Saturday, June 17, 2006

Obligatory World Cup Post

I support Tunisia.

Somebody has to.

Okay, okay, so I know they don't have a hope in hell of winning (actually, I don't know anything of the sort - in fact, I can safely say that I know absolutely nothing about Tunisian football. Or about football. Or about Tunisia. Except that Dizzy Gillespie seemed to like the nights there.), but wouldn't it be fun if they did win? I mean really, what's the point of going through all this brouhaha if at the end of it all Brazil is just going to take the cup. Again.

The trouble with competitive sport is that its fans still cling to the patently ridiculous notion that the winner should be the one with the most skill / talent. As if that mattered. As if the only civilised basis for deciding who wins wasn't gender, or nationality, or general under-dogness. What's with all this objectivity anyway? When are sports promoters ever going to realise that the sweetest moment in any contest is when the winner gets announced and everyone goes "The prize goes to Who?!! How the hell did he / she win?". Think about the Booker. Think about the Nobel. Dammit, even an organisation as inherently stupid as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has got this figured out. Each one of these regularly gives away prizes to people who demonstrate no merit whatsoever, and consistently overlooks the truly deserving. That's what I call a competition. It's all about mixing it up. The thrill of the contest isn't finding out who won, the thrill of the contest is arguing endlessly afterwards about whether or not they deserved to. The day they start judging World Cup matches based on the intensity of the leg-work and the beauty of a team's post-modernist explorations of the off-side [1], instead of on something as crude as goals, is the day I'll actually start watching football [2].

At any rate, I still maintain that it would be a much better cup for everyone if Tunisia won. Just think what wonders it would do for World Peace. All the football playing nations of the world (a list, which, conveniently enough, now includes the US) would come together in instant solidarity, drowning their common sorrows in a hazy mix of stale beer and nuclear non-proliferation treaties. Of course, Tunisia itself would have to be instantly liquidated with thermo-nuclear devices, but that's easy enough - we can always think up some excuse...say they were developing WMDs, for instance...what's that? That's already been done? Hmmm. Oh, well, we'll think of something. And let's face it, it's not like anyone's going to miss Tunisia once it's become a large cloud of radioactive dust. Most people won't even notice. As for the Tunisians themselves, well, at least they'll die happy, knowing they won the World Cup. What's a little casual annihilation compared to the thrill of that?

In fact, the only downside I can see to Tunisia winning the World Cup is the astronomical amount of money I stand to lose because I'm too stingy to bet $5 on them at current odds (specially since all the other people betting on Tunisia would have been liquidated in the airstrikes). I could have retired on that money. (Or at least, I could have gone on not working, which is the same as retiring, only without the farewell parties). Damn you Spain! Damn you Saudi Arabia! You haven't heard the end of this!

Or have you?

[1] I'm not entirely sure what the off-side is, btw. I've never been able to decipher whether it's a real side or just a notional concept the guy running around with a whistle uses when he feels the whole thing's looking too easy and the sponsors won't like it. Kind of like the wrong side of the bed.

[2] Which is not to say that I never watch sport. On the contrary, I am frequently captivated by all kinds of sporting events, usually when there's tons of work to do and I don't feel like doing it. The zenith of my interest in cricket, for example, occured during the 1996 World Cup, which happened to coincide with my CBSE Board Exams. Even watching cricket was more fun than NCERT textbooks.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

hehe..this was first time I found soccer interesting. :D

~N.

buddha said...

it's a pity iran didn't make it to the next round... it would have been an interesting to see some real fireworks if they won... bombs, instead of "anars" and "phooljhadis"...

heheh... you may ignore this post if you want..

just an after thought... the saudi arabia-tunisia game was one of the best in the world cup so far..

but i agree with you to an extent.. throughout the tournament, i;ve been rooting for these african countries to kick asome ass.. i think it is great to just see them make it to the finals inspite of the problems they face.. angola just coming out of a civil war, ivory coast being in the midst of one... and not to mention the poverty and all the problems that come with it.. on the same note, ghana beating czech republic was awesome..

anyhow, i still rue the fact that i will not see bombs explode.. what a pity...

Bhaarat said...

U have brought a very different perspective to this rat race frenzy world. The world is not about frameworks, measurements and comparisons to differentiate people.

dazedandconfused said...

Falstaff, u've gone offside with this post yourself (D&C blowing a whistle furiously).

Though I think your train of thought is generally followed in those Ms. World/Universe contests...

Anonymous said...

Interesting post - actually Tunisia have a better team than the other African teams and a better chance of making it through. You may not be so far off there.

Falstaff said...

N: thanks

buddha: Yes, pity.

bharaat: errr...thanks. Though you realise, of course, that I was being only half serious, if that.

d&c: Oooh! does this mean you're going to green card me? Or wait, is that what the National Immigration Service does?

anon: Horrors! you're telling me I might actually have picked a team that could make it! Tell me which team is still in the running but almost certain not to make it and I'll switch my loyalty to them. Now.

Aishwarya said...

Marvellous! Wrong, but marvellous!

Support Ghana.

confused said...

Only you can pull of such utter rubbish with such gusto!

Horribly wrong but as always worth reading.:)

D&C, please pass on the whistle.

confused said...

And yes, can't let go of an opportunity to correct the great Falstaff :)

There are no green cards in football, only red and yellow cards. Green cards are given in field Hockey.

''Happy''

Falstaff said...

Aishwarya: I was going to, but then they actually won against the Czechs. So then they weren't underdog enough.

confused: Thanks, I think. Oh, and I do know that it's a yellow card and a red card - but sometimes being deliberately obtuse is such fun, no?

confused said...

True, just that those of us who ''suffer'' your erudition all year long, cannot help but jump up when they spot the smalled chink in your mighty armor.

:)

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