Skip to main content

eat the cup, part 6


sometimes, i guess it is all in a name.

the country name "ghana" is a reference to the african empire of the same name (ironically, not located in present-day ghana). the people of that country were known as the wagadu, and their term "ghana" means "warrior king". a nice description for their football team today, as it turns out.

i probably know less about ghana than about any other nation currently playing at the world cup. as i like to consider myself a reasonably well informed individual, this bothers me to no end. for instance, i did not know that ghana was the first african colony to gain independence. nor did i realise that their food was so comforting and yummy. tonight, i am enjoying a wonderful, hearty, peanut stew (i actually ended up find a few recipes and mixing elements from all of them. what's the fun in experimenting with food if you can't, well, experiment?)

and although i was able to surmise that soccer was a big deal in the home country, i was completely surprised at the number of ghana supporters there are around toronto. (i should add that this is easy to spot because in toronto, a city where a car is almost a requirement for basic life, everyone displays their colours on their automobiles. flags in windows, flags on hoods, windsocks, your friends waving large flags out the window, your kids dangling out the window with banners...) although portugal, italy and brazil basically have a lock on the flag sweepstakes, there isn't a day that goes past where i don't see at least four or five ghanaian flags.

a few days ago, i saw a cab driver with the small flags in the window, the big one on the hood, the wind sock and, for good measure, the team jersey (on him, not on the car). somewhere in toronto is the happiest cab driver in the world.

that's the good news.

the bad news is that because italy also won their game, ghana's second round match will be the one that nobody wants. a great accomplishment, guys, but ladle yourself up some home cooking, because you're going to need all your strength.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

eat the cup, part six :: francophonie

well, friends, i can hold back no more. i've ducked out of featuring either france or belgium thus far in eat the cup 2018 because i had a feeling that i would have plenty of time to get around to them. now, i have to admit that i was a little hesitant when i saw that belgium were facing tournament favourites brazil in the quarterfinals, but even then, i had a feeling that we hadn't seen the last of the kingdom of waffles. last time around, i felt that they failed to gel as a team, despite their pirate's chest of talent. this time, i think that they've had the time to get used to each other.

as far as france is concerned, i can't imagine that anyone thought that they weren't going to get to at least this stage. their roster reads like a manager's wet dream: pogba, varane, kante, lemar, griezman and, of course, mbappe. part of me feels like calling kylian mbappe [assuming i had his phone number, which i don't and never will] and telling him he might want…

eat the cup 2018, part seven :: oh, lionheart

it all seemed so magical: england's fresh-faced youngsters marching all the way through to a semi-final for the first time since 1990. everywhere, the delirious chants of "it's coming home". and then, deep into added time, the sad realization: it's not coming home. oh england, my lionheart.

now, if we're being really strict about things, my scottish ancestors would probably disown me for supporting England, because those are the bastards who drove them off their land and sent them packing to this country that's too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. and indeed, shops in scotland have sold through their entire stock of croatian jerseys, as the natives rallied behind england's opponents in the semi-final. however, a few generations before they were starved and hounded from the lands they'd occupied for centuries, my particular brand of scottish ancestors would have encouraged me to support england [assuming that national football had even…

friday favourites 20.07.12

i was almost going to skip it this week. not out of any disinterest, but i always feel weird posting something flip and cheeky on days when the news is choked with stories of some location filled with people going about their lives suddenly getting shot up by a lone maniac with some sort of personal gripe or agenda.

awful things happen every single day. people who lead otherwise normal lives are suddenly transformed through violence every single day. by the harsh standards of the world, what happened last night in aurora, colorado isn't even close to the worst. i'm sure families in syria would consider a day where ten people died to be better than average. but there is something about these completely random mass shootings in otherwise fairly peaceful places that haunts us all here in the western world. it happened today with aurora. it happened a year ago sunday in norway. it happened in another colorado town, now synonymous with the terror of such a massacre in 1999.

what h…