Wednesday, 11 November 2009

In Which I Upload My First Video

But before you see the video, I will describe how I remember Bunty’s goal which won us the match.

Animesh, our holding midfielder, has lofted the ball from the middle of the park in the general direction of the opposite goal – a pass conceived less with intent than in hope. Bunty, playing right forward and closest to the ball, gives frantic chase down the right touchline, though his marker is yards ahead of him. Bunty has no right to think he can get to the ball first, but he doesn’t know this. The race is on.

From my right wingback position, I sprint down the touchline to provide support. But the striker and his marker are already too far ahead; it is obvious that I will never reach in time to offer any meaningful assistance. I check my run.

Now our left forward checks his run too. He waits at the edge of the box hoping the rebound comes his way. The other players are as in a trance, helplessly watching the action unfold. But the supporters of both teams are going wild – this is more like it, this is the sort of thing they came to watch.

But wait – at least their goalie is alert to the danger. He races off his line and reaches the ball almost at the same instant as Bunty and his marker. Bunty is still a foot behind his marker but he flings himself feet first at the ball. The goalie clutches at thin air as Bunty, at full stretch, lifts the ball over him. He went for a cross, didn’t he, the crazy fool? Didn’t he realise that no one had matched his run, that his cross would not find anyone on the end of it? Because surely it must be a cross. Bunty is far too close to the goal-line – at zero angle, almost. He has no right to go for goal from that angle, but Bunty doesn’t know this either.

The ball loops, curls and – agonisingly slow, as if it is moving through a viscous fluid – dips and nestles in the back of the net. The spectators go wild. Bunty is still on the ground, clutching his knee in pain, but we pile on top of him in our celebrations.

That is how I remember Bunty’s goal from that match one year ago. But as I realized today, my memory is not all that reliable when it comes to dramatic moments on the football pitch. To be precise, it is prone to mock-heroic exaggerations. I recall blocking a goal-bound shot in the same match. As I remembered it, that block was an feat of reckless courage, an act fit to rank with deeds of valour like Horatius holding the bridge and suchlike.

But today, Rahul Varghese showed me a video of that match. See the video (24 seconds), and you will realise why it dismayed me. (Watch out for Nivedita’s anguished “What is this?!” at 0:15. That bit is fun.)

As you see, it was not a bad block, as blocks go, but nor was it the sort of block that goes down in legend. It was not a block that will be sung about at feasts when Heroic Tales of Olde are being recounted. On top of that, I noticed that seconds before the block (at 0:02), I clear the ball with the outside of the right foot in a situation where I should in fact have cleared with my left.

In the immortal words of Calvin, reality continues to ruin my life. It’s a good thing that they don’t have Bunty’s goal on video.


Rahul Saha said...

why were you and animesh in the same team?

Sroyon said...

NFL, dude.

Karthy said...

you talk of football like I talk of Space law...I think mankind can't help itself.

Abhiroop said...

@ Karthy: And these are the show-offs that we expect to lead the Writer's Block forward. Ha.

No wonder its next after the Woodland Gorillah in the Endangered Species List.