Neuroscientists have long suspected that Steve Komphela has a mind unlike any other PSL coach, or indeed any other human being. The Bloemfontein Celtic boss’ capacity for elaborate and often mystifying post-match quotes suggest a rare and perhaps unique brain anatomy, featuring neural structures as yet unknown to modern science.
A recent study suggests this theory may be correct. Researchers at the University of Woht Kahk in Pyongyang, North Korea, said yesterday that they invited Komphela to their laboratory, where they simulated an interview and mapped Komphela’s brain using electrodes and magnetic sensors.
They soon discovered the secret of his paranormal quotability: the metaphorium, a unique region that generates his famous metaphors at lightning speed. (Komphela has used countless metaphors – including ghosts, bikinis, mageu and Martians – in his efforts to explain his ideas to fans and the media.)
The pointuitary gland
Says Professor Pah Looka, who designed the study: “We have also discovered that Steve has a powerful linguistic region, the pointuitary gland, whose main function is to translate Steve’s many spoken words into PSL log points. During his time at Kaizer Chiefs, the pointuitary gland was functioning very poorly, with an average ratio of 10 000 words to one log point. But it has been converting words to points with much greater efficiency since he moved to Bloemfontein Celtic.”
The former Chiefs coach has a perfect record of three wins from three games going into the midweek clash against Kaizer Chiefs – the team he quit last autumn after three barren seasons.
Prof Pah Looka believes that while Komphela was based in Johannesburg with Chiefs, the stress of traffic and urban pollution may have affected the functioning of his pointuitary gland, as well as his “hope-o-thalamus”, an adjoining region that boosts team morale.
Other unique regions in Komphela’s brain, as revealed by the researchers, include the flairebellum, which controls Komphela’s wit and creativity; and the nonsensory cortex, which controls the inexplicable comments that he makes after a goalless draw. His “medulla obscurata” appears to perform a similar role, and the Woht Kahk team are hoping to discover more about it in future studies.
Asked about the study, Komphela offered this comment: “One should be mindful that when an archaeologist draws a diagram of an Egyptian pyramid, he does not thereby become a pharaoh. That said, I do find this research stimulating and amusing.”