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WANTED! September 1, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Tennis.

A partner to accompany me from love to game-set-match.

Age no bar. Sex no bar(though female preferred). Should be from a good family with a pure sports background. Should not be married to other tennis stars and major requirement is a deep desire to watch Martina Hingis in action. A flexible attitude towards Sania Mirza is also appreciated.

So anyone mad enough to come with me to the Sunfeast Open from the 18th to the 24th of September to Kolkata, please contact me asap at: cheerfulguy AT gmail.

Thank you. And see you at the reception. Its going to be raucous.


Hello boys, August 9, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Miscellaneous.
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So I am back after a long outing in woods, which involved, breaking into a preist’s home at 12 at night, watching Tiger cry for quite some time, England finding a solution to their age-old problem being a bare-chested sporting country, and much much more.

Regular programming will resume shortly. Till then, enjoy the links that Ramanand provides here.

Spiku July 4, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Football WC.
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Here’s my attempt at Sports haiku or spiku. Yes, yes it does not exist, I know, but hell, even Spamku did not exist at one time.

And then the four saw
Sternly eye to eye,
Leaving just twenty-two.

Worried about England? June 29, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Football WC.
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Here is something to mull over. Nicely detailed and wickedly British.
Meanwhile, some Robbo picks of the day :

[…] enjoy the Valentin Ivanov show, featuring brief guest appearances from Portugal and Holland.

(About Ronaldo) A goal for every stone.

[..] the Azzurri don’t even have to work to close the match out – which of course delights Francesco Totti – the biggest and laziest jessie in the tournament. The only decent pass he’s played so far is in that Pringles ad.

I haven’t seen so many shimmies, hip-wiggles and step-overs in ages – Cole, Ronaldo (the slim one), Robinho, Tevez, Robben – all look like they’re auditioning for Celebrity Strictly Come Dancing.

Read the whole thing. 

Good on ya, mate. June 27, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Football WC.

I am writing this after watching the Aussies go out to due to an extremely hopeless decision for a penalty in the dying seconds of their game against Italy. Agreed, the decision was hopeless and completely wrong, but even though I was strongly strongly rooting for the Aussies (reasons for which might come later someday) I will not criticize the referee.

In fact I will remind the Italians of the events of KJ – 2002, when the Ecuadorian referee who made some really appalling decisions against them, sending Korea into the semi-finals. The fact remains that, that experience has still not been erased out of the Italian public’s mind. They cried hoarse for retribution against another Guus Hiddink side, the burly Gold and Green clad Australia. If victory was what they cried for, then they got it – but retribution? far from it.

At the end of the game, a victory in such a manner was poor revenge indeed. Outplayed and maybe outclassed, the Italians had nothing to offer, apart from a few tresses to the ogling teenage girls across the world. Del Piero, not even that, courtesy a brutally shaven head. The Aussies harried and they hustled, and in the end, did not even complain. The irrepressible Lucas Neill, one of Australia’s best players of the tournament, and the rock in defence unfortunately would be the one who would give away the penalty. Even he, only had a mild chat with the referee at the end of the game.

What, I want to say to the Italians is this. Sport is indeed much more than winning. Its being graceful in victory and even more graceful in defeat. That is why the Courbetin Medal is worth more than the gold medal in the Olympic Games. The Italians I am afraid do not understand this. The recent allegations of match-fixing (which might lead to an unthinkable relegation for the top clubs like Juventus & AC Milan ) in the Serie A are testament to this fact that Italians are good at the game, not at the sport. Daniele De Rossi’s ban for his horrible elbow on USA’s Brain McBride is another example to justify this fact.

It’s time, the Italians realize that, in sport, sometimes decisions go your way, sometimes they don’t. Whatever the stakes, this does not mean one has the license to masquerade around like nine-pins going down at the slightest push, or for that matter push and stamp opponents behind the referee’s back. You might get away with it sometimes, but the sport will catch up one day, and then there will be no place to hide.

As for the game, any neutral observer will point out that it will be the Aussies who will walk out the side with their heads held higher, under a coach, who could well go on to write another fable-story with his next employers. Far from the sunny Bondi beach, in the cold and shivering climes of Russia.

Interjecting here June 21, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Miscellaneous.
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This is just to let you know that the About page and the FAQ page have now been updated. On the former you may acquaint youself with all of us, and if you already know us, then try and look at the weird photos some of us have opted to put up. (heart-malfunction due to shock is not our responsibility).

 Also the FAQ page is up, where we ourselves have made up some questions, mostly ones we had answers to. We do not think this will be very helpful, thought it might provide you with some insight into how contorted our ideas sometimes can be.

Quote of the day! June 15, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Football WC, Sport.
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Trinidad and Tobago are both magnificent!

(And I don't mean just football. BTW the quote is attributed to who else but him

The Fabulous Destiny of Mr. Tim.K.Hill June 14, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Football WC.

Tim Cahill, the aussie wonderkid, Oceania player of the year, and one of the stars of Everton's 4th place finish in the season before last of the EPL. If he was a talented, has-potential player at Everton, he certainly has caught the eye of the world's football public now. Remember, everyone who followed the EPL, knew Rooney was good, but it was only after the EURO 04 championships that his sheer talent was appreciated by the world. Something similar might happen to Mr. Cahill here.

