Tuesday, June 27, 2006

sports and i

while some people rationalize terror as perceived 'justice' meted out (erroneously, misguidedly, or otherwise) by ltte on behalf of tamils, while reality of terror is bought ever closer to everyone and real peace far is away, i thought i will write on something completely different; sports and my reactions to them.

day before yesterday when england won its word cup group of 16 match against ecuador i was disappointed. i so much wanted england to lose in spite of the clear inferiority of ecuadorean team and the high odds given by bookmakers against an english loss (i have a healthy respect for bookmakers odds, calculated using bets made by people who put their money where their mouth is). why was i disappointed? well i simply do not like the english football team. it is however not because it is english that i dislike it. i wanted english rugby team to win the last world cup and i do not derive all that much pleasure when we beat the english team in cricket. ( in cricket i always support whoever plays against australia and india in that order and is resigned to take our performances as they come these days )

so why do i have a dislike of english football team? i am not so sure. it may be the pre tournament hype, which i thought was quite unjustified. on the other hand brazil was also unjustifiably (more understandably) hyped (much more so) but i have never disliked it. it may be i don't like david beckam's fake pr persona from hair down or may be because i hated spice girl songs. anyway the talented idiot scored the goal in that match. f..k!

i and it seems lot of other people probably like brazil because they somehow manage to combine their favorite status with a certain and quite unwarranted perception of being underdogs, a near impossible task. (fact that they are not european and comes from a developing country has a lot to do with this, as i said unwarranted perception.). underdogs are usually favorites with everybody (so much so studies have shown that in important matches it skews the bookmaker's odds measurably). winning underdogs are irresistible. but is that all?

same goes for other sports. since only the sri lankan cricket team and sometime athletic team is internationally competitive and sl rugby played internationally is unwatchable i always have freedom to choose sides. in last winter olympics i was behind austrians whenever they participated. why? again i have no clear idea. may be it was the silly doping scandal against them during the games, may be because i have always liked habsburgs and their usual sticking to the wrong side of history, mostly incompetently but always with a certain principled self awareness. (for instance i consider empress maria theresa a great monarch). i also liked the music. but that is all.

probably same sort of inconsequential reasons lie behind my usual backing of french (i am probably indebted to them than any other people) and americans (who except socialist or pacifists can hate them?) and other random choices.

individual sports
same happens with individual sports. i so wanted martina hingis to win the french open and was quite out of sorts when she was defeated in quarter final by kim clijsters. i actually thought i will write some thing like this post then, but forgot. may be i like her for the same reasons this slate writer came to love her ? may be not. i simply cannot put my finger in it but the fact remains that i wanted her to win and like her.

it may be that we unconsciously dislike or like something or someone mainly because of feelings and reactions imperceptibly induced in us probably by something else that may be related in a way that escapes us. we react to and judge art this way, fans of films stars are living testimony to this, and advertisers certainly make use of this.

ultimately it is probable that i was in a happy or an unhappy mood when i heard or saw some thing related (probably remotely) to each team and i have forgotten the mood but i continue to subconsciously associate happiness or its opposite with them. with each victory or defeat and their resulting emotions and memories i may be printing these impressions and loyalties ever deeper in to my mind.

anyway i hope england get well and truly beaten out of the tournament in the next round and either brazil or argentina ( in this case at least it is pure admiration at their skills in first two games) win it. what do you know? bookmakers think so too. :-)


Anonymous said...

Amazing. I thougt I was the only one that harboured an intense dislike for the English football team.

I think mine actually stems from my dislike of Manchester United. I doubt I cared much about them before, or even knew they existed, until they started flaunting their wealth and buying out big-name players to make up for an obvious lack of talent (my opinion entirely).

Living in Dubai for about 10 or so years, i'd grown more than weary of the local papers extolling tbe Manchester Utd and England football teams for the benefit of the English living in the country, who's arses they loved to kiss all day long.

In addition to this, it seemed like everyone and their mother was a Manchester Utd fan perhaps for no reason other than the fact that you couldn't open a sports page without reading some drivel about how their star forward likes to watch taped mind-numbing soaps after dinner with his girlfriend. Kill me now, please.

