Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I have no idea why Brazil cannot play Pele alongside Romario in crucial World Cup matches these days - Have they retired? I am also not sure about how many Ronaldos play in World Football – at least one of them is from Brazil and the other..from Greece? Despite my seriously challenged football IQ, I never fail to pitch in, even if it is just a diplomatic nod of the head, because talking about football is the in-thing today.

The Hairball!

Football as a sports wins hands down against a lot of rival sports mainly because of its reach. The sheer energy that surrounds a football match cannot be matched by any sport. That is probably that biggest reason why people talk about it with such passion. But the truth is that out of a 100 people talking football, only 20 would be qualified enough to speak about it. I can vouch for that fact in India at least where football is not as big as cricket.

When I see people around me talking football as if they came out maneuvering a ball out of their mother’s womb, I don’t want to be left behind. The effect - I end up getting a high every four years when the football frenzy reaches its zenith during the world cups. That is the best time when the world’s best players slug it out and you have 32 teams in fray. So the chances of you picking up a few footballers’ names are quite high. It is at this time that you have people like me coming out blazing all guns and mouthing strategies as if a Guus Hiddink is all ears (See I know their coaches as well!)

“Yeah, the passes were good but a 3-3-4 formation would have been ideal.”

“No, it would have been better if Scholari got his fourth striker in the last 15 minutes.”

The pseudo football frenzy generally grips me during the world cups but this time the Euro Cup is giving me nightmares. Nightmares because I have to keep myself updated on a few fronts before I face a couple of my rival team colleagues at office. I am not too sure if they faked it or they really meant it when they got almost teary eyed at the ouster of their respective favorite teams. I took a safe stance and supported Germany. A little bit of geography knowledge came to my rescue as I knew that Brazil, a team that I support in world cups, was not in Europe. It helped that I referred to the stats and found that Gemany had won this tournament more times than any other team and was a favorite this time too. See, if you love to argue, follow your brains and not your heart. It is for this very reason that I bet against Sachin Tendulkar in crucial cricket matches and more often than not, win my bets and also a few “You are a traitor!” looks from people.

The Making of a True Football Fan

Coming back to my football love, there is one more difference between a serious football lover and a fake one. The purists never like a penalty shoot out. They can’t take it when the winner is decided by a few shots at the goal post. The fake ones simply love it but try not to show it.
“It is an unfortunate way to judge a winner. Just like a toss of a coin” – A ‘deeply hurt’ Purist

“Yes, it is indeed unfortunate” – A ‘content but faking dejection’ pseudo football fan

Now that's why you watch a football game!

The fun in watching a football match actually lies in the crowd. I am sure that a good business brain or one from the Rupert Murdoch-Kerry Packer breed will be already on it. If we could create an interactive television channel where the viewer had the option to choose the camera view, I am sure that most of them would be turning it to the crowd stands. If the television ratings are high now, think of the TRPs then! You have to be gay enough to concentrate on 22 sweating men when you have so many beautiful sculpted bodies cheering in the stands.

As I pen this down, I can see my rival team office colleague coming towards me. I play the conversation that would take place once in my mind.

“So, your team Germany plays today. Nervous?”

“It’s going to be a Thanksgiving Day buddy - Turkey is on the menu today!”


Ashish Kaistha said...

Very well said, at least for the Indian audience like me. Friends, I am one of the rival team guys in his office, but when it comes to "Tendulkar" we both have the same opinion. Hope good sense prevails in India some day and people start talking "Football" instead of "Cricket" from the core of their heart.

Sensible Garbage said...

@ashish: Thanks for dropping by! Instead of talking abt cricket or football, let us all hope that India starts talking about Sports in general..we can't even bet for one certain medal at the olympics!

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