Indoor Inter-Flat Insanity
Written by Geoff Forbes
Let me set the scene: It’s a quiet public holiday in Cape Town. Just like any other Freedom Day, the people of the mother city sleep long into the morning, resting after tiring haul of three consecutive days of festivity, which long weekends tend to cater for so fantastically. The students of UCT, quiet – except of course for the mighty men of Smuts.
Inside the walls of the majestic residence, there is a hustle and bustle – a general humming of electric anticipation in the air. If you haven’t already figured it out, which by now you should have considering the title of the article, it is the day of the Smuts Inter-Flat Indoor Soccer tournament.
This tourney having become one of the most highly anticipated events of the calendar over the past few years, the men of Smuts eagerly make their way down to the Sports Centre. On the face of each man lies one of two expressions: smirk satisfaction (For those who chose or ended up in flats with good soccer players) or sickening remorse (For those who wish they’d chosen more athletic flat-mates).
With the organisation of the event by Tapiwa Gundani and his faithful Sports Sub-Committee being virtually flawless, the matches spark into action with great speed, creating an immediately vibrant atmosphere with brilliant and adequately banterous commentary coming from the man with the mic on the side-lines.
Almost just as quickly though, the hopes and dreams of so many young Smutsmen are crushed as they are ruthlessly defeated and eliminated from the contest. Nonetheless the teams, some very strong in skill, others in will, fight valiantly until they can no longer.
As the day goes on, the calibre of athleticism sky-rockets, leaving only the best behind for the final showdown: H-Flat vs M-Flat.
The ref blows his whistle, initiating a titillating ten minutes of football with numerous shots flying just wide of the uprights and many more being saved brilliantly by the heroic keepers. After what are arguably the most intense closing moments of any soccer match ever, the clash ends as a draw, forcing the referee to point towards the penalty spot.
The penalty shootout goes neck-in-neck, with neither team missing a single shot for three turns. Eventually, the H-Flat keeper makes a brilliant save, leaving the rest to his last penalty taker to do. With a thunderous strike of the ball, the M-Flat contingency can do nothing but watch as the ball ripples the back of their net for one last time.
Victory for H-Flat. Eternal glory for the men who until this moment were best known for throwing parties. Their reward: A handsome sum of extra money towards their Semi-Formal budget and bragging rights for an unendurable entire year.