In recent years, sports has played an increasingly influential role in peacebuilding efforts, bringing communities together and mending old wounds. Many readers can probably relate to this feeling, playing out longstanding rivalries (almost) peacefully on the sports field. But what if we could take this concept to the next level?
As a tribute to the irreverent, non-conformist spirit of the fine news source that is the Daily Segway, I will journey to a parallel universe where the 2011 Libyan Crisis would be interpreted as a high-stakes football match. I invite you to suspend your disbelief for the commentary that follows.
Tripoli. The June 11 National Stadium. 67,000 fans holding their breath as the country’s fate hangs in the balance. On one side, the Tripoli Totalitarians, owned by Col. Ghaddafi and his sons. On the other, the Benghazi Insurrectionists, with limited resources but armed with the boundless courage of youth.
The Totalitarians are coached and captained by none other than Saadi al-Ghaddafi, whom many Italian Serie A followers might remember fondly for his infamous appearances at Perugia Calcio and Udinese.
The formation consists mainly of Juventus players, due to the Ghaddafi family’s 7.5% stake in the Turin club. The Insurrectionists have yet to release their line-up and are, as yet, an untested quantity.
Kick-off As soon as the referee blows his whistle, the teams are already at each other’s throats. Both sides are acutely aware of the prize for the ultimate victor: control over the country and its vast oil reserves. The fans are in delirium, their own fortunes tied to the outcome of the match.
8’ Encouraged by their superior tactical and physical advantage, the Totalitarians attempt to administer the game with a measured albeit passive style of play. However, their arrogance backfires as the fast play and the pace of the Insurgents leads to a few goal-scoring opportunities.
15’ After a series of near misses, the Insurrectionists finally break the deadlock. Sloppy play by the defensive pair of Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini leaves the Totalitarians trailing early on. 0-1.
20’ The Totalitarians wake up following the shock start, and concentrate their considerable offensive resources upon the muscular striking duo of Amauri and Vincenzo Iaquinta. A succession of stinging crosses is fired into the box guarded by the Insurrectionists, who have little in the way of defensive fortifications, relying instead upon one of the worst defensive trios in footballing history: Jean-Alain Boumsong, Titus Bramble and Vladimir Gresko.
23’ Despite a number of inviting opportunities, Amauri and Iaquinta struggle to find the net. Instead, their power and aimless shooting leads to high casualties among innocent bystanders in the crowd. Some foreign correspondents begin to define the Totalitarians’ tactics as indiscriminate violence against civilians.
25’ Following a scrappy but determined onslaught by the Totalitarians’ offensive machine, a a goalmouth scramble leads to an equaliser. 1-1.
28’ Bowing down to international pressure condemning their affiliations to the Ghaddafi regime, Juventus joins a number of reputable Western institutions in cutting all ties with Libya.
29’ Sensing the impending betrayal and deciding that a change of pace is in order, the Totalitarians’ management takes measures to pre-empt negative consequences to their side’s competitiveness. In the process, the entire line-up is revamped with foot soldiers of West African descent. Read more…
DALLAS, TX – On a quiet Dallas morning just like any other, Dirk Nowitzki laboriously arose from his nightly slumber to pursue the dream he had held since he was a young boy in rural Germany. He laced up his fresh-out-of-the-box Nike sneakers, one of the many benefits of his professional relationship with the giant sports apparel supplier, and headed to the practice court in downtown Dallas.
The city had recently been engulfed in much fanfare with the start of the copyright trial involving area rapper, Que Gritz, and the world of basketball. In fact, the media circus surrounding the case had picked up so much steam that it had in essence overshadowed the Mavericks’ preparations for another tilt at the NBA title. Read more…