Monday, June 23, 2008

An Ode to d Mighty Shan!

PS: Today's post is an ode to one of my fav cousin…Cheers Shantan bro, u rock as always!

'Follow only top dogs, but root for some under dogs…ANYWAY'

I have this above sayin' on the wall at home in front of my study table… Somehow I've always related the statement to sports n have spent all my days followin' it to the hilt…But that's not what I believed in a couple of years back…It was one famous memorable argument with my cousin that changed the very essence of my thought…a brief flashback:

"It was 2002, the year Brazil lifted the World Cup(still remember Brazilian captain Cafu holdin' the FIFA trophy atop his smiling face…what a sight! J) , a time when I was juz getting' into the groove of soccer n thought that Brazil was the BE ALL,END ALL of soccer! ;-) …lil' did I realize that here was a sport I would fall in love with…a game that truly gave me an adrenaline rush…a game that took away my major focus from Cricket ;-) (n trust me when I say this, I did love cricket once upon a time n I do so to this day, but now it's only job doesn't gimme more patience u see! ;-)…

Well, I went around declarin' that cricket interested me no more n that soccer was my new passion…All was well until 2003…n bang comes ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 n whoooossshhh… my new found passion went for a toss n I was back cheerin' Team India under Saurav dada (Ol' habits die hard u see ;-))…At this time, I was still a student, a student of Engineering, they say 'Engineering is Applied Science' n to this day Im still wonderin' where I'm applyin' what I've learnt in those 4 years!... Ironic, isn't it? Well, that's the way of life…u learn somethin, u do somethin else.. n all this while keep complainin' that u aren't getting' a chance to do somethin' u love when u could have as well as gone ahead n done it!('Me' included!)…

Now bein' a BE grad…ooopssss this was supposed to be a post on sports n am talkin' of engg trivia…trust Amari's brains to wander off every few seconds ;-)…sorry guys

It so happens that my bro n me were supporting our own favourite teams in that Cricket World Cup…I was as usual so proud of our team n all the teams that were winning paying no attention to neither the technicalities of the game nor consistency! My bro was in awe of the Australians, always speakin of their immense ability to take on anybody in their field… I was all red lookin at him supporting them… I happened to tell him 'We are playing amazingly well n I think we are one of the best teams in the world, what the hell makes u think we aren't?' It was at this point of time, he said somethin…somethin that's embedded in my mind forever, somethin' that changed the way I looked at sports n life in general:

" True Champions aren't those who win once, who win twice…Champions are those who win n win ALWAYS…They are those who are CONSISTENT…n that speaks of real Talent...they are those who don't know anything else other than WINNING!"

Now these were not the exact words he used, but that was what he conveyed through his words…n that explained why he always loved Michael Schumacher when I spoke about Raikonnen or Montoya durin those days in F1:-)…after all Michael was a true champ who had made winning a habit… It also explains why people who win once in a while, win it more out of fluke or other circumstances than real talent!

Thanks to u bro, thereon I've always rooted for the top dogs…have appreciated the under dogs n dark horses no doubt, but have ADMIRED n followed only top dogs!"

Comin' back to Euro-08, was extremely disappointed seeing Croatia lose to Turkey in a penalty shoot-out…sincerely thought Croatia should have won it, won it for the simple reason that they played brilliantly in the group stages, were technically more competent than the Turks, a Turkey team which came into the game with 8 out of their 11 players holding a yellow card, 4 already bein suspended for the semi-finals…now that's not a team which should be winning…that's not stuff what soccer is made of...Aggressive n hopelessly low on the sprit of the game! I'd be hoping that Germany ousts them in the semis J

In sharp contrast, I absolutely hand it to the Russians who defeated The Netherlands, defeated is not the word…They literally DEMOLISHED them…n this was definitely no fluke. Remember the Dutch were definitely one of the best in this competition n for the Russians to win in the fashion they did, Kudos to them…Andrei Arshavin again turned out to be the play-maker in this crucial game…(I mentioned him as the man to look out for in my last post…now am getting' better at this, ain't I? ;-))…One of the finest games in this edition of Euro-08…Lets keep our fingers crossed for the semis when Russia take on Spain!

The Spain Vs Italy quarter final is nothin' special to write about…I always knew Italy was gonna lose it for they barely made it to the quarters in not-so-impressive group games except for a one-off game against France…Italy was juz lucky that Spain missed lot of chances at the goal n the game went to a penalty shoot out…Casillas of Spain saved some brilliant shots from the Italian strikers…tho' Spain advances to the semis thru' a 4-2 penalty shoot out, Italy still hold the record of never having lost to Spain ever in a European or World championship since this game is a tie...nevertheless the Spain vs Russia semi-finals is definitely one to watch out for!

A Germany Vs Spain final is what ideally one would want to see considering the depth of talent in both the teams…but like they always say 'In sports, u never know!'…It happened to dark horses Greece last Euro n France in '98 Euro…so will it happen to Russia this Euro?:-)…..Lets wait n watch…

Until then, have a beautiful week ahead!

Adios Amigos,