aka Classic example of a Trini Soccer party
So close and yet so far.
Can you dig it!
Yea boy I just come from a football fete this afternoon. Trinidad vs England and today for a good two to three hours I like many other of my countrymen and other West Indians transformed to honorary Trini and supported the Warriors with all me energy. Y'all not going see dat too regular ya kno! cho nuh man!
I worked today so I followed the first half on Yahoo and prayed that Trinidad wouldn't be routed thinking to myself if they make it to the half without being down two or three goals I will take an extended lunch break and visit my friend shop where they showing the game on big screen tv.
So I checking the score every 5 minutes or so while working. 20 minutes in, no score. Ah boy things looking good. 30 minutes in, still no score and I see we get a few shots on goal. Things looking up yes? 38 minutes in and no score yet so I left work and decide I going to try to reach the shop before second half. So shop is like 20 -25 minutes away from work but somehow I still manage to reach in like 10 minutes. I tell ya I not missing second half for nothing. I hungry bad cause is one o'clock and I aint had lunch yet but some things more important than food and football when is one a we teams playing is one of them things so I aint stopping to buy no lunch.
Get inside the place, business shut down for the time being, aisles clear way, big screen tv up, chairs out, food sharing and everyone cheering on the team. I grab some buljol, pieca bread and two fish cakes an hol a seat in the back while the whistles were shared out. Everybody in a good mood cause half time score is still zero zero and Trinidad holing dem own. The English fella doing the half time report on TSN looking real exasperated like he can barely comment cause he cant believe this little speck of an island that ya cant even see properly on a decent globe going embarass the mighty British, the lions, the Empire. A wha really going on nuh man?
Meanwhile up in the store whole Caribbean in the spot, Trini, Bajan, Yardie, Guyanese all a we is Trini for the next 45 minutes. Everybody wearing red, a sea a red, a red sea. Soca warriors come out and play-e-aay! Soca warriors gear, Trinidad gear, everybody Trini to the bone and even down to the gristle den.
"Lemma hear a whistle" one lady begs. Well to quote Paul Keens who tell she ta say that? The whistle carriers didnt need that encouragement cause whistle start up and whistle aint stop for the rest of the afternoon. Is like everybody turn FIFA referee.
Then the chanting, the kaiso and the stomping jump in and suddenly I feel like Carnival come back in June or Caribana arrive two months early. Rhythm! Come wid it!
"London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down. London bridge is falling down. BREK it down! BREK it - down!"
"no no we aint going home, we aint leaving"
"I coming San Fernando, down dey have plenty tempo"
One rasta fella say he got to be up in Richmond Hill in 20 minutes yet he still down deyso in the middle a downtown wid we 10 minutes later glued to the game leading the chanting and singing along.
But wait is wha really going on in this place? Women like dem a run tings. For some reason men outnumbered by women two to one. Not that a man like me going complain but seriously a wha kinda football game this? And the women like them feel is carnival time in the air wid all the noise and dancing. I looking for somebody buss out a wine soon and ya kno I aint talking bout no alcohol. Men serious, serious glued to football watching every tackle with the intensity of a judge but is pure bachanal as far as the women concern.
"T and T!" stomp stomp! "we want a goal"
And in another study of contrasts too the front of the room quiet like church sermon preaching and the people up there intense like dem studying for exams or the tv reporting world war three brek loose.
Meanwhile in the back. Oh gosh nuh man! Bachanal breaking loose like is jouvert morning. But look is how all dem so serious up front? Them concentrating on the game but that aint helping. We trying to project we spirit to the fellas in Germany. If we mek enough noise them will hear we.
"Reparations!" Someone shouts "Gi we we 40 acres and a SUV!"
Attack it from the front, someone else chants and we all break down laughing. But wait them singing Kitty Cat by Square One now? Oh gooooossh boy! attack it from the side they continue.
A foul is called against a Tnt player. boy look how they tiefing we! eh he! I vex! Somebody musse pay off the referee cause dat man aint get tackle he juss fall down.
Trinidad player Birchall then gets fouled. Hear them "They throw down the white boy cause they vex dat he playing for Trinidad." More laughter.
England seems completely out of sorts. Frustrated by the Warriors. Not what I expected from a top echelon world ranked team. Out of sorts somehow, absolutely no finishing. Again and again they are thwarted by the Warriors. Can you dig it? Maybe this is the day the colonized will lash the colonizers. Its been a long time since West Indians could shout about beating England. We used ta mash them up in cricket from the 70s to the mid 90s but now boy well boy doan let me get started on this cricket thing at all. I aint trying ta get agitated yet so let we juss deal wid the football thing for now.
Beckham misfires again. "Bend it like Beckham. Boy he like he not bending it today at all at all."
The chanting, clapping, cheering and jeering continues non-stop.
A dangerous English pass skips across the face of the goal mouth with not an English player coming close to connecting.
