The Ball, Man

Tuesday 29th June 2010 published 29th June (Andy’s blog)

A quiet day for a change, given we are full on again tomorrow game driving in Madikwe we need a rest!

Caught up on some writing and then Dom, Keith, Nat returned from the Holland vs Slovakia game in Durban ( having made a 4.30am start!) complete with little Andy and Bella.

We took a trip into downtown Johannesburg which has ‘changed’ down the years and hit the Carlton Centre in order to seek out ‘Ball Man’ which is an installation made by Nike constructed from 5,000 mini footballs. These balls are predictably in Brazil livery (everyone’s favourite second team, apparently). This was in the middle of this centre which is smack in the middle of the old and formerly prosperous central business district. Underneath were an array of oversized Nike boots, complete with orange heels, the ones specially launched for this World Cup and what every kid will be wanting like, now. Apparently there are four different models of boot, all grey with orange backs. There was also an impressive display of all the Nike World Cup kits – Brazil, Holland, Portugal, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Slovenia, Serbia and USA all fitted onto weird models (torso upper and lower, and legs) which were internally lit and housed in glass cases. Nike also supply Ambassadors who’s job is to talk the public through all things Nike and technical. Overall this was really impressive stuff. Add to this that I managed to pick up a Kaizer Chiefs 40th Anniversary track suit top and it turned out to be a doubly interesting day. Fabulous!

As we left, I noticed a quote by Luis Fabiano which kind of hit the spot for me. ‘In Brazil your first gift is the ball, so you always have that with you’. It’s in the blood, it’s in the breeding, it’s in the DNA of every Brazilian. 5 World Cups and counting. QED.

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