Obsession shifted… from Cricket to Football…

Disclaimer: As the name goes, this post is only about a sport which has more followers than any religion!

courtesy: therabbitrun.com 
In a country, over obsessed by the so called religion – Cricket, there aren’t many supporters of Football. But since the last couple of years, thanks to the media & internet, the obsession is drastically changing or I can say is not just cricket anymore. I grew up watching cricket from Tests to One day’s to even local cricket matches. The fact that my dad was a cricketer and was the captain of a local cricket team – Pioneer, had a major role during my naming ceremony. Yup, I was named after the legend at that time Sunil Gavaskar. I don’t know whether my dad dreamt of me being a cricketer, but anyway, I never even looked like a sportsmen though I was interested in and even tried playing couple of them – Cricket being the most part of it. I am sure, majority of Indian youth have spent considerable amount of their childhood in either watching or playing Cricket.

FIFA World Cup 1994 was the first event, when I was introduced to this game. There was no live coverage on TV. The only source of information then, was the news paper. Like majority of them I started supporting Brazil (I still don’t know for what reason). And then, during the era of internet and computer games, I played the first game of football on a computer screen – thanks to EASports Fifa 96. And slowly, my passion for football started growing. During my engineering days, one of my friend introduced me to the exciting & beautiful league of all – the English Premier League and Liverpool became my favorite club. The FIFA game series helped me a lot to understand the game, players, rules and many more as it gives the real time experience of the sport. And I still play the game on my laptop with the same passion, as with the real sport.

Why football is better than Cricket?
·         Best part - The game is over in 90 minutes (extra time excluded) unlike cricket which can eat up whole day!
·         Cricket – is a lazy game compared to football. Why so? Try playing it once!!
·         Some say, the excitement level in Cricket is more as every ball may have some outcome, runs/wickets. Whereas in football it is not, as most of the time there will be less or no goals. Well, even I used to think that way, but it is not just about goals. The tactics, skills, passing, possession, tackles and of course goals … phew, every minute, every second is magic. (Yeah, it can be boring at times, but chances are pretty less)
·         There are no breaks in between except the half time.
·         And the crowd, atmosphere – oh boy, what can I say! If the crowd in a cricket match can go crazy – then in football, they go beyond the level of craziness! I have never been to any stadium to watch a football game, but I have seen it on TV.

And there are many more reasons than what I have listed here…

Anfield crowd - the special one...

Now, I have reached a point, where I have lost interest in Cricket! At times I even discourage people following it! If I look back, being a person who was so much obsessed with Cricket – who even considered watching the Cricket world cup rather than studying for the board exams, who even played cricket all day long, during his entire vacation -  who even remembered upto date stats of every game that India played – now, doesn’t even care reading what happened to the series being played even in the news paper!

Since my college days, for some or the other reason, I couldn’t watch the game on a regular basic. But recently, I have bought a 32” LCD mainly to watch EPL matches during the weekends! And the last Saturday’s match – just made me understand how much I am in love with this beautiful game. I was constantly praying to god whenever we had the ball possession, or whenever Luis Suarez got the ball. I even put the kumkum on the TV. (Yup! I am crazy) My eyes well settled on the screen all the time and on every movement of the ball. My mind, singing and roaring along with the fans in Anfield (I considered not to shout out loud as that may look absurd to my neighbors!) And then, the moment when the captain fantastic – Stevie G took the free kick that ripped through the wall into the net, my eyes got wet out of over joy!! I even did a small celebration dance on the bed… For 90 minutes, I had completely forgotten all my worries, the tiredness of long week at work and what not! But anyway, the joy of being ahead was short lived as ManU scored one back! And then, there was total silence… The anxious movements, the disappointment of players who kept the pressing game on but couldn’t deliver in the final third was also reflected on my face…

Captain Fantastic, Steven Gerrard.
courtesy connect.in.com

Ecstatic players & crowd in the background after scoring a goal...
courtesy: http://sportige.com

I am no pundit or expert like many of those football freaks out there. But, I have grown a lot passionate about the game especially EPL. I have even dreamt of becoming a player and even managing one. I have even dreamt of starting a football club in my hometown (UFC – Udupi football club! Ya I know I have lost it!). Though I know most of which isn't possible... 

The biggest task for all the married ‘football crazy’ men is – convincing their wife to let them watch the game. So, to make this happen I even tried explaining the game to my wife, even tried inspiring her by telling the history of the club, showed her some magnificent goals, some of the greatest matches like Champions League Final @ Istabul – on YouTube.

some magnificent goals by StevieG 

The mission impossible - UEFA finals 2005

And I must say, to some extent, I have become successful. Now, even my wife watches the game at times and even remembers some of the player’s name. J (Anything for Football ;) ) She even gifted a sipper – my first ever genuine Livepool accessory on my b'day J J

well, thats me... after some edits :) 

 P.S: One of my biggest dreams – is to visit Anfield & watch Liverpool Vs ManU along with those fellow KOP'S J YNWA (You will never walk Alone…)


SUB said…
forget the quality...but for atmosphere u can come to kolkata for a East Bengal v/s Mohun Bagan match... :)
there is too much cricket these days...ppl are having cricket fatigue :)

my new blog at http://evolvingdaddy.blogspot.com/
Sunil Padiyar said…
Hmm... Well, I would definately consider that... Perhaps, kolkata is lot near and costs me less as compared to Europe ;) :P

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