"Eh he! look how the English men bazodee today. Somebody like dem went to the obeah man fa them"
"no no we aint going home, we aint leaving, no no we aint going home."
T and T on the attack, everybody out their seat. Pass it to the right, the right, man the right! No not that right the odda one. cho!
Another attack thwarted. Big Chupse! Who he was trying to pass to nobody din there. We need a goal to keep the hopes of advancing out the first round alive.
"T n T" bam bam "we want a goal." bam bam.
Keeper Hyslop is having a superb game. We have a red wall in the back of the store with people holding hands to block the English free kicks and corners. "Reparations" I hear shouted again. "I doan want no 40 acres gimme a oil field"
I trying to sit and behave myself like a decent Bajan boy but every few minutes I gotta rise and will my Trini people on. Go go go! Noooooo! They lose the ball again. "Cheese on bread den!" Oh wait sorry I forget I supposed to be Trini, I mean "oh gooosh boy how he miss dat so eh he!" So close and yet so far but is still tied so we have a chance.
Someone asks how much time left. Someone else responds 20 minutes more but I look and see its the 80th minute. "No man is only 10 minutes plus stoppage time left."
"We might mek it!"
"T n T" bam bam "we want a goal!" bam bam. We are swaying and clapping now. Collectively willing the TnT players to stay strong.
We watching the clock, we planning after game fete cause ya know as a Trini ya must have pre-game warmup fete before game fete then after game you must have cool down fete right cause ya dont wanta jump right into game fete an pull a muscle or something so. So ya must warm up first and then similarly ya gotta cool down afterwards. Is how we keep fit fa fete an fete long time?
"No no we aint going home"
So we planning fete only 8+ minutes left and then suddenly out of the blue, end of the 82nd minute all I see is Beckham with the ball over on the side. Where he come from? he controlled the ball and he make a pinpoint cross and...... One million Trinis and two-three plus million other West Indian hearts skip as Crouch meets the ball with a perfectly timed header and hearts stop. Goooooaaaaaallllll for England!
What? Boy I tell ya I did deflated bad like when I leading a domino game and double six is me last card and some bad bwoy step up an murder me card. Shock and despair! Wha juss happen? We watch the replays and the English celebration but we still cant believe it. England score! Oh gosh no! More noise but now its getting dispondent. Oh no we losing.
Losing because of Crouch's goal. But wait! Is what a 6'7" man doing playing football at all? Dem aint have basketball in England? Look tek that man off the football field send him go NBA to guard Shaq or one a dem big ugly basketball man. Cha! He aint have no right playing football he too big.
How dem penetrate the red wall? That cant be right!
It aint over yet though. Lewee go! Still got time. "T n T" the chant goes up but the spirit a little weak cause is an uphill struggle now as England packs its back field. "Is not over yet" one loud voice shouts "we can come back like the West Indies cricket team" Oh gosh boy ya know things brown and people desparate when they invoking Windies team name. But like a say before doan get me started on cricket I agitated already cause we down a goal. Leave out the cricket nuh man.
Still we on the attack is only one love anything can still happen we got stoppage time. They might give we an extra three minutes.
And then it happens. We're into stoppage time we still have hope though. But that goal took some of the wind out of not only us Trini supporters but the Trini players as well and after a bit of half hearted tackling the British midfielder Gerrard scores an excellent left foot goal. Two zip England! England fans celebrate, Trinis feeling more pain.
Oh well what can we do. I guess we take comfort in the fact that for 82+ minutes we held the mighty English lions at bay. That shows alot of strength and character. I was hoping for at least a draw though so I feel hurt cause we were so close.
Excitement not done yet though. Well into stoppage time, down two love but Trinidad back on the attack and a Trini player gets a pass in the middle and back kicks the ball into the English goal. Gooooooooooooaaaaa! Pandemonium let loose! Bachanal, Carnival, Kadooment, J'Overt let loose one time. We can still strike the hearts of them lions. Watch out now, we may lose but we scorea goal still! Instanteously everybody on their feet, the red sea swell, people cheering bad, hugging up, slapping five and shaking hand and feeling sweet sweet. One lady even run outside to tell somebody that we finally score. Pride boy, pride return! Happiness come again. All this happen in like a matter of a second ya know cause fete getting ready to recommence only for me and another fella to try and shout over the din before the lineman's flag even went up that it was clearly an offside.
"Offside, what offside? Is goal man, goal is goal!"
No man he was clearly offside.
And with that final rejection all partying spirit leaves us and the dejection settles in. Good game Trinidad but so close and yet so far. I went in not expecting much but you got mine and many others spirits up for 82 minutes only for them to come tumbling back down again. Oh well you did your best we definetly still proud.
Finally the whistle goes. Game dun! I turn away from the screen at that point. Hunger start hitting me again. I looking for more food. "Wait any a dem fish cakes left?" Time to run back to work.