Friday, June 16, 2006

Phraseology: "Shambolic Preparation"

--ESPN commentators Adrian Kersten and Tommy Smith describing Togo's tumultuous run-up to the 2006 World Cup

During Togo's first World Cup match against South Korea, which they lost 2-1, both Adrian Kersten and Tommy Smith (think of the two chaps from the Guinness commercials calling a soccer match...brilliant!) kept saying that Togo had a "shambolic preparation" for the World Cup. In fact, they used it so often that I felt compelled to look it up. According to The American Heritage Dictionary, "shambolic" is an adjective that is chiefly British slang. It means, "Disorderly or chaotic".

If you get the chance, catch these two guys calling a game...Chris "You're with me, Leather" Berman could learn a few things. Brilliant!

In case you don't know about Togo, they've had four different coaches in four months, and their latest coach, Otto Pfister, quit three days before their first game over player bonus money. However, as it turns out, he returned to the squad the day of the South Korea game, where he and the team suffered an unfortunate but thrilling defeat.
If you want to know more about Togo, check out the New York Times article. [NYT]


A Green Cowboy said...

Did you see the last National Geographic (cover story: soccer and the World Cup)? One of the in-depth stories focused on "juju" men, spiritual/medicinal men who used to travel with the Ivory Coast team. At one point at least 150 juju men traveled with the team, providing blessings, ointments, talismans (want of a better phrase), and other services to help the team earn victory.

Other question: will US pull itself together and add up to at least the sum of its parts, if not more, against Italy? The US will be fighting tradition, but "bah" to those who say it can't happen.

Mandingo said...

I also heard that Togo is the "magic capital" of Africa. I heard one of the ESPN announcers mention that.Whatever that means.

A Green Cowboy said...

To continue my spout of postings this afternoon: Serbia & Montenegro, just crushed by Argentina 6-0. Didn't Serbia & Montenegro split up into two countries right before the tournament?

Shambolic national identity on the verge of the World Cup.