This was an exciting week of football as Chelsea, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid battled it out in the semi-finals of the Champions League for a shot at the ultimate prize – a Rajya Sabha seat. So you can imagine my reaction when faced with this giant selection of sporting awesomeness. I believe my exact words were *burp*.
That’s because I can’t bring myself to follow sports, despite this being a clear violation of the Man Code, which states that “A man must devote a part of his life to following at least one major sport, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, until woman do them part using sexy lingerie, making it a win-win situation.”
It’s not that I don’t appreciate sport. I just can’t be bothered with the commitment that it takes to support a team. Take club football, for example. It’s great in theory – some of the world’s finest footballers, in peak physical and mental form, come together to showcase their agents’ negotiation skills. But have you ever tried listening to a bunch of hardcore football fans discuss the game? The clichés that abound would put Ravi Shastri to shame faster than a tracer bullet. For example:
“We have a strong chance this season.”
No, you don’t. There’s an elite squad of athletes that gets paid millions to boink supermodels, while taking occasional breaks to kick a ball around, and they have a strong chance. All you have is an opinion, which will affect the outcome in the same way that my nads affect tidal activity.
“ARGH! How can the manager be so stupid? I can’t imagine what he’s thinking!”
That’s right. You can’t. He’s someone with years of experience, and despite that, he may still make errors of judgement, just like anyone else. Your qualifications, on the other hand, include buying an overpriced jersey that you wear while indulging in strenuous physical sports, such as lifting fries to your mouth.
“Manchester United for life! EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS!”
Calm down. You’re from Mulund. The last time you went to Manchester was never. But it is heart-warming to see you swear allegiance to a place that you cannot point out on a map, and this really makes you stand out. You should get a barbed-wire tattoo to go with that.
Another manly action-packed sport that I find deathly boring is Formula One. Again, it’s great on paper – mathematical harmony embodied in a logic-defying beast that roars down the course at insanity miles per hour, causing Mother Nature to touch herself inappropriately. But in real life, it’s just a bunch of identical cars going around a track again and again and again and again. And then, tyres are changed. Breathtaking stuff. I’d much rather eat cement.
I’ve realised that the only time I’ve actively followed sports on TV was when I was playing the sport in question. So over the years, I’ve followed cricket (including county matches that had a live audience of three, counting the village pigeon), basketball, badminton, swimming and pool, which is awesome because you can play it while drinking beer. I even had a chess phase in school. Chess isn’t a real sport though. It’s as much fun as watching old people put in their dentures. Anyway, going by the ‘Follow What You Play’ logic, the only sport I should be watching right now is ‘Drunk people bitching about life while getting fat’.
One sporting event that I’m really looking forward to though, is the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Plans are being made to go to Brazil and follow the big matches, while getting in some travel on the side. A live event – and a World Cup at that – is bound to be spectacular. I bet Manchester United will win.
(Note: This is my HT column dated 29th April, 2012.)