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Posts Tagged ‘Football

Those hips

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This video brings back fond memories. Very fond memories.

– Shakira dancing like there’s no tomorrow, shaking her hips as if independent from her body. Kind of like the Irish-Jig-guy but without scaring the ba-jeezus out of anyone.

– Wyclef Jean (that incestuous b*****d) hugging her like she’s his younger sister.

– FIFA World Cup 2006 – the drama, the red cards, the defending, the attacking, the upsets, Germany, Italy. My favourite world cup of all time.

– Zidane having his moment of madness and giving head to someone live on TV with a million folks watching. Clearly, the French like to do everything in their own special way.

– Me having my first (and till date, only) attempt at consistent blogging.

– Watching matches on a big screen with good commentary in the company of amazingly passionate hostel mates – I’ll especially never forget a random bong fellow who was bawling after Argentina got kicked out by Germany in the quarter-finals and the non-stop vernacular cursing which preceded the said bawling.

All this without consuming a single drop of alcohol, which made it even more fantastic.


Written by sujaybedekar

May 27, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Give him the cup

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A typical argument given by an country for being chosen to host a Football (Soccer) World Cup would be ‘We love Footie!’ or ‘It’s been a long time’ or ‘Tourism has been really down these days.’

Here’s Obama’s argument for USA hosting the 2018/ 2022 WC:

As a child, I played soccer on a dirt road in Jakarta, and the game brought the children of my neighbourhood together. As a father, I saw that same spirit of unity alive on the fields and sidelines of my own daughters’ soccer games in Chicago. Soccer is truly the world’s sport, and the World Cup promotes camaraderie and friendly competition across the globe. That is why this bid is about much more than a game. It is about the United States of America inviting the world to gather all across our great country in celebration of our common hopes and dreams

An American who’s a fan of football (I refuse to call it soccer anymore) is a rarity anyway – and one who supports West Ham United, rarer than that. Given their troubles in wake of the Icelandic economic crisis, I totally sympathize with the Hammers, having had to suffer some heartburn over that particular topic myself. (The Icelandic meltdown, as obvious a pun as there can be, was what inspired this post).

As long as he doesn’t insist that all nations must only field those players who play for American clubs, I say Give Him The Cup!!

Original link via, verified here.

Written by sujaybedekar

April 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Social Networking?

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I’m yet to decide whether I am glad or dejected because I haven’t been tagged in any of the viral things doing the rounds on Facebook these days – Wall photos, 25 things you didn’t know about me, songs which come to my mind first when I read this and other Notes. What I am fairly certain about, though, is how highly irritating these things have turned out to be. I find myself torn between 2 extreme emotions: despair at having my notifications page being bombarded with random alerts, and an intense urge to find out who is the sluttiest person in each of my acquaintances’ friend circles.

What is most irritating, especially about all the random lists people generate, is that most of the things people include are solely meant to be cute/funny and hence end up being quite unreal. I would be very interested in knowing if, for example, someone colour-coded his underpants to work, or things which turned people on (and off). But telling me that you like taking long walks or that you do/don’t cry that often is just a criminal waste of cyberspace. As a mark of protest, here’s my list of things (in no particular order) which I find quite irritating –

1. People who talk about themselves all the time, only to pause and let you talk about them. This can be especially irritating when you want to talk about yourself.

2. People who don’t follow loo etiquette. As if it isn’t scary enough that foot tapping while getting epiphanies can have risqué implications, it can be quite pathetic when people make small talk out of plain relief (no pun intended) or just to dispel uncomfortable silences. This includes saying stuff like ‘I’m so awesome’ on making surprising discoveries. (People also have a tendency to say the most ridiculous/scandalous things in office restrooms – it’s almost like they forget that they still are in office and can very easily be overheard).

3. (Picking up from the previous point) – People who find it absolutely essential to dispel uncomfortable silences. Uncomfortable silences have a very specific purpose in life – to make people uncomfortable and shut them up at the same time. Breaking them, then, is just plain unnecessary.

4. People who ask redundant questions – ‘Ooh did that hurt?‘ after stepping on your foot. ‘I’m sorry am I blocking your view?‘ after coming late to a cinema hall and ambling along to their seats with their eyes glued to the screen. ‘What do you think?‘ after having already decided to buy something and asking for a second opinion just to give you the illusion of relevance.

