...Today is Cup Final Day. I guess I am already too late to get the tickets to watch the final at Bukit Jalil. Kelantan with it's 4-1 drubbing of mighty Selangor just two weeks ago look set to beat Teganung but if history is to be taken seriously, the Kelantanese never do well at these rarefied atmosphere called 'Finals', in the last 50 years or so ! We Kelantanese lack the pedigree for that killer instinct, that resoluteness of champions. Winning is to put it simply, just a mind game! We do not have it. Fullstop.
That brought me 'fast' backward to the early 60's when Mat Che' Su, the local hero in Kota Bharu reigned supreme. He was a state hero and could do no wrong even when red carded for kicking full swing into the face of ace Singapura's goalkeeper, Wills Skinner.
Everyone my age [ from 8 to 15; I was probably 10 ] wanted to be in his shoes. When we go for our 50 cent haircuts at Pok Sen the barber we ask for ' bojeng mache Mat Che Su '. That would be the standard American GI crew cut both sides of the 'wings' and on top, with a small curly 'jambul' in front. That was supposed to facilitate the efficient 'heading 'of the balls when approaching for goals ! Every Tom, Dick and Harry who has a 'football team' at that time would want to be Mat Che Su when he grow up.
At the ripe old age of ten,I was captain of Team Teliput, consisted of a rough collection of sons of 'kerani's, Majlis Bandaran workers, shopkeepers and orang kampong. Our arch rival was Team Jalan Ferguson....sons of state engineers, senior 'PWD' technicians[ the new non-working, innefficient animal is called: JKR ] ADo's, legal adviser, state 'salbia'[ Surveyor ], etc etc, with their fancy rubber studded boots and coloured stockings and all. Generally chauffer-driven softies and mummy's boys.... We, the Jalan Teliput boys, always beat them fair and square in football and hockey, played over the 'bendangs' of the State Agricultural Station, off Jalan Teliput, the location of the present Masjid Teliput as it is now. Even at that tender age I already could figure out the secret to sporting success: each team member, including reserves, was supposed to gulp three, better still five, tablespoonsful of margherine or butter just before important matches to assist and ease in the 'lubrication of our joints ' and thus improve our kicks and dribbling ! Those days, even butter and margherines were rationed and prohibited stuff in most poor households in Jalan Teliput.We actually believed this trick worked.
[ 50 years later, Teganung chaps and all the King's men under the payroll of KDYMM himself still could not figure it out how to beat the 'chief' in equestrian endurance...that will remain my secret... ]
The softies and the Teliput gang, all invariably, went to the same school : The best school in the world, the one and only, Sultan Ismail College...........
But back to the issue of Mat Che Su's, we Kelantanese never come close to winning any finals or for that matter semifinals for ages....
We kids used to listen with incredulity at adult's talk during important matches at that period ,' that so and so in the team had beed seen riding a new Vespa after such and such a match, that no wonder we lost the game !'.
Things has not changed very much since then but I do hope this time the Kelantan team management has learn something from the past 'Vespa era' and that tonight we could make something out of it.
We should not lose to Teganung afterall since despite 'demo tu having all their petrodollars and wang ehsan Petronas, demo Teganung tak dok kereta lipang !'.
Dont be surprised : There may be fights on the terrace, one or two buses might get burnt. There might be a fracas or two even in midfield. That is typical when Kelantan does get to meet Teganung.