One day closer to you-know-what is another good reason to be in sunny South Africa. And on this day in 2010, we hear the news that Parreira is done with his good comments and black marks in what might be a little score-of-secrets-notebook, and has chosen his final 23 players. Fending through the slew of media attention and Benni McCarthy snubs, Parreira says his focus is on the players themselves and the game called soccer. As it should be. Parreira is also being clever about research and has his eyes and ears to the ground through contacts worldwide, focusing specifically on Mexico – opponents to Bafana Bafana in the opening match. Focus is good, focus is fierce.
President Zuma has spoken out again and asked that South Africans stay focused and behave throughout the four weeks of the World Cup. I wasn’t sure whether to snigger at this at first, but then I thought about it and thought “good call!” We expect our children to be on their best behavior in front of dinner guests, we are on ours when acting professionally or on behalf of the company we work at, so why not do the same when hundreds of thousands of people step off Boeings and private jets to our own private dinner (and then some!)? Despite the bumpy ride to this day, I know we will impress. We always do. Because we are a nation of heroes, sung and unsung. We are Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s rainbow nation. We are ready. Feel it. It is here. That’s reason enough for me.