5. People screwing up their grammar. I know, this might sound a bit finicky, but when someone says ‘I forgotted …‘, what is said thereafter gets, well, forgotted. Or ‘No I didn’t gone.‘ Or ‘I does not do this.’ Or ‘He catched it so well.‘ Mildly irritating.

6. People who screw up my name. I’ve had a wide range of people from Credit card call centre representatives to Rating Agency helpdesk individuals giving me advice on how to pronounce and/or spell my name. How tough is it to accept that someone can be named Sujay and not Sanjay, Sujoy, Suja or (this I swear I am NOT making up) Suagy? How in god’s name do you even pronounce the last one?

7. Pseudo-secularists, because they are full of BS. And armchair critics, because their purpose of existence is as mysterious, if not more, than slugs and bedbugs.

8. Arabic football commentators. I went through the entire 1998 Football World Cup telecast on the (then) newly-launched Ten Sports channel genuinely believing that the ‘experts’ on TV had all been infected by the same strain of strep which made them cough/clear their throats while talking. And they had a very irritating habit of yelling Goaaal GOaaal GOAaaal GOAAAAL! in an infinite loop when … obvious. Same goes for Latin American commentators who shout ‘GOLAASO’ ‘GOOLAAASO’ with a similar passion and sense of urgency.

9. Indian cricket commentators. And Pakistani ones too. ‘Nuff said.

10. The new FB interface. It is not just irritating – it is quite crappy.

11. Over-exuberance.

12. Tomato skin. I’ve talked about this before in great detail.

13. Babies who cry in cinema halls. And parents who act like their kids will shut up if they are ignored. Kids cry because they need attention. Makes you revisit the principles of Idiocracy every single time.

14. Having to explain jokes, especially those which aren’t meant to be classics and have a very, very short shelf life (i.e. bad ones). I go through this particular agony almost every day.

15. People who oppose something (a team, an idea, anything) you support just to have a stand (or to piss you off). I refuse to argue with someone who argues for the sake of arguing.

16. Honking at red lights. There might very well be some deep-rooted pyschological/Freudian explanations for this phenomenon, but there is no doubt that this can get mighty irritating.

17. Atheists who are atheists because it is cool to be one. For that matter, anyone who is something just because it makes her cooler. Although for atheists, I think most of the times they are (as a thumb rule) a little bit irritating anyway. Same goes for PETAmaniacs.

18. French footballers and Australian cricketers. I have no rational justification for this, though.

19. People who post ‘Sorry for not blogging in a long time …’ or ‘Blogging has been slow because …’. Seriously, the world has existed and will continue to exist without your contributions to cyber-literature.

20. People who add unnecessary points to lists just to have a ‘nice’ number of entries.

(This list is not exhaustive and is likely to swell with the passage of time. The round number of entries right now is purely coincidental, and doesn’t contradict point # 20. )

Written by sujaybedekar

March 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Spitting image

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Mikael Ballack – ze German who seems to be destined to finish second every time- and Matt ‘BourneDamon look so similar, it’s freaky!

If only Ballack had Jason Bourne’s awesome abilities, the Germans would had celebrated winning the Euro Cup. And my prediction would not had fallen flat on its face … sigh 😦

On the topic of Matt Damon: There’s this movie he co-wrote with his best friend Ben Affleck (and co-won an Oscar too) called ‘Good Will Hunting‘. The movie is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Every character is played to perfection and the mathematics/science is sufficiently ambiguous to keep everyone interested. The only thing I could possibly object to was that Robin William’s hairy arms seemed at times a wee bit too conspicuous.

The part in the bar where Will Hunting (Damon) makes fun of some guys to impress Skylar (Minnie Driver) and defend Chuckie (Affleck) is awesome. But the one scene (link) in the movie (possible spoiler alert) which I especially like is where Chuckie tells Will to stop his self-pity crap and embarks upon what is possibly one of the best friendly-yet-enlightening and concise-but-expletive-filled monologues ever heard.

