Goosebumps Bucs Content!

Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates’ #BucsCamp two episodes airing on SuperSport 2 are nothing short of goosebumps content, the kind of stuff we expect to see and the kind of stuff that makes people relate to their respective clubs. The highlights of the behind-the-scenes activities paint a clear picture of what to expect from the team this season. You’ve got to give it to the Bucs production and communication team and everyone involved. A job well done! 

If you’ve not watched it yet, you better do yourself a favour and spare some time to watch the two episodes and you won’t regret it. You will get riveting television content that will make you feel part of the team, take you into the dressing room and open your eyes in so many ways. The content is second to none! It is emotional and insightful content that will go a long way in shaping the minds of those who follow Pirates. That said, the content isn’t just about the Black and White jersey, as almost everyone in the football fraternity can relate to it. This content introduces ordinary football supporters to professional footballers’ lives and everyone has to see it. There’s a lot going on when the cameras are switched off, that doesn’t get told and it is always nice to see something different from our normal previews and reviews of the game. Watching the two episodes, one felt the need to make noise about the level of content that Pirates shared. They’re definitely not the only ones doing it but are certainly the first ones to show it to the world. No one has really captured their pre-season camp the way these two episodes do. For that, they deserve all the credit!

For those who have been following this platform, you will remember that there were two columns that featured here, titled, “Players are human too” and “Players go through a lot”. These two columns spoke about the need to allow players to be human beings and the other one highlighted what players go through and still put a brave face to perform for their respective teams when the time calls for it. The second episode relates to the two columns much more. The first column was about then Mamelodi Sundowns striker, Kermit Erasmus, receiving a lot of backlash for expressing his views on Bafana Bafana head coach, Hugo Broos’ utterances. Instead of dealing with the issue at hand, people attacked Erasmus for his opinions as if he’s got no right to have his own views, let alone express them on his personal social media platforms. It is history that the diminutive striker was ridiculed, with complete disregard for his right to freedom of speech and expression. The second column was about the players and the sacrifices they make in order to show up and deliver for their teams on matchday. No one cares about what players go through, but the bottom line is that they are human too and need all the support they can get.

Unless teams issue injury updates, everyone is expected to perform at their optimal. No one even cares to check up on a player after a bad game, they are expected to perform, perform, perform the next time they are on the field. A footballer may not be physically injured but emotionally or psychologically, which is even worse. Guys, this is a clarion call to all of you to make sure to watch #BucsCamp because there are several learnings for everyone in those two episodes. A big shout out to Pirates, once again, because everyone knows what the team’s mission for this campaign is, even before the season started. There’s something to hold the players accountable to and, after watching the first episode, everyone will be on the same page as far as the expectations and the mandate are concerned. The production team did a great job in capturing what was discussed and planned in the pre-season camp. The packaging of it all was enough to give an idea of what the team is all about this season, which is something very important for any club. Watching the two episodes, one felt like he was there and part of the team. Those who have watched it already will tell you about Richard Ofori’s comment, right towards the end of the first episode. After all the presentations and commitments made, to paraphrase, Ofori stood up and said it is all easy to write team goals, targets and objectives on the board, but the most important thing is to implement those goals. Action speaks louder than words, they say. That was a profound statement from the Ghanaian international and a perfect ending to the episode. Part 1 was all about mapping the way forward and ensuring everyone was on the same page, which was intriguing.

Part 2 was an emotional, eye-opening and goosebumps-inducing episode because, thanks to Zakhele Lepasa who decided to go a completely different and unexpected route when he was given a platform to ask a question. Instead of the usual ‘get-to-know-you-better’ kind of a question, he went straight to the heart and asked those who had experienced the same fate as him, losing a loved one, and how they dealt with it. Sometimes unspoken words are the loudest. The way the raw emotion from Siyabonga Mpontshane was captured was really telling. He said a lot without saying a word, other than saying he was not comfortable to talk about his loss. For those who don’t know, Mpontshane tragically lost his son while he was in camp preparing for a match. Tebogo Tlolane, Ofori and Kabelo Dlamini also lost people very close to their hearts, but they still had to soldier on and put on a brave face, for the benefit of the team. To see some of these guys pouring their hearts out and the emotion that comes with it, makes one realise that players, indeed, are human too. They are not exempted from the daily tragedies that ordinary people go through. For Pirates to share this content is a masterstroke that will go a long way in strengthening the relationship between their players and the supporters. It is when we allow people into our personal space that they really understand who we are and what we are all about. Every Pirates supporter will now think twice before lambasting their player because they know what he’s going through. That is the kind of content everyone would pay to watch as it shows the other side of professional footballers that we don’t always get to see. Like Messi, as Tlolane is affectionately known, said, when you come to training, everyone expect you to do your job, smile and leave. No one sees what you see and no one feels what you feel. The same thing applies when you walk into the field to play a game. 

Lepasa saying he’s always looked at Mpontshane as this strong guy who’s got it all together but seeing him so emotional says it all. It now further proves that not only the supporters don’t know much about the players but their teammates too. That’s why Pirates deserve credit for opening our eyes and letting us into the deep and personal space of their players in a way that some would misunderstand to be hanging their dirty laundry in public when it is actually educational. How many of us would have missed our parents’ funerals because of our jobs, like Ofori did? Think about it because family comes first, we always say. Until those two episodes, we didn’t really know what these players have been going through and that means now we will all look at them differently, knowing that they are also human too. Hats off to Pirates for packaging and sharing this content so well. 




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