A-Musings – The Relegation Zone

Just because they, perhaps by their own reckoning, are very bright chaps, well qualified, and stunning iconic characters in the elite intelligentsia destined to lead the local masses, doesn’t necessarily mean they are destined to be particularly good football players. ‘Chaps’, by the way, includes all ‘genders’ male, female or otherwise. I am reminded of the football team from a particular region of the world that was not renowned for its organizational skills – having said that, the region was not known for its fortitude or ability to actually carry things through either – that was having an extremely difficult time keeping up with the rest of the league and was constantly slipping down the table towards the relegation zone from which there was never any easily foreseeable escape.

Well anyway, one day, some of the guys in the team – and by ‘guys’ I mean every gender imaginable – got together over a dozen or two glasses of rum for a serious discussion of what could be done about their lack of success and individual satisfaction in order to make their team the vibrant, well-respected, world-class, influential, gender-neutral, socially-conscious, environmentally-friendly, transparent, high-profile, ecological, non-global-warming, driving force and global leader in their chosen sport.

(Each team member was allowed to submit at least one adjective to describe the team they wanted to build. A couple of players did not quite understand what an adjective was and opted to let their personal supervisor (P.S.) choose a word, which would explain a couple of the more esoteric specifications. Esoteric, by the way, refers to ideas of rare or unusual interest preserved or understood by a small group of specially initiated persons, like supporters and party members.)

They hid themselves away in an obscure, world-renowned resort (I know that sounds a bit weird, an odd oxymoron, but they wanted something exclusive but well-known, famous, but with limited patronage for personal reasons of privacy) where they could indulge their peccadilloes to the full extent of their hearts, per diems and expense accounts.

First on the agenda was the question of branding; they needed a world-class profile. Second was a final communiqué that could be signed at the closing ceremony. Third was a strategic plan for future meetings and the choice of venues, preferably as far away and as comfort-conducive as possible. Fourth was the choice of donor agency to pay for it all, which was no problem because their Personal Supervisors (PSs) had a whole pile of ‘Donors Desirous of Donating Dollars’ (4Ds) who were rapidly running out of Deserving Developments Designed to Delay Global Warming, Climate Change, Juvenile Delinquency and Worldwide Parking Problems (DDDDGWCCJDWWPP), though it had to be admitted that the vast funds for relieving parking problems rapidly disappeared as African Desert Nations accessed them as soon as they were made available. And fifth was an agreement on an agenda that would allow delegates enough time to gather their thoughts between sessions, an item that proved so onerous that delegates decided to shelve it and concentrate on the final communiqué instead.

Thus was born the Offside Treaty of NAWIFOROS (Name Withheld For Reasons Of Security), which happened to be the name of the first liberated intern to be awarded his freedom before he stepped on to the boat to found his own dictatorship in West Africa. When asked by the Lord of the Admiralty at the Liberation Ceremony if he was ‘for us or against us’, meaning of course the colonial powers, the democratically nominated, shortly-to-be-appointed President-for-Life of the Nation-of-his-Choice responded, “Nah, we for us”. History relates that President Nawiforos led a healthy, indulgent, sexually sated existence for 189 days before his loving subjects butchered him at a sod-turning ceremony for his fifteenth Harem for Regional Diversity (HRD).

The football team that emerged from the Offside Treaty of Nawiforos had only six of
the original players, including a 6-figure-salaried manager. This leaner, meaner, more motivated team would, despite what many saw as its decimated numbers, be a fearsome adversary to the traditional 11-member, or even larger, squads. Small was bigger; fewer was better; six meant more of the ball for each player. Of course, they lost every match after that but they continued to gobble up money from donors at a very satisfactory rate that ensured a steady flow of funds for decades to come.

Now what made me think of the OECS and CARICOM? Funny how these associations pop up in one’s mind, isn’t it?

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