The Boot Game

One ball and 22 players behind it. There’s this old Namboodiri joke.. When the Namboodiri saw a game of football he commented ‘why don’t you just give a ball to each player!’. Lame. I know. But that’s Namboodiri we’re talking about.Anyway, It’s the 19th FIFA World Cup, being held in South Africa and most of my friends are probably glued to their couches watching the first game, SA vs Mexico. Before you swear and tell me to go watch the game, which I tried to ( really!) I should tell you that my football IQ is extremely weak. I don’t know which player belongs to which country or which team-with-funny- names people call clubs ( like Barcelona and Madrid and stuff). So there. That’s me and football. 🙂 And that’s why I thought I’d blog a bit about my boot-game ignorance and about what football means, to me.

Personally I prefer cricket. It’s much more sophisticated and disciplined, according to me.It’s the Gentleman’s Game-there’s rarely any violence in the field unlike in football, where players trip down to kiss the ground, a lot! Funny game really, isn’t it? You forget everything in the process of taking the ball to the other court, meanwhile saving your own court like a fort. Soldiers in short trousers. Style icons, recognized and worshiped all over the world.And the referee shows coloured cards to the players to get them to sit out.It’s like literally yelling ‘GET OUT YOU CHEATER AND LET THE GOOD GUYS PLAY!’. There are weird shots like scissor cuts and rainbow shots and God knows what. Sorry if I got them wrong; my football jargon is equivalent to my skill in organic chemistry. 🙂 It’s a shame really, to not be a football fan being brought up in Malabar and being friends with a lot of football fans.But that’s how it is. Another thing I notice about football is HOW MUCH the coach is involved in the game. In cricket you rarely see the coach being in the picture, biting his nails or egging his players on.. But football is one of those games where coach has a prominent role.Actually this reminds me of Shah Rukh Khan, in Chakde saying , “khud naa badho.. ball ko aage badhao’ .That’s what’s exhilarating to see. The ball being kicked around or being glued to a player’s boot , hurled across from the corners or stopped by the goalkeeper, retrieved , kicked around again and finally being tossed for the ultimate ‘GOAAAL!!’. The shouts from the gallery, various fluttering flags and the Mexican waves. Moreover, like any other international sports event, the World Cup is a festival of different nationalities and cultures, united under a single rule-football.

Yes, it’s the most popular world sport.It’s fast, furious, exciting and beautiful.Even though India doesn’t have a team, Indians are among the most ardent supporters of this game. Rarely do we see SUCH widespread excitement for this game in a country like India which roots for cricket. Not that people don’t follow it, but it’s not a topic of daily discussion like cricket.But this is certainly one of those times, where football overrules cricket. As the crowd rumbles and as the half- a- kilo ball soars over the soccer field, many hearts around the world flutter too.. Popularity is certainly of essence 🙂

IPL II – The Wait Is Over…!!

Ever since my SSLC exams got over, there have been only two things I had been looking forward to-1. Utsavam at Tali temple and 2. IPL II. Obviously the second one is the most awaited..!!

If cricket in India is a religion, then IPL is its Carnival!A fabulous, colourful festival that engages the time of the haunting sunny days when you have nothing else to do other than sit back and watch TV.More than that, it is a cricketing tournament among 8 teams comprising of renown Indian and foreign cricketers, veterans of the game and youngsters who have a lot to prove.It is where people from different nations cheer together, forgetting past quarrels and co-operating as a single team to get their hands on the coveted IPL Trophy..
IPL is of course not just about cricket.It is where billionaires, agencies, film industry and sports join hands to put up a show of entertainment for the cricketing fans worldwide.They say money can’t buy happiness.But IPL spreads smiles-especially when fans see stars like Virender Sehwag and Daniel Vettori play together for DD and youngsters like Ashok Dinda(KKR) and Manpreet Gony(CSK) prove their mettle on an international stage and earn praise from their seniors. Last season, when Bhaji(MI) hit Sreesanth(KXII) many feared that IPL would destroy Team India’s sprit and unity.But after IPL I Indian Team has not only gained from IPL by including many talented youngsters, but also have won many numerous tournaments, home and abroad. The veterans of different countries also have nothing much to prove, yet they play for the spirit and the joy of the Gentleman’s Game.And the performance of veteran Shane Warne’s RR, was really appreciable.
Amidst all the glamorous film actors, flowing money and cheerleaders with skimpy dresses IPL’s core has always been the Game itself-CRICKET.

As the opening ceremony unfolds and Chennai Super Kings take on Mumbai Indians in the first match of IPL II, my wait will be over; so will the cricketing worlds’.

(P.S. I think you wouldn’t mind if I express my enthusiasm a little as a supporter of CSK, here..