Lately I happened to observe an interesting behavior of mine. Whenever Arsenal loses a football match or India loses a cricket match or Nadal loses in a major tournament, I don’t write about it. I wait for the teams or players at fault to get back to winning ways to venture forth and record something. Writing about losses involves revisiting the scenes in my mind and I tend to avoid that. Like if I don’t write about it, I can pretend they didn’t happen.
Conventional wisdom will have you believe that being a man involves accepting victories and defeats on equal terms. That’s easier said than done. Generally, if the team I support wins a match, I feel a certain lightness in myself.. like the feeling I have even as I write this piece (The cause of said lightness discussed below). If the results go the other way, I tend to get depressed and in order to cope, I avoid thinking about it altogether.
Now this behavior may be a common trait among people, but I can only talk about myself. It may seem childish, but it is something that comes naturally to me. Something my subconscious mind does without my conscious mind being aware of it, although I can write about it so I know its happening. The question is: do I continue living this way or do I try to elevate myself to incorporate the ideal mentioned above. Victories and losses happen in my personal life too although they feel more intense and are generally more difficult to ignore. So can I develop a mechanism whereby I can handle losses or disappointments more effectively in sports that I follow and by an extension in my personal life. Something to think about..
Onto chronicling sporting news.. which is the primary reason for the existence of this blog.
The Indian grand prix ended quite well for Ferrari given the starting positions of Alonso and Massa. Alonso finished second behind Vettel and Massa finished 6th in the race. Vettel now leads Alonso by 13 points and Ferrari trails Red Bull by 89 points. With three races to go, I don’t think there is any chance of Ferrari winning the Constructors title but if they can beat Mclaren to the second position, it would be a good season overall for them.
So 3 races to go and Red Bull definitely seems faster than Ferrari right now so Alonso will have to work his ass off if he hopes to come out on top. I hope some luck comes his way.
So Arsenal was back among victories as they labored to a 1-0 victory over QPR on Saturday. We weren’t at our fluid best and started quite sluggishly but we definitely improved as the game wore on and pressured them over the later stage of the game. Their keeper had a great game as he made a string of fantastic saves but Arteta secured the winning goal for us in the 84th minute. He was offside during the goal.. but who cares about that. We got 3 points and then Chelsea lost 3 points so we are 7 points behind them.
Then came yesterday’s remarkable match against Reading in the league cup. I thought it was an easy match and we would go through given the strength of the team. Boy was I wrong. I start off thinking that the match will start at 12:15. Come 12:15 there is no commentary about the match so I checked the site again and found that the match was actually starting at 1:15. I didn’t know if I would be awake by then but I still continued what I was doing.. nothing worth mentioning.
So 1:15 arrives and I feel too lazy to search for any streaming so I start the Arseblog Liveblog page. 10 minutes into the game and I see that they have a goal. I think.. okay we have a bad start. Come 20 minutes they have another goal. Really bad start. Then they have 3. The blogger is going on about us playing like shit. I check again later and they have 4. This is embarrassing. Losing this way to a team that was in the lower leagues last season gave me a shitty feeling. But the hopeful guy in me says.. it would be awesome if we made it 4-4. Not 5-4. I’m not thinking that far. Just 4-4.
Just before the break we score a goal through Walcott. I think.. okay we might just have a chance here. During the break I reach my objective and promptly fall asleep. I wake up at 3:00 and think the match might be over by now. So I check my phone. No its not over. We are into the 80th minute and the scoreline reads 4-2. I lose hope. Go back to sleep again. Wake up in the 87th minute. Still 4-2. We score another in the 90th minute. I think wow.. it would be fantastic to get another one. And voila! we have another in the 90+5th minute. Extra time was only 4 minutes so where did that minute come from?
Anyway in my sleepy state, I seem to have recollection of a knowledge that matches that end in a draw in the league cup are replayed. So I fall asleep. Wake up at 7 and open Goal.com to check reactions to the match. And Surprise!!! the page shows a picture of a gleeful Walcott and a headline that read along the lines: Arsenal win 7-5 in a 12 goal thriller. So while I was sleeping, the match went to added time and 4 more goals were scored. Walcott finished with a hat trick and Chamakh!!! scored a brace.
During my 2 year career as a fan, football has thrown at me a string of unpleasant surprises. But there have been a few pleasant ones too. A victory is a victory. But the manner is important if it has to stick in the mind. A 1-0 or 2-0 or even a 5-0 victory would have slipped from my mind. But to come from being 4 goals down and win is something that I wouldn’t want to forget. In the future, everytime we find ourselves in a similar position, I will remind myself of this match and tell myself that we can win from here. Even if we end up losing, the knowledge that we had won a similar game in the past would give me a measure of comfort.
Enough said for today I think.