Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Living in a sports mad nation

I am a sports fan. How much of a fan? Well I was disappointed but didn't mourn when John Terry missed the penalty in the Champions league finals. I was happy when India won the cricket world cup. But I didn't go around distributing sweets. So I am somewhere in the middle. But I think I am a misfit in this nation obsessed with sports. Well I may have got such an impression because my friends are mainly guys in their twenties. But then how do you explain a prof discussing football before a lecture or old ladies in the stands for an ice hockey match? So you get an idea of how big sport is here. But this post is not about the fan fanaticism which I am sure all of us Indians know quite well. This post is about the unending list of new sports I have tried or come across in the US.

For the uninformed, this football is nothing like the football the world knows. In fact I don't know why it is called football in the first place. They hardly used their feet to kick that something they call 'ball'. How that weird shaped object is called ball is beyond me. This game is like a human bullfight. Shoving, pushing, running, bang! And he is flat on the floor. Then the referee makes some announcement. And the cycle continues. This goes on for 3 hours. I didn't like the sport one bit. Too much violence. And that dude who runs with the ball reminded me the autos in Bangalore weaving through the traffic hurling abuses at everyone.

Ice Hockey
More violence. The main aim of this sport seems to knock the opponents down and start bashing the opponents. Getting the puck in the goal is an unimportant part of the game. Players just zoom around on skates back and forth. And there is absolute chaos near the touchline as players keep going in and out. I don't think I will understand this game even if it is played at half speed. These Americans took a decent sport like field hockey and made it a bit violent to suit the violent tastes of the American public! But I must appreciate the amazing control they have over that tiny puck on a frictionless surface with those long sticks while zooming around on their skates.

Say hello to the right handed Nadal. That's me you skeptics. I watched tennis on TV since I was of your age [:)]. Finally I got a chance to play! I took a course and vowed to beat Nadal when we are both 50. I didn't have to start from from scratch. That's because I already have bulging biceps like Nadal! I like tennis because its a safe sport unlike the above two American sports which require you to write your will before you step on the the playing field. I like the fact that the opponent is on the other side of the net and cannot do anything to me besides yelling like Serena Williams. I can't hit those booming Nadal forehands yet, but maybe that's because I don't wear tight pants like him. Anyways looking forward to the match with Nadal in 2037.

Some more to come in the next post viz Basketball, canoeing, rock climbing, ultimate frisbee etc..

Pic courtesy:


  1. Autowalah in namma bengaluru weaving thru the traffic.. that was a great analogy drawn! Nice Post! Cheers!

  2. Indeed it's a sport crazy nation but when they are not playing or watching the game they at least would be working or doing something else... unlike Indians who if are not watching cricket , will be busy playing Kabaddi (sometimes Boxing too) in parliament, hide n seek with mumbai police n what not ...

  3. @pari.. i will never forget my south indian roots! :D

    @abhi.. yeah we should popularize these sports in the media!

  4. I recently got to know why its called football - apparently the length of ball used in the game is a foot! Who would have imagined such an innocuous explanation :)