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Pulling for Togo  by Stan Silliman


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Pulling For Togo

      Here’s something I didn’t know about the World Cup: Some teams bring their own witchdoctor with them. I didn’t know that was legal. The West African nation of Togo has a Voodoo Chief coming to the games. His name is Togbui Assiogbo Gnagblondjro III (we’ll call him TAG… or TAG 3) and he plans to use all his Voodoo powers in helping Togo stomp South Korea, Switzerland and France.

    Folks,Togo is not a highly ranked soccer team. They are not the Ivory Coast. They didn’t score a goal in the African Cup of Nations this year. Hey, some of those other nations may have countered with Voodoo of their own so it’s not like going up against a Voodooless country like South Korea. If South Korea comes across Voodoo, they put it on a platter. If Switzerland comes across Voodoo, they tax it and then lock it up in a numbered bank account. These countries are ill prepared for the Chief High Fetish Priest and all his little voodoo dolls. When the Sparrow Hawks take the field TAG 3 will be joining the drum beating fans in the stands. Over 100 drums will be beat while the Sparrow Hawks are playing and you’ll recognize the melody “That old black magic has me in its spell. That old black magic that you weave so well…. Round and round I go” Don’t you love it when drums can tap out those kinds of melodies?
Pulling For Togo
    In private life and as a journalist, TAG 3 is known to his friends as Augustine Assiogbo (we’ll call the private life guy AugieAss). We’ll call him that because in his Voodoo life he oversees 650 naked priests and priestesses who worship in the sacred forest. AugieAss is an appropriate name. But during the games he’ll be wearing traditional voodoo attire.  We think they’d have a better chance if a few of his naked priestesses joined him in the stands. “You do that voodoo that you do so well, the shimmy lights through you…”  I think that would shake up South Korea and we’ve looked up the World Cup rules and there’s nothing in them about naked priestesses beating drums and shimmying in the stands. Just when South Korea is marching the ball downfield, if the priestesses start drumming and the fans start whistling, you think their midfielder is not going to turn and check what’s going on. That’s when the voodoo works. That’s when Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo swipes the ball, heads to Togo’s goal where the Korean goalie has a bunch of voodoo doll pins stuck in him like an acupuncture patient. It could happen.

    Togo may not win the World Cup but their entrant, Miss Edwige Badakou, in the Miss World Cup beauty contest won the title. Their beauty was the top beauty. If Voodoo was involved nobody’s saying.

    So how about it, folks, do you want to root for tiny Togo? You don’t even have to be there in person. When you get your World Cup meals at McDonalds just say I want my meal in a Togo box. And you can do it at the drive-in window. Yes folks, you can order your Togo meals, to go. You can get all cutesy about it if you wish. “Give me Togo, to go. Make that a Happy Meal with a little extra voodoo.” And then you can insist McDonald’s put Frank Sinatra on their speakers: “That old black magic that you weave so well. Those icy fingers up and down my spine. That same old witchcraft when your eyes met mine… and down and down I go. Round and round I go… under that old black magic called…that old black magic called…” “Mr. Silliman, do you want fries with that?”  


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