: Ali Baba – “Hadiza” The Manager Says: “Simon is in a taxi with the bear and Gill. They are on the way back from a party. They have been drinking. The taxi driver is playing a talk radio station. In my opinion – this is just my opinion, feel free to disagree with this, the host is saying, women should not be allowed to drink alcohol. He pauses for a long time. Think about it. What looks more disgusting than a drunk woman? Think about it. Why do men get drunk? Why do they do it? They do it to impress women. They do it to give them confidence when they’re out on the pull. Women… if women didn’t drink it would stop fights outside clubs on a Friday night. What are most of the fights you see about? I’d say nine out of ten fights. I’d say maybe ninety-nine out of one hundred fights between blokes are over some girl. If we stopped women drinking, I’m telling you, ninety-nine out of one hundred of those fights would be prevented. Hey, hey, Simon goes, change the station, man. Put something techno on. Put some house on. Simon has been talking about house music all night. Simon has a can of lager in his hand. In his other hand he has a bucket of takeaway chicken. Hold this, Simon says, passing the can to Gill, who is sitting in between Simon and the bear. He takes some chicken out of the bucket and puts it into his mouth. Simon’s eyes roll back in his head. He sits back and chews on the chicken. His mouth is all greasy. That chicken is so greasy. Simon is so high, he can barely talk. He can barely sit still. It’s a feeling, says Simon, House is a feeling. The bear looks out of the window. They are passing a place that sells used cars. There are tinsel streamers in red, blue and silver strung out across the whole place, from the roof of the office to the top of the signs. Behind, flats loom up. They drive. Simon and the girl are kissing now, Simon has his hand inside her top. They have chicken grease all around their mouths. Simon pushes her back into the seat. He rears away. He is looking at the chicken. He picks up a leg. Do you want some? Uh, do you want some of this chicken, man? He is looking at the bear. You can have some of my chicken… if you want. The bear shakes his head sadly. Here, look. Can you hold this? Simon lets the bucket drop from his hand. Chicken bones are all on the floor of the taxi. The bear leans down and picks up the bucket, which is nearly empty, only pieces of brown fried skin and grease clinging to the bottom. Simon is pulling the girl’s skirt up. She is laughing, just laughing with all that grease around her mouth, her lipstick smeared in splodges. She wipes around her chin with the palm of her hand and runs the hand up over her face and through her hair. She can’t stop laughing. Simon pulls her knickers down over her knees. He has a piece of the chicken in his hand, a chicken leg, and he stops to take a bite. He says something incomprehensible with his mouth brimming with chicken. They both laugh. The bear coughs. Simon puts his head between the girls legs, starts licking her thighs, her clitoris. She laughs more. She puts her hands in his hair and tilts her head back, her eyes closed, laughing and laughing. The grease all over her legs and stomach dimly reflects the orange light as they pass. The voice on the radio goes, People in council houses shouldn’t be allowed to smoke. Think about it. Do those people own their houses? Well, obviously they don’t, the council owns them. Those houses are council property. What happens when you smoke in a house? What happens?! The walls turn yellow, it smells nasty, it ruins the furniture. The value of the house is going to go down if a smoker is living there. The house deteriorates. And what’s with people in council houses smoking anyway? If you can’t afford a house what are you doing wasting money on cigarettes! It’s ridiculous. Simon crunches into bone with his teeth. He is leaning across the girl, his head between her legs. Now he lurches back, his hand to his mouth. Shit. He throws the bone down on the floor. He looks across at the bear. Have you eaten all that chicken?”
Third Place Play-Off: which track do you prefer?
- CAMEROON: Ali Baba (67%, 18 Votes)
- HONDURAS - DayZ (33%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 27
Poll closes: 13 June 2010 @ 11:59 pm
Commentary Box Analysis There’s a valedictory mood to the Honduras team here, they’re enjoying the occasion and using this game to soak up the atmosphere and fix in the memory these short weeks of glory. Cameroon stick more to the old plan with an enjoyable funky workout. The press box, even at their best a bunch of savage ugly drunk hacks, are arguing about whether some of these passages of play have been cribbed from the playbooks of the Cure and A Certain Ratio, 81/82 season. Who’ll win? Who cares?
Coming up It’s the big one, the one we’ve all been waiting for, the one you’ve all been voting for. It’s Germany – Nigeria. It’s the Final. It’s the ultimate glory and the ultimate heartbreak, played out across two pop songs.