Fall from grace

From Rob Steen’s article on the loss of England to New Zealand last week.

Timidity. Mental cowardice. Unconfidence. Complacency. Ineffable bloody uselessness. And much, much worse.

I think I can use the same terms to describe India’s loss to England in hockey and hence missing the Olympics for first time in eighty years.

I still remember the Sydeny Olympics game against Poland and the last minute goal that killed India’s hopes. And after that heartache, I could not bear to see India compete again. And with the defeat against England, Indian Hockey has ensured that my interest in Olympics will be nil! Way to go guys.

And it is not because of cricket. It is because the guys lack the balls of steel required. I don’t remember many incidences where Indian hockey has come up good at important junctures. Instead, they have failed where victory was a formality. So unless that (and yeah KPS Gill) changes, hockey will remain to consigned to history books, a game whose last known face for India would be Pargat Singh and Dhanraj Pillay.

What a racing weekend!

Anyone who watched the F1 race this weekend, whatever team or driver you support, I am sure went through a roller coaster of a ride.

If you liked Kimi, who I personally believe is the best on the circuit at the moment, it would have been expectation, when the race started, to despair when Lewis lead, to hope when Lewis retired, to iving up hope at the end. I was happy he had won. I was happy at his performance. But I know, even if he wins the next one in Brazil, only a bad race for Lewis can see him win the title, not really the way I would want him to win the F1 title.

If you like Alonso, this race would have started bad for you, with Lewis almost certain to win the crown with a damn good performance, to hope in the end with Lewis’ retirement. I do not know about his supporters, but I am sure he wouldn’t care about winning the championship with Lewis retiring again. Though I would be pretty content if Alonso won the championship with Lewis finishing more than 4 points behind him.

[Disclaimer: I do not like Alonso too much.]

However, the greatest shock was reserved for the Lewis fan. Had I supported him, I would have almost opened the champagne [or beer more realistically] and started celebrating. Damn that extra lap. But I do believe that the chap has it in him to win the crown on merit. So best of luck to you.

May the best man [and the machine] win!

Deja Vu

Almost a year back I had written about the doping scandals that had hit the last year’s Tour De France. And I was hoping this year would be better and cleaner.

But no. Team Cofidis has pulled out due to Cristian Moreni’s doping saga. The doping scandals, like Dementors, loom large over the sport I have come to love so much, ready to suck the soul out of it. Vinokourov is out, along with entire Team Astana, and Kloden. And so is Michael Rasmussen. With Robbie McEwen already out, it’s like all the top contenders out. I think the sport is at the lowest levels of credibility. I do not think I will be watching it any more until something drastic is done. Who wins the Tour remains to be seen, but does anyone really care anymore.

Will this be the final kiss of death for this century old event?