Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Have a ball, a football.


The difference between the last world cup and this is social networking sites. When the last one happened, one or two from your pathetically small social circle asked you, “So what country are you supporting?” This time your aunt’s grocer’s son wants to know which country you are supporting and even has a point of view, usually vehement, on why you should be supporting some other.

(Don’t ask me why your aunt’s grocer’s son is following you on Twitter; he is, if I am not mistaken, your aunt’s grocer.)

Now the problem with the question, “Which country are you supporting?” is that you have to name a country. A simple and honest, “I don’t know,” is not only unacceptable it also sets off an avalanche of comments about your ignorance and suggestions about the country you should support. All your friends/followers start wondering why someone who has a mature, intelligent, well-informed and good looking follower like the grocer’s son can’t make up his or her mind.

So I did a little research into this phenomenon. I asked the corner florist, the neighbouring milkman and the building watchman.  I wanted to ask the grocer’s son too but he was out following someone.

The first answer was obvious once it was given:
India isn’t playing.”

But the spirit of investigation had truly got hold of me. I questioned the answer. (I do that often. Despite the habit having caused me enough trouble in school, especially in the form of wooden rulers coming down on knuckles.) And here’s what I got in form of an official response:
No comment.
Sorry. I was kidding. No money.

I dug even deeper. The answer:
All the money is in cricket you dumb Fff*.
(*Freak Football Fan)

I dug deepest. And when I looked up I saw members of BCCI (Board of Corrupt Cricket in India) looking down at me. I realized that I had dug so deep that the situation had turned grave. I returned home with flaming red knuckles.

The second answer was also obvious once it was given. The one given by the grocer while I waited for his son to return sums it up:

“See it is like this… I don’t know which country plays how in football. All the time the players play for club. One player play for this club today and that club tomorrow and every time he change club I take out calculator and change Euro into rupees and my blood pressure goes up. So how I know how this country play or that country play? And all the time clubs play match only at night,  so how I will know, no?”

At this point he got distracted by something behind me. I turned around to look. It was the grocer’s son. He had a black eye and limped as if he had been fouled on the football field. The grocer yelled, “Arre! How many times to tell… stop this follow business or one day someone’s brother will kick your footballs in!”

I completely agree with the grocer. No, not about the ‘following’ business but about the reason why I have a problem supporting a team. The last time I saw a country play was in Euro Cup, two years ago. Now, I change sides every other day. I started off by saying I would like the cup to go to Latin America. But after watching Uruguay’s Suarez using his hand to stop a goal, I supported Holland in the semis. Tonight, I am supporting Spain. But if Spain loses to Germany, I will support Germany against Holland!

It’s my mind and I will change it as often as I change my FB status update.

To end here is some fresh news from South Africa about what happened after Argentina lost to Germany in the semis.

Maradona picks up the Jabulani and says, “This is the ball.” He points at the goal and says, “That is the goal.” He throws it in and shouts, “How difficult is that?!” 

Messi replies quietly, “Now try doing it with your foot.”

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