Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, June 8, 2006


By, Tareq Adnan

Football-crazed kid exclaims: Hey! Know what? Andriy Shevchenko moved to Chelsea!!!
Me: Andre Chevrolet who?
Kid: Not Chevrolet, Shevchenko, he's moved to Chelsea!!!
Me: Why's he moved out into the middle of the sea?
Kid: No, no, not the middle of the sea, Chelsea, it's a league football team.
Me: Oh… right…so what's this Chevrolet guy do?
Kid: Shevchenko. And know what, Edmilson's out. He won't play. This is a major blow.
Me: Edmywhattywhat? And what's he not playing?
Kid: Ed-mil-son, you really have a problem with names. He plays for Brazil. He's out of the running for the world cup.
Me: Cup? Don't have a cup on me no.
And that's how the typical football centered conversion goes. There's me ignorant of everything football and there's always this other guy who tries his hardest to enlighten me about the divine doings of the people who run around on a field after one freakin' ball.
With the all consuming World Cup just around the corner, the sight of a Bangladeshi red and green flag is a near impossibility, what with all them Brazilian, Argentine and French flags floating around in every 'chaer dokan'. The other day while walking to my classes this dude wielding about a hundred different flags from a hundred different countries tried to cheat me out of a considerable amount of dough by trying to sell me a flag of a country that isn't even competing (Canadian flag if you were wondering). When I told him this, the dude gave me a really sore look and walked off to bag some other ignoramus.
It isn't just the street vendors torturing the masses. Everywhere I go I'm sure encounter some football maniac whose going to ask the same question that I've probably answered a thousands times by now. Which team do I support? If ever there was a trick question this is one. There is absolutely no way out of this. Even if you answer that you don't really support any teams, it just prompts the questioner to rant on and on about the team he supports. If you tell them which team you actually support, then it's a sign that 15 to 20 minutes of your time will now be wasted discussing Ronaldinho's importance and Rooney's injury. Trying to talk your way out is impossible, there is always some team or player to discuss. The only way out is to whack the guy's head and then running away.
Imagine this scene: There you are, watching the pirated version of MI3 when suddenly a football smashes into your face and temporarily knocks you out. Why? Cause your brothers decided that they were going to have a one on one World Cup of their own apparently you're the goal. Nice huh? No. The World Cup seems to have rejuvenated the other wise lazy generation of today into playing football. The consequence is that the amount of windows and furniture broken has increased.
And obviously since your parents won't listen to you, you too are being grounded for that vase that you're kid brothers broke during the penalty shootout against each other. Also a lot of my friends seem to be visiting the doctors these days thanks to a football smacking into their balls. The deadly consequences of trying to play a game that you seldom ever play but mostly watch…
Even fashion seems to have been affected. Idiotic-football- fanatic fourteen year olds have taken to wearing garish yellow Brazilian jerseys. The idiots then try to impress the gals by crudely cutting their hair into what they think are awesome hairdos. I'm sure you too have come across some dude who thinks that spiking his hair right down the middle of his head suits him.
These days you can't even open a newspaper without encountering some football related advertisement or sale. There is either this 'exclusive World Cup offer' on TVs or 'special World Cup sale' of toothpaste. You can't go anywhere without encountering the picture of a football on some thing or the other. Just the other day I came across a pair of underwear with the picture of Zinedine Zidane on it. Talk about merchandising.
It's at times like these that you get see proof that people are really crazy. There's this kid I know who paid to have the name Ronaldo tattooed to his arm. Then the other day I came across this car that had a vinyl depicting all the dates and venues and scores of every world cup final to date. The thing would have actually looked good, that is if the car hadn't been a mangy Corolla.
Then there are those who are willing to sacrifice their studies for so noble a reason as football. These are the dudes who have decided that failing their math exam is a small price to pay when they get to stay up in the middle of the night and watch Brazil kicking butt. The fact that they are going to stay up on an exam night doesn't really seem to register in their minds. I can already guess their results. I guess you can term these idiots as hardcore football freaks.
Football-crazed Kid: So, are you looking forward to the World Cup?
Me: I guess.
Kid: Which team are you supporting?
Me: The team I support always wins.
Kid: Meaning you support Brazil.
Me: I never said that.
Kid: I personally think that France has a really good chance of winning, what with Henry and Zidane, but you should also keep an eye on Ukraine since Shevchenko will be playing.
Me: What's this Chevrolet guy do again?
Kid: Not Chevrolet, Shevchenko…
And so it continues…


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2006 The Daily Star