Friday, July 07, 2006

 

the good game

Ok there’s no way of avoiding it…this football thing…before the start of this world cup extravaganza , this hoopla, this great madness…like some people I succumbed to England hype and thought this might be England year to become the champion…what with rooney lampard and the rest… they might make it… then when the first round started …everybody saw that England was the most boring team in the tournament …and I’ve never seen more rubbish in top flight matches than what this English team dished out…they played like sissies or pussies even…I even rooted for EQUADOR…and I made some predictions…and it turned out all wrong…so basically I’m no better than most people…I thought Ghana would win over brazil…my 85 yr old chimp told his school friends I predicted Ghana would beat brazil…they all laughed …but I was not too far wrong… brazil wasn’t that impressive… and they were beaten by france (yet again)…my other son stopped watching the world cup the moment brazil was out….but not me… I never liked brazil very much…so I continued to watch the games…every single one of them…not “watched” exactly …because I never fail to fall asleep 5 minutes into the game…and only woke up after the game finished and only became wide awake and watched the sometimes funny rubbish “shebby” and that british guy from espn doing their post match jabbering on Astro’s channel 83 ….shebby of course is serbegeth singh , a very elegant player in Malaysian national team during his heydays in the eighties…and after watching argentina played mersmerizing football and trashing Serbia and Montenegro and made them looked like Malaysian football team I congratulated my boss who is argentinian ( and who loved Jorge Louis Borges” by the way - “he’s a genius” – he once said to me ) and predicted that they’ll win over germany…and yes…I was wrong again…germany’s mental resilience and that extra luck in the penalty shoot out put them through the semis …but they went down 0-2 to Italy (my prediction was wrong again)…but surprisingly italy played better than I expected… everybody think italy played defensively and only put their players milling around their goal keeper much like that girl in “cather in the rye” who liked to keep all her pieces at the back when playing checkers…but not this time… and now here’s my prediction…italy will win the cup this time around… they’ll beat france by 2 –0…now lets see; tomorrow night… and I think germany will play their best game yet and beat the hell out of Portugal for third placing…they have nothing to lose now…they’ll be creative and entertaining and I think this will be the best game in the tournament yet…my forecast… 4-2 to germany…let’s see…let’s see…. But whatever the outcome…I won’t cry over it…I’m not exactly a fanatic supporter of any team… when I was a student a long time ago I supported my home team but they played the worst rubbish in the world… and I stopped watching them play a long time ago…though I’m still a strong supporter… world cup is the best thing the world has ever come up with for the common people…I can’t think of any other thing that make human beings more passionate than football game …apart from killing each other… eight years ago I was in Hanoi during a part of the world cup season and you could see numerous little shops with tiny black and white tvs that the owners put out on rickety chairs in the shop fronts beside the road and you would see a crowd of spectators who parked or simply left their fragile bicycles on the footpath like so many dead bodies and rooting for whatever teams that were playing..and I felt good…almost all the nations of the world is crazy about football except the US of course ….ironically one of the most well known football related books was written by an american…”Among the thugs” a very interesting book by a well respected GRANTA editor bill brufford chronicling his attempt to understand English hooliganism… and the only anomaly in this part of the world is the Philippines … but then again …philippines… what can you say , a nation that think US is it’s grandfather is a hopeless nation in my book…I was in davao Mindanao during a part of the last world cup and not a single tv station showed any matches…what a disaster…even the hotel where I stayed which was one the best in davao did not have satellite channel for world cup …people protested…and the management set up one tv in the cocktail lounge…I was lucky… most other hotels did not have anything… turned out my hotel was owned by Brunei royalty and the Brunei people loves football though it must be said that their national team is worse than the Malaysian team which is saying a lot!…. I was not so lucky for the world cup held twelve years ago…I was doing my hajj in mecca at that time and though we were there to do spiritual things and try to put away worldly things even just for a while..i did not entirely let go and made a little compromise and got my daily Saudi English newspaper every morning just to look at the match results…things people do for the good game...the world cup…it’s amazing….

Comments:
i only watched the england game ... so disappointing that it ended with a penalty shootout

but i can't see the attraction of the game and the last match i really enjoyed was in 1966 (go figure!)... i much prefer rugby tho this has only come about through living with a fundamentalist rugbyist ... next year i'm going to that world cup in france ... so will have my own taste of sports lunacy

the previous world cup i was in australia and there was such a great atmosphere
 
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