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July 5, 2000
For every GoliathAbhilasha Khaitan
Somewhere within, there lurks a David. And ever so often, he threatens to emerge, and do what makes us all wish him to emerge. Tame Goliath.
If you've been watching Star Sports or DD Sports over the last week or so, you might find that the comparison that I am about to draw isn't quite far-fetched (picturesque yes, funny too, but far-fetched? Definitely not). Diminutive Italians-tiny blue creatures grabbing on to the golden feet of the tall orange giants. Ah! The clouds clear and you're sitting back to read some more.
Funny week, all in all. Although, it's the first time since the hullabaloo of the last couple of months, that I've found myself rushing back home from work so as to catch the last match on centre court, or furiously stirring coffee so that I miss none of the last minute drama in (f)Euro(re) 2000! And this David vs Goliath scenario had only piqued my conflicting desire to see the underdog win on the one hand, and agonize over a Kluivert's misery on the other. The classic case of 'why can't they both win'? I can still see Dino Zoff's increasingly optimistic ('I cannot believe we're pulling this off') demeanour, to Riijkard's despondence ('I cannot believe they're pulling this off').
Rather remniscent of Andre Agassi's countenance, when Todd Martin had him groping for the last dregs of courage (and luck). So, the action hasn't all been in the nether land of Europe. Strawberries and dreams, champagne and a dash of rain. All this and some nostalgia with the Kings and Queens of the centre court, all witnessing the impending coronation of the King and Queen in waiting. Wonderful stuff, all that.
And in such a charming setting, one has had the privelege of watching some electrifying moments of pure tennis, unplugged truly. Champions crumbling, not without a fight certainly, but yes, the underdog prevailing. On several occassions, the underdog didn't quite have his day, but then again, the ultimate winners were given a significant run for their money, and the viewers, value for money (and bandwidth)! For every Agassi winner on centre court, there was the Todd Martin winner. Winner for winner. No losers to that match, if you ask me. And just one example of what a wonderful week it has been for the sports lover. Rankings and seedings can so go for a toss, when the game is played to win, and only win.
I was talking about the underdog. The guy not supposed to win. Maybe the David and Goliath comparison isn't accurate, because Goliath was the evil entity, and to be fair to champions, being consistent winners does not make you the bad guy! But, the idea is this. To lose on the basis of external perception, is to lose in the mind. And if you've lost it up there, no force on earth can help you take the trophy home.
No, not even the bookies.
PS: Maybe I'm hinting at something. And maybe I'm shooting straight from the hip. But really? All I am saying is that sports is not about winners and losers, and is it is about playing to win. And, when players of a game (we'll call this game cricket, just for the sake of argument) stop doing that, two things come to light. One is that they cannot be called sportsmen, and the other is the game cannot be called a sport. So before someone somewhere starts a book titled "Once upon a time, there was a game called cricket", you think we need some action, maybe, and soonish at that?
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