In every bloody paper the f*cking English preimier league got more than enough coverage, and i'd see the bare minimum of the Spanish Primera Liga or the Italian Serie A (spelling?).

I too detest the Aussie cricket team (i think we all know where that comes from). Add to that list the Aussie rugby team (Always been an All Blacks fan).

In conclusion, may England crash and burn in their game against Portugal (which happens to be my fourth choice in favourites).

Oh, and Viva Azzuri.

Anonymous said...

"In conclusion, may England crash and burn in their game against Portugal (which happens to be my fourth choice in favourites)."

At least England are better than those bunch of cheating grease monkeys.

And you talk about hating Man Utd for flaunting - Juve were the ones flaunting money back then - 32.5M GBP for a (cheating) keeper anyone?

Shows how much you know about footy - take your boring cunt azzuri and stick it up ur arse - this time next year half of them will be in jail.

sittingnut said...

anon at 6/27/2006 10:57 am
understand you perfectly . :-)
glad to know others feel (for the most part) like i do .
hope suspension of portuguese ( a favorite of mine too ) players wont effect the hoped for result.

anon 6/27/2006 5:29 pm
how much you know is clear enough from your comment.
anyway thanks for the comment

D said...

Well what you wrote is what I thought when I was watched Aus vs Italy match on Tuesday. Eventhough I am staying in Australia I just can't made my mind to support them in soccer or in any sport. Its just I don't like the attitude of teams like Australia or England...

Hmmmm is it because they are ruled by Queen? Don't think so..Well I can't reason it why because I have no rational explanation. But the arrogant behavior of Australian and English players wont help it as well...

Specially when Harry Kewell confronted the refreezes in brazil match, What did he think they really could beat Brazil?...Well I really don't think so...

Most of the times I do support the underdog like today when Ghana played against Brazil. But I love how brazil players get along with other teams. Eventhough they are the world champions they act like a bunch of school kids having fun! Thats why they call it the beautiful game

nrh said...

Re. the Man Utd comments - perhaps if you had followed football for any length of time or had any appreciation of the history of the game you know that such fandom is cyclical and based on whichever team was (is) fashionable at the time. Witness Liverpool in the '70s and '80s or Chelsea today. Utd did happen to time their resurgence when satellite TV took off, so they were more prominent than previous champion teams.

Also hating Utd is as big a fashion statement as loving them.

Anonymous said...

At least England are better than those bunch of cheating grease monkeys.

And you talk about hating Man Utd for flaunting - Juve were the ones flaunting money back then - 32.5M GBP for a (cheating) keeper anyone?

Shows how much you know about footy - take your boring cunt azzuri and stick it up ur arse - this time next year half of them will be in jail.

6/27/2006 5:29 PM "

Oh my. I seemed to have hit a nerve. And you really hurt my feelings with that 'cheating grease monkeys' comment. How can i go on?

If you can yank your head out of the ass that is English football you'd see that Man U flaunting their wealth was but one of the reasons for my dislike of the English.

And look, i can start pointing out some Man U trades.

Rio Ferdinand goes to Man U for £31 million, becomes involved in a drug test controversy.

Then there's Beckham. I'll admit the boy has talent but extremely overrated.

Speaking of overrated: England.
Despite having invente the sport, haven't won anything in 40 years.

If you want a good English footballer look to George Best. One of the very few, no doubt.

Real has recently been doing just what Man U has. They used to be a quality team back in the real days of Hierro, Figo, Morientes, Anelka, Karembou and such. Their quality of play has dipped since.

There's more but i can't be bothered with it.

You seem bitter. Perhaps you'd feel more at home with your hooligan friends. Ah yes, where would english football be without the rampaging hooligans?

This man does an excellent job of saying what I had in mind:

"....There is the belief in England, both amongst the public and the press, that England have a divine right to win the World Cup. Just because we managed to win a couple of home games in '66 we should be a shoe-in every four years.

