Friday, April 18, 2008

Of Hooligans and Gentlemen

I was looking at Harish's orkut profile and was surprised to see a photo proclaiming the glories of Man U. Now, that surprised me. I didn't know Harish followed football. Coming to think of it, a lot of people seem to follow football. It's OK if it was international football, but to the best of my understanding, these are clubs representing individual cities, so, what's the big deal? Do you follow Ranji Trophy?

To be fair though, I'll concede it's individual taste, and its up to you what you follow. I suppose it's only my bad memories involving sports at school that blocks me from watching sports like football. People always eagerly awaited sports hour. So did I, initially. But then our sports master always seemed to want us to play football, or basketball, or if he was in a really bad mood, kabbadi. Now, being the muscle-man that I am, I always cringed at being asked to play these sports, because it invariably ended up in me lying sprawled on the ground. It was either that, or Drill, which everyone despised. So, one had no other go, but to grin and bear the travails of the not-so-endearing sport.

So, he would blow the whistle, and I'd try not to appear like I wanted to cross the border. The two most hulking brutes of the class would slap each other's hands in an ardent endeavour of choosing the best players for themselves (no prizes for guessing who got chosen last) and we'd enter the field. It was in these occasions, that I'd display some remarkable athleticism and make a bee-line for the goal posts and become the goal-keeper, little knowing that it was the worst place one would want to be in. I'd stand around watching, because the ball mostly stayed in the mid-field (or rather, the surrounding gutters) and never came within ear-shot of the goal posts. However, one of our defenders would chose the exact wrong moment to miss a lolly-pop pass and suddenly I'd have three huge mountainous fellows charging towards me. My team mates would shout "Charge!", while my heart would scream, "Run!" from somewhere near my belly-button. I'd bravely plough in anyway, and be ruthlessly steamrollered over, and, I'd be searching for my spectacles (invariably broken by now) when the three fellows would have a fall-out between themselves as to who would do the actual process of scoring, have a wild tussle, one would escape, and with the goal posts in his face, aim and miss miserably. Now, I'd have the ball placed on the ground in-front of me. I'd clench my teeth, run in with the intention of unleashing a malevolent blow on the ball, which is when I'd slip, and flop on the ball itself. The first defender, by no stretch of imagination an able footballer, would come in with the bright intention of saving the situation, aim a kick at the ball, and send it soaring over my head, and into our own goal.

I've encountered similar (if not worse) situations with basketball and hockey. Kabbadi gives me the nightmares. It invariably ended up in a huge fist-fight at the centre of the court, guess who gets caught smack in the middle of it? So, what do I do? Like the rest of most of my countrymen, I support cricket. It's a simple game really. You can stand at fine leg and ogle at passers-by for whole hours and not be missed. You will get a chance to bat, because no-one in your team can muscle his way out. And when you do get out, you can always blame the pitch, the bat, the umpire, the ball, and the speck of dust that always gets into your eye at the wrong time. No hassles in this game.

So, no wonder, billions of like minded people in my country support the game.

Oh, and what happened to the football match you ask? It ended up in penalty shoot-outs.

20 comments:

Visu said...

Ah, It reminds me of the time we used to play in our school. As you know, we had a "huge" ground that supports a variety of games. Yes, kho-kho in the middle, shuttle on the right, some girly game on the left and kids running around here and there.
During games hour, all we had is just a couple of football and a volleyball. A football game of 15 X 15 in our school ground, just imagine. Initially the captains will setup their field position and I always end up as a defender(I don't defend anyone though) and once the whistle blows, aargh, they will swarm the ball and soon in a jiffy the ball finds a place in the neighborhood or in the road.
After Schooling, all we played is "Morattu Vilattu", The Cricket and all we watched is Cricket. May be we might have followed football as well, if we had chance to watch it. But sadly,we couldn't due to this 'pay channel' system. Ah it sucks.
And now its sucks big time, we can't watch the IPL too. :(

RAM said...

but still u r a good footballer....ha ha ha

harish said...

yes i followed football a way back, once we used to have those espn and star sports...but after making them as a pay channel, it got reduced to some extent....but i always keep in touch with the football,though i don't play that,for me first comes the Formula 1 then foot ball, at last cricket....the crowd at the maximum goes to watch a football match when compared on the whole..

Visu said...

Yes, Harish is actually an European.

Krishnakumar said...

i used to follow basketball like crazy... but eventually i've come down to a state where i've begun to question the purpose of sports. ah well that's just me. Or is everything shit?

Marc said...

Ah yes, the dull game of cricket where 40 percent of the players sit and watch the game.

navneeth said...

we used to play kho-kho and well it was a pita(pain in the ass) while playing kabaddi once i and my classmates a caused a poor fellow to bleed after he hit his head,dodgeball used to be fun until ball hit someone's block hole other than that sports period was fun

Aravindhan said...

Well i follow only Goli and katthadi which were my favourite once...But till now this fantastic game didn't get recognised by the olympic panel...So sad!!!!

Buzz said...

O...a dont be scared shit ... nee ellam cricket liye bayandha savara...
... anyways MAN U for CUP ...
watch WEDNESDAYS MATCH ON TEN SPORTS LIVE >>> 11:30 PM...
dont have butterflies in ur stomach while playin any sports.. but play with pure passion.. that makes u reach great heights.. not only sports but in other fields too. xcept studies where passion gets sunk amidst the pococurantistic minutiae in the ratiocinating pages.... someone gotta ostracize the whole concept of exams... this is the reason why people lose the fighting spirit in them....
SAY NO TO EXAMS...
NEXT TIME GO UNPREPARED FOR EXAMS...
PASS THIS TO ALL...
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Hariharan said...

And you call cricket "morattu vilayattu" eh?

Sundar said...

@ Buzz
No. I completely disagree with the procantocannabis mischief. As a matter of fact, and as a question of principle, I am of the opinion that the purely unadulterated puritanical pursuit of the carnal pleasures is the ultimate apex in the realm of sporting for pleasure and recreation. Of course, passion, in such a situation is hard to avoid, and by inference, one can conclude that the desire to propagate one's own progeny is the highest aim of mankind, despite its occasional and random machiavellianism.

Rachel said...

I too watch football, till Espn became a pay channel. But i don't prefer cricket. In my school days, we used to play Kho-Kho and volleyball.

Vinod said...

Why is Sunil commenting like an ad. he is advertising his blog. I prefer cricket. Football is good but I think T20 is better one.

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sathyanarain.com said...

I too play Cricket for the same reason. But I am lazier than you. So i prefer the role of the umpire each time.

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Sundar said...

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