One Sunday afternoon, I was happy to be in a mall. It was a long time I had gone window shopping (for those who find this ridiculous, gals like it a lot). We entered the mall to find the different clothes and people in their own world. I stopped at a black T-Shirt and my hubby dragged me away. I understood his concern as I had 7 black t-shirts already. Then I stopped near the designer saris and I wanted a moment there. So as usual, hubby told me to be there and he will go to the men’s wear side. When I was done with my drooling over the saris, I searched for him and found him exactly where I found him the last time. He was desperately searching for some particular t shirt. All the t-shirts said Manchester united for life or Chelsea. His search was in vain. There was not even one Liverpool t shirt. I knew what to expect next. He grumbled some bad words and then swore that next time if there is no Liverpool t-shirt, he is going to burn the Manchester t-shirts.
If you had asked me about Football in Feb 2010, I would have said that it is just a game and I have watched it in the Hindi movie Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal (because of John Abraham) and I really like the Billo Rani song. Like many other Indians, the only game I watched was cricket, that too only the one day matches where Indian team is playing. And like a true patriot, I don’t miss the India vs Pakistan match. If you had asked me in Feb 2011, I would have said that Football is match with a team called Liverpool (I gathered this info strategically from him so that I could gift him a Liverpool accessory For Valentine’ day). But after getting married and buying a TV set, my notions about Football changed. Thanks to hubby, I started watching with him, gave it a chance, trying to understand why people (from a country where hockey is the national sport and cricket is a religion) are so crazy about football.
Reason why I watched
However compatible you are in your relationship, there is got to be some stuffs that are different. I was just being nice by getting involved in his hobbies(yes that’s me J ). You might have already learnt that I am more of an illiterate when it comes to sports. The only game I played at home with neighbors was what I call jibli (a game where you draw squares on the ground and jump with only one leg). Other one was the ring you throw and catch. At school, everyone used to praise me for my intelligence and would make me the umpire for each and every game (read: please don’t be a part of our team otherwise we are going to lose). And in running race, I was consistently the last. And my hubby is really good in sports, games, drawing, painting, singing, dancing, organizing programs (I think it is a high time I should start maintaining a rule of not praising my hubby in my blog). So basically, ‘he loves sports’ is what I actually meant. So even though I was getting bored, I watched two full matches which he insisted me to watch.
Football is actually a better concept than cricket. Cricket fans I repeat - concept. I like all mind games. In football, I liked the concept where if you know how to manipulate the defender about the course of the football, you can actually do great. The spontaneity, quick reactions and a smart brain with speed is needed to win. But in cricket it is more of a hit-the-ball-and-you-can’t-take-it-back concept. Football doesn’t waste much of your time. 90 minutes and you are done. But if you are watching cricket, you will waste a lot of time. In football, all the team members have to be equally good but in cricket it is not so. I can say that I am happier that my husband is crazy about football and not cricket but I will not.
Even after doing such a marvelous discovery, I am still clueless about the obsession people have for those football teams. When I asked hubby why none of his friends are Liverpool fans, he said ‘I am loyal to my team, unlike them who change their team like they change their clothes’. I was indifferent to the teams when I watched. I liked some tricks some players used to make a goal. Man, they were really difficult and smart. After watching a few matches I found a difference in the way each team played. Liverpool is okay (read not a very impressive team), Manchester United is too aggressive and Chelsea is good. Don’t ask me why but I started having a soft corner for Swansea. I don’t watch their matches particularly and I don’t follow them like others do. If I have to support some team then I would support Swansea. Still I am not crazy about Swansea like hubby is about Liverpool. If Liverpool vs. Swansea match is going on, I badly wish for Liverpool to win. If Liverpool loses, he will be upset the whole day and it is very difficult to cheer him up.
The major signs of madness
I have already said that I got this gyaan after watching 2 matches. Unfortunately, Liverpool won both the matches. Now hubby has become superstitious that if I watch, Liverpool wins. So now he badly urges me to watch the match.
Vinnaythaandi varuvaaya is his favorite Tamil movie. It was decided to be remade in Hindi with the title Ek Deewana Tha. The actress has become famous in South India with her Tamil films so she was chosen. But my hubby likes her just because she is from Liverpool, England! Can you believe that? I wonder if he can point out Liverpool in the world map.
Now let me come to the height of madness. I really enjoyed one match for the obvious reasons- the goals were very difficult and smartly played, 2 goals (by winning team) in first 10 minutes, 2 goals by the losing team in the next 65 minutes and an unexpected beautiful goal in the last 15 minutes by the winning team. FYI, Liverpool is the winning team (as if I care). I made a mistake of uploading status on Facebook saying I enjoyed the match and I was loaded with replies advising me not to follow Liverpool!
The fun part
Frankly I like watching the FIFA football computer game he plays. It is more fun as hubby controls it; the players actually look like the real players. It is fascinating how the programmers might have coded the game to make it look so real. The players even react to goals and red cards like in a real match. It is because of that game that I know the players by name. The names of the players are displayed at the bottom of the screen when the match is going on (I tend to get irritated to watch a real match as the players name are not displayed there). For me, I saw the cartoon characters first and then I had to guess who the player is when shown in real on TV. But while watching a football match, it is more fun to watch him than the match. He is normally quite calm most of the time but while watching a football match, he will get furious, will overreact, will curse the coach, will act like a coach himself, will say ‘Come on guys, you are doing good.’ And clap in encouragement as if they can actually see him, swearing words to a player who is not that good saying which idiot added him to Liverpool team and may other stuffs. I watch him and laugh secretly. Whenever Liverpool scores a goal, so many bad words come against the other team, the F word being one of the important words and if the other team scores, it gets worse. If a player does something wrong, the comments will be like kassa mare, konal anna ditta re (meaning what the F are you doing, why the F did you pass the ball to the other team)!
After all this, I have lost interest in football and the only stuffs I care to watch are the highlights showing the goals. But at times I still wonder, why this football madness?