I was thinking of writing a post called "The one US defeat I wouldn't be sorry to see".
That's a US defeat in their forthcoming World Cup match with Ghana.
As you'll know if you've read my recent posts, I have no real interest in the football itself, but I am fascinated by the associated politics of identity.
And I was knocked out by the obvious joy and delight with which John Pantsil of Ghana celebrated their win over the hotshots of the Czech Republic by.... waving an Israeli flag, which he'd kept hidden in his shoe.
That's because Pantsil plays for Hapoel Tel-Aviv, an Israeli team.
As Israel itself had not qualified for the World Cup matches in Germany, I began to envisage where this might lead. Outbreaks of Ghana flags fluttering from cars all over Israel from Metulla to Eilat? Even in Golders Green?
Weirdly enough, my daughter and I then saw a couple of cars in Finchley sporting Ghana pennants when we drove over to my mum's on Sunday.
Were they expat Israelis? Maybe, but we got closer, and they looked rather like Ghanaians to us.
Pantsil's exuberance and that of the whole Ghana team endeared themselves to quite a few bloggers. There were "Go Ghana!" posts from Clive Davis and Mick Hartley, Norm noticed and Stephen Pollard celebrated the flag waving, while Gene of Harry's Place had a tongue in cheek post about it being evidence of the tentacles of the World Wide Conspiracy.
Uh-oh. Irony is lost on quite a lot of serious believers in the World Wide Jewish, er sorry, Zionist Conspiracy. Tonight, Gene picks up that his post was taken up by Jamal, a London blogger apparently deeply rooted in belief of said conspiracy.
THIS IS ZIONISM, screams Jamal's post, illustrated with the same flag-waving photo of Paintsil. Jamal comments:
The Zionist tentacles are everywhere.. ..influenced and intertwined here with a little colonialism for good measure!
And he gives a link, "The Zionist War Strategy", to a whole bunch of world-zionist-conspiracy-proved links.
Well, Jamal's blog is called "Opinionated Voice", so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given that I proclaim my own six decades' worth of opinions.
But it seems the flag waving virtually created an international football incident, for tonight the Ghanaian Football Association has shown it thinks it needs to issue a formal apology:
"It was an action out of naivete, and we apologize to anyone who was offended. It will never happen again," Ghana FA spokesman Randy Abbey said.
"He was obviously unaware of the implications of what he did ... He's extremely popular in Israel, and he wanted to thank the fans who traveled to see him play...."
Abbey said that there had been complaints to the Ghana FA but did not elaborate.
"We're not here for politics," he said. "We don't support Israel or Arab nations ... It was unfortunate that the player was ignorant about the political situation."
Abbey added: "But he has apologized to us and I think the matter should end there."
[Israel's] Sports Minister Ophir Pines-Paz had been quoted as praising Paintsil for his actions and saying that Ghana had gained many Israeli fans.
"We have an Israeli at the World Cup. Paintsil's gesture has warmed our hearts and many Israelis have now become supporters of Ghana," Paz said.
But the gesture drew furious reactions in the Arab press.
I wonder which national football associations actually felt they had to put in a complaint?
When you have a world-wide-conspiracy on your mind, who needs to watch football?
UPDATE: Ynetnews has the hilarious account of Egyptian reactions to John Pantsil's action. You can choose from the official, state owned media accounts:
Some papers described Paintsil as a "Mossad agent", others said "an Israeli had paid him to do it" but the most elaborate theory was offered by the top-selling state-owned daily Al-Ahram.
"The real reason," sports analyst Hassan el-Mestekawi wrote, stems from the fact that many Ghanaian players go through football training camps set up by an Israeli coach who "discovered the treasure of African talent, and abused the poverty of the continent's children" with the ultimate goal of selling them off to European clubs.
"The training program for these children starts every morning with a salute to the Israeli flag," Mestekawi claimed.
Or, you can pick up some equally impressive analysis from ordinary Egyptian football fans:
"We were totally supporting Ghana and we were so excited by how well they were doing," Ashraf al-Berri, who watched the match with a dozen friends told AFP.
"We were screaming with joy, but the whole room went quiet when Paintsil took out the flag. We didn't really know how to react," he said.
"As an Egyptian I am very sensitive when it comes to Israel," Osama Mohy, who watched the match at a friend's house, told AFP.
"If Mido scores, would he wave the England flag? and if he did everyone would hate him for it," he said referring to Egyptian striker Mido (Ahmed Hossam) who plays for England's Tottenham Hotspurs.