Cahill, finds himself amidst an Aussie team, which is peeping it's head out of it's mother marsupial pouch, as flashlights glare at them and the world celebrates. Then have a line-up with a few stars, Viduka, Aloisi and Harry Kewell coming first to mind. Then there is the list of i-work-hard-like-a-donkey players, well established in various lesser known clubs around leagues in europe. Then there is some real naivete, something which i feel is extremely dangerous if a new team wants to come back with its head held up high. Ivory Coast may be considered relative rookies, but they certainly are not wide-eyed boys staring at toffees on the counter. Contrast that with Togo, which clearly looked a bit over-awed by the occasion. Trinidad and Tobago one may argue were in a similar situation, but Sweden in a sense trying too hard, brought about their own downfall.

However, in Guus Hiddink, the Socceroos may have what is needed to get through to the group stages. He is the major difference between the Aussies and other newbies. I think a lot of teams (Iran, Ivory Coast) could have got results had they had someone like Hiddink. A true master. He brought out the right changes, has made out a strong defence and really makes the Aussies look better than they are. Still, they had to ride their luck, notably when they won the qualifier on penalties againt Uruguay at Sydney.

The Aussies certainly wont go as far as the Koreans, but I for one will not be surprised if they make it out of group H. And atleast I feel, they gave us the best match of the first round of matches. That is provided Croatia / Brazil turns out to be something really special.

PS : The above statement stands after the Croatia/Brazil match. 

Crouching Robos ? June 6, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Football WC.

Ok, this is what happens when you follow the English team too closely. You laugh at their stupid jokes and can't help but mock how Football Fever takes over completey, the nation. And when it dishes up something really funny, you just love the day you started following the boys in white and blue.

Case in point : RoboCrouch. Ok, for those who came in late – Peter Crouch the meadering, mild giant, the Jan Koller of sorts for the English team, suddenly discovers along with a whole nation that he can use his feet too! That means a 'rich' vein of form before the WC, and from out of nowhere springs , this pose.

Robocop ?

Where Mr. Crouch is doing the most ridiculous version of the robo-MJ-style dance that you ever see. Dance experts (spring up from nowhere) have called the whole thing various adjectives ranging from 'horrendous' to 'horrible' to 'inconcievably not-dance'. But I for one will be really looking forward to him scoring, just for that robotic extension of long limbs dance. It really has me in splits each time!

And more fun follows, Eriksson has promised he will do his own version, but first, the boys have to get him that golden, coup de monde.

What’s the good sport ? May 29, 2006

Posted by Abhishek in Abhishek, Motorsport.

As the dust settles on yet another Monaco Grand Prix, pundits will, not unexpectedly, have much to talk about. Most notably, Michael Schumacher's 'stall' at La Rascasse – in the final minute of qualifying. After 8 hours of deliberations, talks and runs and re-runs of tapes and telemetry it was decided to relegate Schumacher to the back of the grid. But, yet, despite all odds, the man finished a spectacular 5th, registering en route, yet another fastest lap at Monaco.

But this is not about how well Schumacher drove around the back-file, how he made his strategy work for him, or even how he did not give up till the last corner of the last lap. That after all comes in-built with a Schumacher. A driver starting from last finishing 5th would have made the centre-point of any evening news show, but the fact remains, that all Schumacher takes away from Monaco apart from the 3 points, is yet another small stain, in what many believe to be a not-so-spotless shirt.

Schumacher has always bent the rules. When the $50,000 worth diamonds on a steering wheel are probably the cheapest parts of a car, not surprisingly, the stakes are high. So high in fact, that the lines between what is fair and what is not are often made murky ; smudged out by playing with them too often. Like a game of poker, you play your bluff calculating if the consequences are going to be worth the risk. In simple terms, Michael Schumacher is 7 times World Champion because in his book, winning is everything, worth any risk, any gamble.

We had a saying in school – "you are allowed to copy as long as you don't get caught". Schumacher tried to copy, but unfortunately for him, he got caught. But only this time. He knew what could happen, but if had got off lightly (which is not uncommon in F1), it meant a sure race win – and another joyous leap on the podium, surely something not to be spoilt by a Spanish kid in blue and yellow. He failed this time, but knowing from past experience he will do it again and again and again, so long as the balance is tipped in his favour. Consider, the ’94 championship fight between him and Damon Hill –when he slammed into his championship rival to pocket his 1st title with Benetton. Consider his jab at David Coulthard in the ’98 Argentine GP. Again unpunished.

Here readers will point me out to the stripped 2nd spot in the ’97 season to Villeneuve and the heavy fine for the incident at the Austrian GP with Rubens Barichello in ’04. Here too, Schumacher was totally aware of the risks, and was willing to take the chance. And here is where he is a cut above the rest.

Damon Hill once famously said:

"There are two things that set Michael apart from the rest of the drivers in Formula One – his sheer talent and his attitude. I am full of admiration for the former, but the latter leaves me cold."

And it is the latter that makes him a world beater. Talent – a lot of people have, but how many people are ready to put their brother’s life in danger to gain a single position?

Here I am reminded of ridiculous attempts at ‘diving’ in football, attempts at ball-tampering in cricket and doping in athletics. One man’s cheating is another’s ‘gamesmanship’ – and it is such questions that sport will have to answer in future times. These are not easy questions to resolve, and indeed with the increase in money and fame that sport commands, the law-makers have to be on their toes to ensure their idea of ‘fair-play’ is preserved. However he who knows where to cut corners, and bend the rules will always, always have his nose ahead. Only with a little black dot clinging to it.