Its World Cup time folks and the world is being dazzled by some of the world’s best footballers in the home of the game – Brazil. Its a wonderful sight, and everywhere you go there’s football fever in the air.
And why not? For one thing the football is just awesome. You get to see some great footwork, some brilliant saves, great thrillers, moving melodrama, victory dances – a whole world of wonder. But football is special I guess for other reasons too:
1. It provides great insight into management and team dynamics (what a first up point huh!): Its the only sport I know where the players turn out in Tees, shorts and tattoos while the management come fully decked in suits and ties – looking like they are in a shareholder’s meet. While the players are fresh and vigorous (and could step right into an advertisement for a health spa), the managers (paunchy, older, i trust wiser!) look like they have serious bouts of indigestion (actually they resemble parents of specially troublesome teens – which is perhaps not a bad comparision)! And yes, there are the experts too – these are like our very own corporate gurus – they know tons of stuff but get the results often wrong! The only very reliable predictor so far has been the octopus in the 2010 edition – and am not sure Paul took an advanced course in statistical prediction at Harvard!
2. You see fashion statements everywhere: Looks like the current haircut of choice is a mushroomy attempt which leaves one looking like a bushy umbrella (without the stalk) or a small UFO has settled onto one’s head. There are variations of this – there’s a sunflower variant, there’s one seemingly inspired by the evergreen bridges of chirapunji – even a pony- tail- type effort which seems straight out of the vedic times. Of course these are instagram-friendly and about 300 times more expensive than their counterparts!
3. Footballers may be stars, but they also have the spirit of youth alright (almost feel like singing Nirvana’s – “smells like teen spirit”!). No matter if a player is from a sophisticated EU country, a hard-working Asian, a sporting Australian, a capitalist American – when he is upset he cusses. And it takes very little to upset him. Which goes on to prove that the language of the rebel (in sailor blushing detail at that!) is perhaps the official language of the youth – the world over. There’s just one difference – sometimes, they decide that football skills are a better way to express their emotions – and when they do that – boy, oh boy – do they make your heart sing!
4.It gives everyone a chance to bring out the sports(wo)man in them- and I don’t mean just the players. 50,000 spectators are on the grounds cheering their teams every match and half the world is cheering them on TV/ Web whatever – truly it brings out the sporting spirit in each of us. A grandfather uses his fork to show his grandson how Pele used to do it, a teenager emulates Ochoa’s hairstyle in a last-ditch attempt to win some attention from that girl across the street who seems immune to all his charms, a manager cancels a meeting (to the relief of all involved) as he decides his football team deserves his attention more for a very important fixture, a child deduces the goalpost must really be in the television set and smashes the screen in – everywhere the spirit is on display. Smiles, grins, exasperation (oh! if only he had listened to me on how to take that corner!) – its a rainbow of emotions – everywhere.
I guess all of this is what makes this perhaps the greatest spectacle in the world. And this time around, there are wonderful places to catch all the action:
– On TV of course – live action unlimited
– Go to the google homepage and some wonderful doodles are present, clicking on which you get details of all the action
– Social media has plenty of analysis and streaming news. Check the World Cup page on twitter – simply, simply wonderful..
and on and on….
So enjoy the game – and may your whistles and cheering be louder than ever. If you’ll excuse me now – got to go take a look at a match myself!