Keep safe this World Cup season

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By Christopher Maina

The last few weeks have been the best that could have happened for many guys. What with the daily serving of great football at the World Cup in Brazil? And the thrill of the beautiful game is still on for another week or so this month. The heavens have never been so gracious.

But the World Cup must not be the cause for years of regrets after the July 13 final. If anyone must cry for the rest of their lives, let it be the players lamenting lost chances at scoring goals but not you. Your life must get better not worse after the World Cup. Here is a list of things you must avoid and others you must do to ensure a happily-ever-aftermath.

1. Do not bet your most important possessions

For many men, this season is a time for “bahati na sibu”, “pata potea” and what not. From America to South Africa, people gamble during big football matches especially World Cup finals. Men have been known to bet with their wives and family homes, and a good number of men have lost them. Do you hate your wife so much? Is this the easiest way of securing a divorce? And what about that house you bought or built for years. Don’t let it go just because of  a 90-minute match you are not even part of. If you must place bets, offer your alcohol or watch. Do not bet yourself into eternal regrets. Period.

2. Do not miss work or appointment because of football

Most of the matches are being played at night, I know. But in the coming days as the World Cup moves into the quarter, semi-finals and the finals, some men are determined to watch every match regardless of the effect the late night fixtures have on their day-time commitments.  Mix a late night game with unrestrained alcohol intake and you are just daring your boss to sack you. You may argue that you own the business and so no one asks when you report, but the client is concerned about when you report and any slip up could cost you business in the future. Watch football all you want, but if it threatens to come between you and your daytime performance, just wait and watch the repeat episodes on Sunday. An hour of football is not worth risking everything you have built for, unless of course you are a player in the World Cup.

3.  Don’t neglect your wife or girlfriend

Brother, there are relationships beyond the one you have with your television. You have heard of football widows, haven’t you? Don’t make your wife or girlfriend feel like she is one. Don’t give her a chance to imagine a world without football or without you. Football is important and, after all, it’s for just one month in four years, very true; but your wife or girlfriend wants attention whether there is World Cup or not. After the final whistle is blown and all you can watch are the matches’ analysis, there will be a relationship to go on with. Do not break it up for just football. Take your woman with you or find a way of making her feel comfortable with your long hours away from her. But do not assume she understands that this is the World Cup season.

Finally, don’t fight or risk your life over a match. If you cannot watch the 1a.m match at home, do not risk driving or walking home at 3a.m from a match. Wait for repeat episodes or follow the happenings on social media. You want to be alive to discuss the game with your friends in the morning and risking an encounter with gangsters is not the best way to ensure that.

Keep safe, enjoy and live to tell a glorious tale.

Published in July 2014

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