No wonder the rest of the world takes such delight in the inevitable failure of the national team. Not even the Brazilians are as cocky as the English and they have plenty of reasons to be self assured. ...."

The complete article is here: http://www.itv-football.co.uk/Story/0,14272,6110_1286024,00.html

@ Sittingnut: I too am concerned, but no fear. Even if they manage to get by Portugal they won't get past Brazil or France.

@ D: I don't despise the Australian football team as much as i do the English. Of course underlying feelings influenced by the Aussie treatment of a particular Sri Lankan cricketer might mean i derive pleasure from an Aussie loss at the hands of Italy.

I'll give the Aussies credit where due. They played a good game, and even I admit the penalty Italy was awarded was a little questionable.

But in that situation the ref had no choice. The player did impede the attackers run in the penalty box towards goal, albeit unintentionally.

~ England's bane

Anonymous said...

@ D - Completely agree with you about the underdogs.

The African teams have always been impressive in past international games and this time around they played the most enjoyable free flowing football of the lot.

Cote d'Ivoire were my favourites of the lot. That first game against Argentina should have been a 1-1 tie. The second Argentine goal was a blatant offside.

CIV played a brilliant spirited game to come back after that.

As you said of the Brazil v Ghana game, Pele's comment about 'the beautiful game' come to my mind as well.

~England's bane

nrh said...

Not to nit-pick but I believe this is related to my points about ignorance about the game - George Best was Northern Irish not English.

Also your point about Rio makes no sense. A profitable, financially solvent club (at the time) decides to invest a sum of money in a player who, at the time, was widely regarded as one of the top three defenders in the world. His price was added to by the fact he was young and English. The fact he was a dumbass who forgot to turn up for a drug test is irrelevant. IQ tests have never been very high on the agenda for deciding a footballers worth.

You really should read what the serious sports journalists in papers such as the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent and Times have been writing from before the World Cup kick-off. The hype was conditional on the right management and right selection of the team. You really would have to know very little about the game to debate the fact that man for man, in most positions, this English team has enough talent to win a tournament (more so than the Greek team than won the European Championships). But they are appalling managed and, as I mentioned, the serious sporting press and football followers were aware of this.

Beckham's utility to the team has been questioned for a long time now - not just by the sporting press but also by a significant section of the fans, including those with Man Utd connections.

I have no great affinity to this current England team - especially with the current coaching staff and tactics and would shed no tears if they lose. It's the pig-ignorant attempts at sporting commentary here that I find objectionable.

Morquendi said...

By the way sittingnut, I guess you're really proud of what the Navy's been doing in Pesalai.

I guess a good way of showing restraint is to kill a bunch of civilians in a church.

Go on, defend them, say the Navy didn't do it. You know they did. Like you know the LTTE killed Kulatunge. Like you know the Navy killed the people in Allepiddi.

You really should join the military. Then you'd have a chance to actually take part in the bloodbaths, without just having to jerk off in front of your computer reading about them.

sittingnut said...

is it because they are ruled by Queen? Don't think so
i don't think so either
it is basically attitude probably . and as i said we probably cannot put our finger in it.

yes that match showed why brazil is so good. and beautiful. :-)

anon at 6/28/2006 1:22 pm and 6/28/2006 1:33 pm
you are right even if they get past portugal, they wont get past brazil or france.
thanks for the informative comment. :-)

this post is about our reactions to sports . do not get so worked up . :-)
btw i think sooner english go out the better.
thanks anyway

this post is about sport . of course you cannot understand that, since you seem unable to understand my repeated answer to the same question you pose in other threads.
but i wont repeat it here, so go and find my answer in another thread.

Keshi said...

lol England is out..I hope ur happy now :):)


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh ! England out (hah) and my "boring cunt Azzuri" snuff out Germany 2-0 ??

Who the hell would have thought ?

~England's bane

sittingnut said...

yes :-)

~England's bane:
ha! :-)

S said...

The Hapsburg's are a fascinating lot to read about.

Don't quite understand the German fixation with this brat though!


sittingnut said...

thanks for the comment :-)
i suppose it is similar to the fixation on that other brat di.