FOOTBALL TURNED SOUR.
(My Saturday football experience on 27-01-2018).
By Oradiegwu Sylvester Jr.
I went out this morning to play my normal saturday football, little did I know that I'll be coming back to the house with bruises all over my body, and a dislocation on my tight middle finger. I now understand the real effect of harmattan.
While leaving this morning, I had this thought telling me to wear my black hand glove because the cold was really much. I pondered on it for a while, then had to pay deaf ears to it simply because I don't want people to look at me as an 'over dressed' player during a 'common' Saturday football training that is not even a match. I had left the inner green long sleeve jersey (winter) too because it didn't correspond with my Chelsea Jersey coloured yellow and blue. The other blue 'winter' was inside the laundry basket. I made for the field with the 'I am a man' feeling. Thus, disregarding the frigorific weather.
I arrived the field. I was chosen in a set. We picked the third slot. I was discussing with Moses who had told me to feature in his song. He wants a saxophone in his album. While we were chatting, slots 1and 2 sets were playing. I saw a boy, he was seated beside the guy next to me. I would later get the greatest tackle (challenge) of my life as a football player from this guy. He wore just a single and short, no boots.
The did was done. We had played a draw against our first opponent during our first game, each team plays for 10minutes. If your concede, you're out, if it's a draw, both teams will vacate the field after 10 minutes had elapsed. We came in full of team spirit to win our game so as to stay longer. Once your team is scoring, you can play forever. When I accepted to play on as a midfielder contrary to my favourite position (attacker/forward), I knew I was up for a serious challenge. We began playing. I was enjoying the midfield, though it exerts a lot of strength. I was enjoying the long passes and shots (I had two solid shots already).
Then, a stray ball came into the midfield. I rushed the ball thinking the nearest opponent would give up the chase, he never did. I got to the ball first, then he got to my legs first. I was on a high speed when he gave me the greatest tackle of my life. I fell like a tree, gathering mosses of bruises all over my body. I hit my head on the ground. In was about gearing off only to be interrupted my shouts from the spectators. I opened my eyes, of course i know I had encountered something, to see all players and the referee surrounding me. 'Sorry oo', 'guy sorry' 'which kind tackle be this one na' 'ref give him red card' etc. were coming from different directions. I couldn't connect the sound waves. I looked at myself I had serious bruises all over me. I was just praying against having any head injury. Then, trust players na, they help me up immediately (nothing is worth delaying their game). Johnmary Igwebuike was already asking to replace me. I signalled him to go ahead and replace me. He jumped into the field hurriedly. I looked at him, shook my head, looked at my body, shook it once more.
Now, I'm certain I can't continue playing. I had to look at the way forward. Just as I was still seated, some thoughts were still reoccurring in my mind: I cannot play saxophone tomorrow in church oo, hei what about this piano piece, Canon in D by Pachabel, which I just started?, what about my clothes that needed to be washed? etc. In all, I was grateful I could still type with my phone since my both thumps were intact. I consoled myself, boys don't cry.
I had engaged Esika Ebuka to massage my dislocated finger which was now swelling. He advised me to use hot water or aboniki balm, none of these were available. I stood up, went to the tap to wash myself up first. As I was going, people still donated their various condolence messages to me. After cleaning myself, I left.
While I was going home, I met Obuakoeze Emmanuel on my way. Before I could say Jack Robinson, he had already asked me what's up that there are sands allover my beard and hair. I gave him an upshort about my ordeal. He consoled me and left. I met two other friends: Ezenwata Chisom and Kola on my way home. I stopped at Gauze pharmacy to buy G.V, and spirit for my wounds. I bought just these two knowing the rest were at home. Mum's a professional nurse, not 'nurse eliza.'
At home, I had wanted to treat myself without engaging mum in it. I don't want her emotional sentiments about football and how risky a game it is. So, I brought the cotton wool that is inside my camera bag (I use it to clean my lens). I used the methylated spirit to clean the wounds. Then, I opened the G.V., I was flabbergasted. It was almost colourless and the violet colour was so fake (no wonder they sold it for #50). I applied it on the surface of the wounds, yet, it seemed like nothing was applied. I kept muttering 'naija aa naija aa.' At this juncture I had to let mum in. I asked her if she has G.V, of course she does. The look on her face when I asked for G.V was so fearful. 'Have you sustained an injury?' She asked. I said 'yes.' I told her that I just fell down while playing football. She brought G.V and joined me at the sit out corridor. When she saw my bruises, she almost wept, that's how emotional mums could be. formal wears dressed in graduation occasion
She asked me to pluck some onugbu (natural iodine) leaves down stairs. She went inside and brought her full treatment kit. She washed and squeezed the onugbu leaves I had plucked and applied the liquid content on the surface of my wounds. It was painful, but I'm a man. You could only tell from my facial expression that I was in pains. While applying the onugbu content, she kept wailing on my behalf saying 'the person who did this to you is wicked,' 'football that people play for fun had turned to wrestling, even those people playing a world cup final wouldn't do such' 'emm but I thank God still that they didn't break your head, what would I have said should they have called me on phone to come to the hospital,' etc. I said nothing.
Normally, as a kid, whenever I sustained injury during plays, mum would scold the hell outta me. But here I am, a matured adult. No scolding, not even 'pls suspend playing football' perhaps it's because she's aware that I wouldn't heed to such advice. She brought hot water and massaged the dislocated hand first. Them, used a raw kerosene to massage it thoroughly. I saw hell and its inhabitants staring at me. She later massaged it using Bengay. She gave me some drugs: Anacin (pain reliever), medmoral (antiinflammatory), and vitamin C. Right now, all I have in mind is this lyrics 'when I dey worry worry you no dey sleep....' from this song 'Mama' by Flavour ft. Chidinma.
Umunnaa, that was how my normal saturday morning football went sour.
PS: I can't add images of the bruises, they are sensitive.