Sunday, September 18, 2005

Men for all seasons

Athletes often complain about gruelling schedules that federations/boards draw up for them, guided no doubt by avaricious commercial considerations. There is the odd Kafelnikov, though a champion whinger in some respects, who goes through the calendar like he was a Van Damme-esque Universal Soldier. But the majority go on and on about scheduling - too many games and too many double headers in baseball, too many minimum number of tournaments on the ATP/WTA calendar to maintain rankings. Occasionally, there is a complaint about too many and too few matches at the same time - as happened in the Ashes summer recently - when there were too many one-day games and too few tour matches for the usually professional Aussies, which makes cricket the really quaint game that it is. Mind you, the Aussies were just trying to latch on to any explanation for their failures ;) This post is not about athletes though. It is about me. Well, sports fans like me, at any rate. It is time for us to give ourselves, the paying and illegally-downloading-streaming-video spectators alike, that long overdue pat on the back. I mean consider this - first, there is the Australian Open, and the buggered-if-I-know-why World Series cricket; there is also the Superbowl about 12,000 miles and 16 hours away in distant Jacksonville, which means one has to sneak out at lunch time and return back as silently as possible to the cube, as if the whole thing only took five minutes. Oh, and there is India playing Zimbabwe, Kenya and Burkina Faso-B somewhere in the Patagonian desert. Then there is the first Formula-1 GP at Melbourne, no doubt an extremely important event since our Paiyan Kah-tee-Ke-yan is doing 300kmh, quickly followed by the new-Ashes, India vs Pakistan, aka Muqabla or Badla or some other Dharmenda-film inspired name. There is also the small matter of egging on Roman's Army so they can bring salvation to the whole wide world. And so on and so forth. So here we are now, in what is supposed to be spring in Oz (not that it has made much difference on the Gold Coast). The contenders for the AFL's Grand Finals have been identified, and once again Victorian teams have not had things their way, thus seemingly perpetuating the winter. The Ashes bitter-pill has not helped. Soon it will be cricket season again, and we have already played our first game of the season, albeit indoors while it was pouring down outside. Meanwhile, Flintoff has become the new Botham, Ponting the new captain grumpy (no, not really), Gilchrist is not superman anymore. The new soccer season is (some say thrust) upon us. 12,000 miles and 14 hours away, Agassi turned the clock back and Federer cemented with reinforced concrete his numero uno status. This time, I had to call in sick and take the entire day off! There you go - the next time I hear an athlete talking about the busy schedule, you can bet your bottom Aussie Dollar I will burn all the caps, T-shirts or coffee mugs that he/she ever endorsed and I may or may not have bought. However, I will still be making excuses for being late on Monday morning (tough job that, considering I have a 7-min walk to the office). - NK

3 Comments:

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3:38 AM  
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