Aside: I’ve always wondered why the term is called spitting image

Written by sujaybedekar

July 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Euro 2008- Predictions

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After an exhausting qualifying schedule, the Euro 2008 football tournament now enters the quarterfinals stage. Lalit Modi (The controller-auditor-general-senator something for the recently concluded IPL Twenty20 tournament) must be baffled by the decision to play Round 3 matches of the same group at the same time.

The men have been separated from the boys (and from the French 😛 – ok, that was a bit unnecessary). Given the tension and speculation, the teams expected to qualify for the Quarter Finals did qualify after after all. My predictions for the tournament now are –

Euro Predictions - Version 3

Why …

… not Netherlands? ’cause they’re a big bunch of chokers. ’cause, in Andrei Arshavin, they’ll be up against a superlative player. ’cause their huge goals tally is mainly because of their enthu for counterattacks alone. And because Guus Hiddink is a class apart.

… not Spain? ’cause the lack of wingers will hit them badly. Italy will play through the centre, and Zambrotta-Grosso will come forward and provide ample crosses. ’cause Luca Toni is long overdue a goal. And because Buffon is special.

… not Germany? Schweinsteiger is a big oaf for getting himself sent off. Gomez is just one big giant oaf. Ballack is good, but not a magician. Klose just seems bored and lost. And Podolski has had his fill of goals.

… not Portugal? Finishing will let them down eventually. And they are, like Netherlands, big chokers.

… not Italy? They’re good, but not that good. Pirlo looks jaded, the defense is at times quite frail, and they also seem to be having a fairly luckless tournament.

Croatia??? They have a good coach, excellent midfielders, hardworking forwards and fast full backs. Most of all, they are under no pressure – advantages of being underdogs. Plus they face Turkey in the QF, which might very well turn into a confidence-boosting match.

This is of course contrary to who I am actually cheering for – A dream final (for me) would be Germany vs Italy.

Very nice entertainment so far! 🙂

Ed1: Croatia seem to have taken up the ‘Choker Bali’ tag. Germany look a different team altogether with Schweinsteiger in and Gomez out. Time to change predictions!:( 🙂

Ed2: Italy without Pirlo are pathetic. Worryingly for Spain, they couldn’t score in 120 minutes. Arshavin is the man of the tournament already – and he’s played just 2 matches. Turkey has 4(5?) frontline players injured/ suspended – Germans always seem to get the easier draws in major tournaments!

Written by sujaybedekar

June 19, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Posted in europe, football, tv

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What’s in a name?

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Many people find football boring. Watching eleven (twenty-two, in fact) people tussling for the same ball for over 90 minutes seems like a waste of time and energy. Especially when you have no idea about the players, the teams, the tournament or the ball who seems to be getting too much of the attention.

For all these kind of people, I present a new reason – watch it to to become a more aware global citizen. Watching football can greatly help you increase your general knowledge about countries, the people, their styles and most importantly – their names.

Take someone by the name Zurab Khizanishvili. Once you get past the lols and wtfs, you might wonder why people have their names so ridiculous. Now football will might not answer that, but you will nevertheless come to know that such names are often associated with people hailing from the tiny country of Georgia. You will no longer be stumped if, for example, a person were to walk up to you tomorrow and say – “My name is Levan. Levan Kobiashvili. Guess where I am from?”

Or take the name Kahveci Nihat. The name is nice because the syllables can be rearranged quite freely to get names which seem equally (un)likely – Nihaveci Kavat, Nahveci Kihat, Kahneci Vihat, Kaniveci Hihat etc. In fact, just writing this confused me enough to go and confirm on wiki. This happens with other Turkish names too (Tuncay Sanli)

Further examples of names and helpful pointers –

-ov : invariably Bulgarian (Stoichkov, Petrov, Berbatov)

-ov (-off) or -ev + look extremely menacing: invariably Russian (Kerzhakov, Ivanov, Andreev, Akinfeev, Bilyaletdinov)

-ic + look like they’ve just returned from a fight in which they got bashed up more: Serbian (Vidic, Zigic, Ilic)

-is(-os) + long names with too many alphabets repeated and yet sound somewhat similar: invariably Greek (Nikopolidis, Papadopoulos, Papastathopoulos, Christodoulopoulos)

Words with a lot of j’s and i’s thrown in to earn more scrabble points: Dutch (Sneijder, Nistelrooij, Ooijer, Mathijsen). They still earn much less than …

Names with rarely used consonants like w and z all arranged to resemble the charts you’re made to read during an eye check-up: invariably Polish (Wawrzyniak, Kuszczak, Przyrowski, Błaszczykowski, Janczyk).

