Some of us are like the players, always in the thick of action, but some of us are like the stewards - important but often unappreciated.
SEVEN World Cups ago, the world was introduced to the Mexican Wave. And Diego Maradona was immortalised for his infamous Hand of God incident.
One week after that 1986 tournament in Mexico began on May 31, I surrendered my bachelorhood and walked down the aisle with my better half.
Many of my friends, including those who came to Kuala Lumpur from Penang, were half asleep at the church service as they had been watching the matches live into the wee hours of the morning.
I was tempted to stay up to watch as well, but I am sure all hell would break loose if I did not get to church on time because of a World Cup match.
I wisely decided not to risk getting the red card on my wedding day.
This is the World Cup season and everyone’s talking football, so I shall do the same.
As a journalist, I am trained to be observant. I notice that the stadiums are generally filled to capacity, mainly by men, but the TV people tend to zoom in on the women in the stands.
All the fans seem to watch the big screen more than the field because they are able to react immediately each time their faces show up on the screen.
They are so happy to jump up and down for the millions of people all across the world.
Actually, I think they just want to say hello to their loved ones.
In this sea of euphoric people, the saddest people in the stadium must be the ones with the word “Steward” on the back of their shirts.
The Fifa Stadium and Safety Regulations devote 10 pages to outlining the duties and responsibilities of a steward.
The most obvious one is, “Stewards are not employed, hired or contracted to watch the event. They should concentrate on their duties and responsibilities at all times.”
What this means is that throughout the match, they have to look at the people in the stands.
They cannot even turn around for one moment to see what is happening in the field.
Imagine how frustrating it must be to be in such a highly-charged atmosphere, especially when a goal is scored and the whole stadium erupts.
I pity the steward working just behind the goalpost.
He could have the best view of that winning shot but he probably has to go home and watch the repeat on TV.
Life is very much like a soccer game. Some of us are like the players, always in the thick of action.
Most of us are like the fans who sit back and watch life go by.
A few of us may be like the referee, where we are called to make important decisions.
And, yes, some of us are destined to be like the stewards, important and necessary, but oftentimes unnoticed and unappreciated.
The world is primed to only see the stars, where achievements and accolades matter.
Yet, if we look hard enough, we will see the many stewards who, like the ones in the football stadiums, are there for a purpose.
Football. Life indeed. Executive editor Soo Ewe Jin is rooting for Brazil this time, but you don’t have to follow him because he has never got it right when it comes to picking the winner. The STAR Sunday Starter Jun 22, 2014