On The Pitch

The tension in the crowd was palpable. It was as thick as could be cut with a knife. People were seated at the edge of their seats waiting anxiously for what will happen in the next 30 seconds. You could practically see their breathing accelerate, you could hear their hearts hammering, and you could see the sweat pouring off the faces in the crowd.
I was sitting coolly, detachedly; watching as if from afar, seemingly not part of the excitement and anticipation. As I sat there, waiting for the whistle that will give the go-ahead, I watched the people around me. Some were seated forward, eyes fixed on the in-action on the field, and some were talking excitedly with friends or companions trying to predict the outcome of the next move; some were arguing of the best structure and method by which the optimum result can be achieved while others were too tensed up to participate in the goings-on around them.
On the football field, the players were tensed. Any wrong move could result in catastrophe. One by one, they drifted towards their stand to get a drink of fortifying liquid and talk with their coach. I could deduce that they were scared to their bones but were disinclined to show it. None of them will like to be placed in the position of the ‘savior’ of the team at this moment because the pressure to perform and not make any mistake will be too much.
Finally, the whistle we’ve all been waiting for blew. The players jogged back into position. The particular player Gbolahan Salami, whom the mantle fell on to bring the victory home stoically maintained position to kick the ball into the net. Wheeeew, wheeeeeew, wheeeeeeeeew, went the whistle; Salami’s right leg moved back, forward and swiftly kicked the ball straight into the net. And it’s a goooaaaaalllllll!!!!!!!!!
Fans jumped up from their seats, shouting and jubilating; the supporters’ club rent out a loud, shrill from their trumpets; players of the winning team performed acrobatics on the field; coaches and assistant coaches congratulated themselves and each gave the other a pat on the back for a job well done.
On the other end of the football field, the exact opposite could be seen to happen. Players hung their heads in defeat and trudged from the field to the edge where they will either be scolded or comforted; coaches and assistant coaches sat dejectedly on their benches; the players on the bench wore scowls on their faces, some thinking ‘if only I was included in the match, I would have done a better job’ while others thought ‘thank God I wasn’t one of those who played today’.


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