Names which sound like something you would eat: invariably L’Italie (Chielline, Pastroani, Barzagli, Natali)

Players who do not look/sound like they belong to the country they’re playing from – invariably French (Anelka, Makalele, Zidane, Samir Nasri)

Written by sujaybedekar

June 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm

Posted in arbit, europe, football

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(Long football post. You have been warned)

The Euro 2008 football tournament kicks off today (has kicked off already in fact as I type), and it promises to be an awesome one for two reasons –

1. England is not playing. Hence, the english media will be forced to realize that there are more important things (and better teams) to look at, and better news to report than what clothes WAGs wear.

2. There is no clear favourite – Spain and Netherlands are favoured to go far, and history says that they are the South Africans of European and World Cup Football i.e. chokers with an inability to perform when the situation demands. Germany and Italy join them more because of their record than on current form.

I cheer, as always, for Italy and Germany – my 2 favourite European national teams. Although Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini are gone while Fabio Cannavaro is injured (my favourite player of WC 2006), Italy still have a good defence and wonderful finishers in Alessandro Del Piero, Di Natale and all to win crunch games. Germany are awesome because they have wonderful individual performers – Ballack, Klose, Lahm, Podolski and Tongue twisting Schweinsteiger – and they have awesome team spirit.

My feelings for France are similar to those for Arsenal – love their football, love even more to see them lose. With Frank Ribery and Thierry Henry injured and Trezeguet not picked because of random reasons, things are going to be tough. And given that their co-groupies are Italy, Holland and Romania (who have an awesome striker in Adrian Mutu), their task becomes tougher. Yay :). They do have one of my players to watch for the tournament – Samir Nasri. Damn you Arsene Wenger – One can’t help but admire his eye for talent.

Spain have all the star players but play the wrong formation, because of which Fernando Torres will end up being ineffective. Plus they have minimal team coordination- kind of like the English national team actually. They have good players though – Casillas, David Villa, David Silva, Iniesta and their most underrated player – Xavi Hernandez. If only they can stop being good only on paper …

Portugal have an awesome defense and a spectacular midfield – Cristiano Ronaldo, Ricardo Quaresma, Deco and all. Problem is, they have a specacularly average collection of Forwards in Nuno Gomes and Postiga.  That might just prove to be their undoing, unless Ronaldo decides to do his country a huge favour and replicates his brilliant club form of 2007-08. Their coach Scolari is very good, but he just might end up restricting the free flowing football of his wingers, which would be a real crying shame.

Holland are not as good as everyone is hollering them to be – unnatural formations, not too good defenders, midfielders playing out-of-position, injured players (Babel, Robben, Melchiot) or players returning from injury (van Persie) – not good tidings for a ‘favourite’. They do have match winners like vNistelrooij and Sneider though …

My dark horses for the the tournament have to be Croatia and Russia. They have a lot in common –

– Instrumental in knocking out England in the qualifying phase.

– Good coaches. Russia’s Guus Hiddink is in fact a miracle worker, having shown his versatility with Holland, South Korea, Australia and now Russia. He is my first choice to replace Sir Alex Ferguson two/ three years later when he says he’ll retire. Or maybe not – SAF is irreplaceable 😦

– Young, interesting midfielders. Good goalkeepers. Somewhat easy qualifying groups. And a lot of confidence in themselves, which always helps.

Not that I don’t think Sweden, the Czechs or Greece are bad or anything, but I wouldn’t really put my money on them to enter the last four.

Players to watch: Samir Nasri, Karim Benzema (Fra), Mario Gomez, Hitzlsperger (Ger), Sneijder (Ned), Torres, Silva, Villa (Esp), Quaresma, Ronaldo, Bosingwa (Por), Modric (Cro), Akinfeev (Rus), Quagriella (Ita), Larsson, Wilhelmson (Swe), Behrami, Vonlanthen (Sui)

Hopefully there’ll be an Italy-Germany final – Cheers to that 🙂

Written by sujaybedekar

June 7, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Posted in europe, football

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