(written in June 2010)
I know, I know…all you children have been waiting for more than a week for my priceless views on the World Cup 2010. You’d been waiting, telling yourselves, “Where is that great and good man, who always brings us those priceless pearls of wisdom, without which our days are wasted?”
And I disappointed you.
I was, as some of you may know, perched high up in the Himalayas, contemplating the universe, or my own navel according to the wife, and had lost count of time. The yelling on the phone from the wife (nicknamed Vuvuzela) brought me back to earth, with a rare thump, I can tell you, and had me rushing down to the sinful city of Mumbai. I met this Apsara on the way down, and you know what they are like…
So, now that one whole week (make it eight days) of football has gone by, here are my nominations for the various awards that are up for grabs in the ROSOGOLLA AWARDS 2010 CEREMONIES!!! as and when they are held.
The Le Deluge, C’est Nous Award
There is already a winner, and I tend to doubt anybody will ever equal the extraordinary performance of this team. The French Team…will you please stand up? And no, don’t stamp on Henry’s left hand…after all, handball or not, he got you into the World Cup Finals. In the 2002 finals, the French got dumped before the made the last 16, and that too without scoring a goal. This time, they are well on their way to retaining their honoured place in history.
Vive la France, indeed!!
The What is this spherical object doing at my feet? Award
The distinction of being the most befuddled and inept performance by any team in the finals goes to Australia in their opener against Germany. I am not sure whether Oz realised they were playing at the World Cup or they thought they were patting the ball around at the Gold Coast. They should stay with rugby, cricket, and other lesser sports – the mysteries of the spherical object with 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons appears to be beyond them.
The World According to Grap Award
The leading nominee is Carlos Alberto Parreira, who after his South African team got whipped by Uruguay, had this to say:
“We all think this was the worst referee of the competition so far. He gave fouls that were not fouls, yellow cards that were not yellow cards, and then he leaves the field smiling. I hope we won’t see his face again. I even laugh at the suggestion that Uruguay maybe won this game thanks to the referee, because I think we dominated the game throughout.”
And young Carlos it was who clipped Ronaldinho’s wings in the 2002 World Cup and made him look completely mortal.
The Hands of Clay Award
Robert Green has already won the Hand of Clod award. But this one is special – this is given to the goalkeeper who makes great saves of difficult balls, and then fails to gather a simple low ball. The pick of the pack is Vincent Enyeama, the Nigerian keeper, and NO!! his name does NOT rhyme with “enema”!!
Watch him in action against Greece, and rejoice.
And Eneyma, Enyama, Enema – whatever – had been so good before this!
The From Which Side of the Bed did I Fall Out of this Morning Award
One nominee so far – Germany. A 4-0 thrashing of Australia followed by a missed penalty, a Klose red card, and a 1-0 defeat to Serbia. Lothar Mathaeus, Andreas Brehme, Rummenigge and the Kaiser must be scratching their heads.
The Mother, We Wanna go Home Award
Three nominees, all going strongly for the winner – England, Spain and outsiders Italy. I understand that the Poms have booked a slow boat via China, and that the bosses of English soccer plan to keelhaul all the players and Capello on the long slow way home.
As far as Spain is concerned, remember that the Inquisition was invented there. All the implements used during Torquemada’s times are being brought out of mothballs, and refurbished for the time the team and coach et al get back home, maybe next week.
Members of the Italian team have been threatened with having to listen to the worst tenors and sopranos that Italian opera has to offer from now till the end of the year, in case they don’t get beyond the group stages. I am told that this has acted like castor oil on a recalcitrant stomach. Whether the result will be a decoration on the football pitch during their next match, only time will tell.
The We Shall Overcome Award
A number of nominees so far – Switzerland, Serbia, Uruguay, Mexico, Ghana – right now, my bookies are not taking bets; we shall see how things go.
The There is God After All Award
Lionel Messi has played two matches. God exists.
Glory glory hallelujah! Amen!!!