Wednesday, 25 June 2014

10 Soccer Facts I Bet You Didn’t Know

1. Babies are normally born head-first. Andrea Pirlo bucked the trend and was born beard-first.

2. An unborn Miroslav Klose never kicked his mom from inside her womb. He always headed.

3. Philipp Lahm is shorter than himself.

4. Arjen Robben can overtake any Irfan Pathan/Vinay Kumar delivery in loafers.

5. The density of hair in Joachim Loew’s head matches that of Anil Kapoor’s chest.

6. Kokilaben Ambani made a last-ditch attempt to make the Boateng brothers Jerome (Germany) and Prince (Ghana) bury their differences and play for any one team.

7. Eden Hazard was named after the 1967 Kolkata test match violence.

8. Sepp Blatter reports to N Srinivasan.

9. FIFA is a BCCI sub-committee.

10. An ageing Klose will decide whether to play on after the 2050 World Cup to be held in Chennai under BCCI’s aegis.

Friday, 20 June 2014

FIFA World Cup First Week Review

It's a matter of great relief that the first week of the FIFA World Cup, that ultimate burglary alarm, ended without any on-field homicide, though a couple of players came dangerously close to that.

None of them are Indians though, one can proudly add, owing partially to the fact that we find making the St. Stephen's cut-off list a greater challenge and hence don't waste time trying to qualifying for random World Cups.

That doesn't mean we are immune to the soccer malaria.

It's that time of the year when parents don't mind their sons downloading WAGs posters, an act when committed outside this window could get them swiftly disowned.

And it's considered perfectly "Bhartiya Sanskriti" for girls to drool over topless six-pack surfboards, an indiscretion which otherwise would cost them their original surnames via the elaborate process called marriage.

Fans call football a religion, an argument based presumably on the fact that it encourages idolatry, divides people, incites violence and occasionally claims life.

In Kolkata, Messi-worshippers apparently have stopped dating girls who sensed faintest of cuteness in Neymar. Across the nation, the picture is no better.

Productivity has taken a hit, sleep pattern has gone for a toss, employees have run out of excuses to bunk office and barbers have been flooded with requests for hairstyles
hitherto unknown to humanity.

As if it's not bad enough, Sony Six has rolled out "Cafe Rio" and social scientists concur human intelligence was never more at risk.

A suspected anti-soccer movement, "Cafe Rio" features individuals with impeccable soccer pedigree.

Gaurav Kapoor hosts it, picked no doubt for his likeness to the post Messi's shot came off before entering the Bosnia goal.

Panelists include the likeable John Abraham, who puts the wood in Bollywood and -- here I want you to closely follow -- everyone knows goalposts used to be made of woods before they went metal.

Also, the organisers were apparently looking for someone with cafe experience and John was fresh from his "Madras Cafe" venture.

If you still doubt his soccer credentials, this should clinch it. John's ex once kissed Ronaldo, though it's unfair to blame that incident for the Portugal's poor run of form, for it occurred some seven years ago when LK Advani was still a PM aspirant and Salman Khan a bachelor.

Other panelists include Indian soccer captain Sunil Chetri, a forward whose highest jump in the penalty box once took him, eyewitnesses swear, somewhere around Zlatan Ibrahimovic's knee-cap.

Some insist Ashok Dinda leaps higher and is a better choice during corners but others point out India have not won a corner since 1965 and hence Indian soccer is not the right platform to showcase Dinda's gravity-defying talent.

Another panelist includes retired French player Mikael Silvestre, who looks more stoned than Majnu was in that fabled sub-continental tragedy. (I'm told Majnu was probably not stoned to death but I'm not ready to let silly facts ruin a joke.)

Returning to the rail, not all are complaining though.

"My husband used to be soccer-mad but Cafe Rio has cured him. Thank you Cafe Rio," said a woman with an intonation not found outside teleshopping commercials.

She went to the extent of declaring "Cafe Rio" as soccer's own "Alcoholics Anonymous" and said she'd be surprised if the show/channel doesn't not get an award from the United Nations or the body that governs the universe -- BCCI.

Even though it's 180 degrees from their original motive behind launching the show, Sony Six has been bolstered by testimonials like this and has promised to carry on into the remainder of the tournament, a decision that has met deathly silence from social scientists.