No, they don’t deserve it!

Before you read this, let’s agree on some things.

We agree soccer is NOT politics. When a green field is filled with 22 men chasing a rounded, leather ball made possibly in sweatshops in Pakistan, then no, soccer is NOT politics. Those national flags that people use to wave with the widest arc ever made by their arms, more so than they would do while exercising (never mind the ligament stretching achingly the next day), is NOT politics. When one of the world’s largest sportsgear-maker flashes a multi-million dollar ad, with a developing country backyard as the setting and top players from various countries, not to say multiple hair-colours shooting the ball for an 8 year-old captain, no it is NOT politics. It is just merely a feel-good advertisement about how far-reaching and ubiquitous soccer is. Right.

What IS political about soccer is the Italian team. As if it is not bad enough that soccer players tumble and scream when all they get is a mere knock on the knee, the Italians just HAD to carry it one notch further. Watch them. A usual tumble in soccerdom would be a double bodyroll for them, a typical holler for the team medic would include head-dives into the grass, if you don’t know what the meaning of ‘drama’ is – please, watch the Italians play.

I caught the Italy-Australia game this morning, in a crowded A & W with DH, gobbling our breakfast all at the same time. There were at least 40 people there watching the game too, and they didnt even order anything! The Aussies faught hard, and for that – I quietly cheered “Ozzy Ozzy Ozzy, Oi Oi Oi !” for them. Something I picked up unashamedly while in Sydney for the 2000 Olympics, complete with an Australian flag tattooed on my cheek. But that’s another story.

If you didnt catch it, the only reason why Italy won is because some a** faked a super-drama fall and the referee called for a penalty kick, during injury-time. Why on earth would a a world-class referee fall for the drama, I don’t know. It was so obvious that the Italian player was faking it. The win was an undeserved one, every sane person with a pair of good eyes can see that.

So it irritates me like crazy when 4 truckloads of Italian fans drove past Robson St (similar to Singapore’s Orchard Road) screaming, honking and even running alongside them, as if they just had secured the best win and played the best game ever. Each truck of fans have not one, but FOUR Italian flags waved from left to right, not to mention painted faces of red, white and green. With all the commotion outside, AG, who was drawing charts on a piece of paper while discussing the strategies to access Canadian television funds, was undeterred. He had to raise his voice, but in true Canadian fashion – was not impressed by the err…drama outside.

You know, if soccer players can just spare 3 minutes of their lives and play on the ice, hockey stick in hand – they will finally learn what it means by a sports injury. And btw, let’s see what happens if they fake an injury after a mere ‘touch’ during a tackle in ice hockey, and I hope to God they have the might to stand up to the hockey boys. When on a bad day, even the goalie stripped his shirt off and join the fight.

The first team I would volunteer to play against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Edmonton Oilers, or the Vancouver Canucks would be …the Italians.

And here is a sample of a true blue contact sport in my books, where there is no room for wimps, needless to say dramas.

Hormonal confusion

This entry will be so anti-thetic to the World Cup fever that is going on worldwide right now, that I am compelled to write a disclaimer just so that I can avoid the brickbats later. But hey, I am going to write it anyway.

I realise quickly this morning that hormones AND spectator sports do not mesh like boiled potatoes and butter. I ditched watching this morning’s World Cup matches just so that I can view Game #6 of the Stanley Cup – between Edmonton Oilers and Carolina Hurricanes. Edmonton, for those of you of who do not know where it is – is in the middle (almost) of Canada – Alberta to be exact.It is a big city with skyscapers, complete with the biggest mall in North America to boast. Being in Alberta means that they share the same clouds as the very same beautiful scenery you saw in Brokeback Mountain, as the movie was shot there. Ah those gorgeous lips…the river banks that is! I love the backdrop of that movie, although I must admit I could not survive the entire movie as it was too errr…slow. Macam cerita Hindustan.

Anyway back to the hormones. Game #6 was held in Edmonton, so you can imagine the Canada-patriotic crowd. The stadium was electric, it had computerised signs flashing across the stadium saying “You are in Oil Country!”, which is not a pun because Alberta is an oil-rich province, so the guy who once told me that Arabs rule the world because they “pee keluar minyak” can now put a shoe in his mouth. Bah.

So just before the game begin, an operatic singer came out to the ice, accompanied by 2 RCMP men in their No.1 gear, singing the Star Spangled Banner for Carolina. The crowd cheered, there was an obvious sizeable number of American fans in the Canadian stadium, and I – err, cried. I reached for a box of tissues nearby quickly before MIL and SIL wake up and see me in tears listening to the US Anthem, and just as I finished wiping the last of my tears, the same operatic singer broke out in the Canadian anthem.

Oh my. The stadium was roaring and thunderous with the proud singing of the anthem. The singer, automatically put the mike in the air and let the Canadian fans sing the rest of the anthem for him, and what a proud moment it was! By this time, my hormones were totally out of control and I was hyperventilating. My tears were like Niagara Falls as my mind battled with sanity, reminding that it is only a game.

The fireworks cracked when I caught myself opening my mouth singing,”Ooooo Canada we stand on guard for theeee….”. I closed my mouth, and then there was the repeat chorus. I was ashamed, but it was instantaneous this time.With tears rolling and nose now almost clogged, I sang AGAIN!…”Ooooo Canada we stand on guard…(high octave this time) fooorrrrr…..theeeeeeeeeee !!!!”.

Yikes ! Next thing I know I had an inner voice chiding me,” Oi! Singaporean kelong!!”.

Someone please stop me from watching anymore ice hockey. Not when I am having PMS.

One Cup too many

What a day it has been! A day like this is not good for a hypertensive person like me, because my blood pressure is going nowhere but upwards! See how many exclamation marks there are in this first para?!! Need I say more?!!!

Anyway, it is Monday here in Canada, and DH is working from home. The blood pressure outburst started with a gut-wrenching game between Italy and Ghana, thanks to the World Cup. Yes I know, it is ridiculous to even think Ghana will win when it is Italy they are fighting against, but I am a great believer in the underdogs ok?! See, that exclamation mark again! Sigh.

I was shouting and screaming at the TV screen, almost hoping that the screen will shout back at me. I remember World Cup 2002 really well, when it was the June holidays in Singapore and my nieces and nephews were over most of the time. That was great fun!

A few hours later it was time to watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, which is – get ready for this, between Edmonton (Canada) and Carolina (USA). Canada has always taken pride that ice hockey is their game, that men slashing ice is a very Canadian thing, and about the only activity that Canadians take part in unabashly to beat each other up. There is so much beating up with the stick between the players, you won’t believe it. As a Singaporean friend of mine just asked yesterday over MSN, “Kenapa dorang tak pukul ajer sampai mampus?!”. Hmm, let me think about that one.

Anyway, I am not a quiet spectator when it comes to games. I scream and shout and hold my tongue from cursing all the time. I know better than to curse, because there will be thousands of others will be doing that for me. As I am writing this, there is still a good 1 hour left to Game 4, and North Carolina is leading, and I already having a headache – a major sign that my blood pressure is up. My left chest wall is in pain too, which only means that my heart is thumping a tad too fast.God,pls dont let me die watching a game. It is so …err…uncool.

If you see another post on this blog, well, you know I survived the cup-mania today 🙂 And I promise there will be no more exclamation marks!

Whoops…there goes one.