Some of the memories of this world cup...in no particular order..
She was a breath of fresh(and hot) air in the studios during those pre-match and post-match sessions. She was a beauty with brains having climbed up the ladder after hosting shows related to football for various channels unlike some dumb anchors who are dumped into the studio straight from a B grade movie set. And when beauty comes loaded with brains, it can be a heady combination. Oozing grace, she kept us all glued to the half time analysis of even highly boring matches. Its sad that she was missing in the semis...I miss the 'in-depth' analysis. I request you all to join this online petition to bring her back for the finals by signing on your screens.
The first time I heard this name, I poked some wax out of my ear and listened again. It sounded as confusing as it did before. How in the name of hell can anyone give a ball or just about anything such a stupid name? It seems the word means 'to be happy' in Zulu. But it brought anything but happiness to the poor strikers and goalkeepers, who were the victims of its unpredictability. According to the latest NASA analysis, it behaves unpredictably above a certain speed. No wonder its seen swinging in two different directions on its way to the goal post. And it has a problem in keeping low. It prefers to fly high. Only players sponsored by Adidas have supported the ball. Rumours are that it can even take a U turn.3.Vuvuzela
Anyone who ever passingly watched even one of the matches of this world cup would never forget the sound that this horn makes. For some its sickening, for some others its pulsating. Numerous forwards are flying around about the origins of this instrument, the most famous being the one which states that it was used by some tribesmen to cover their manhood. If this were true, we might perhaps be witnessing the world's biggest symbolic mass bl**job, ever! The sound that this produces is said to be enough to make one deaf. Some are said to have left the stadium during halftime, unable to bear its sound. At the same time, its a sound which makes Africans swell with pride. TV channels had to use special noise isolation techniques to make their commentary heard. But at some times, the clarion call of the vuvuzela does make your hair stand...
4.Octopus 'psychic' Paul
Call it madness or miracle, Paul is already one of the biggest stars of this world cup. Having correctly predicted the result of each of Germany's matches, Paul is even being credited for Spain's shock defeat of Germany. Even Puyol, who scored Spain's lone goal is given lesser credit. But how much can this 'lowering-food containers-containing-country flags' technique be trusted is still not known. All that matters is that its all correct. And Paul may indeed end up with a fate similar to that of Colombian Andres Escobar, who was shot dead for his own goal when he got back home after the 1994 world cup. Having predicted Germany's exit correctly, Paul is being blamed for the team's surprisingly off colour showing in the semis. The knives are already out...
The sun is finally shining bright over the dark continent. Though only Ghana made it to the quarters, Africa has a lot to cheer about. Hosting a tournament of such magnitude is no mean task. Pulling it off successfully with minimum of glitches deserves applause. The breathtakingly beautiful stadiums has come in for praise from all over. Though refereeing was a problem in some matches, everything went smoothly on the organising part. Mandela, that iconic symbol of African liberation was missing owing to a personal tragedy. But the spirit of the man was truely one of the driving forces of this world cup. This tournament might just end up changing the face of Africa.
Argentina might have gone out in the worst way possible. But, this man did steal the show near the touchline in Argentina'a matches. Having discarded his casual outfits, the man got into a shining suit. Sporting a beard, to cover marks made by his dog, Maradona had the aura of a messiah, much like when he was playing. His coaching methods were criticiced even before the cup. Keeping some key players out and having a weak defence didn't help matters either. What made this man different from the other coaches was his behaviour with the players. While the other biggie coaches kept that distance from the players, El diego hugged each of them tight and made sure that he was one among them. And, this new avatar is also a kind of comeback for the man who was once on the verge of death due to long time drug abuse. Had he won the world cup, this same critics who question his methods would've written reams and reams praising him. But ALAS! The only good thing is that people dont have to see him run around naked through Buenos Aires, which might have happened had Argentina won.
Unrelated PS- Do drop into my photoblog...will be uodated often..
your crusader Praveen