My Favorite Sporting Event

When I was 6 years old the football World Cup took place in Spain, and Italy came out as victors. I was way too young to have a major impression on my mind but I was crazy about football as were most of my friends. Then 4 years later Mexico hosted the world’s best footballing nations in 1986 and it was fiesta of colourful images and celebration. I was a 10 year old football fan glued to some of the images that the showed on Kuwaiti television.

A local bubblegum company had also come up with the idea of creating a scrap book of the World Cup and featuring stickers of all the players in the tournament. When you bought their bubblegum you would get 5 of the stickers and you had to collect the entire lot, stick the players profile image in the respective countries pages and the first 10 people who submitted the book back got a prize. I remember me and my friends actively participating in the event although I didn’t get to finish the collection.

That was the beginning of my love affair with the world cup. Italia 1990 – I was back in India by then and school was just an obstacle in watching the games throughout the month of the tournament. I even had to do a school essay on the magic of the tournament. 1994 was a tough year for me but I still managed to watch most of the games telecast live from the US. And then came 1998 and France.

That was a big deal. I was studying at NIIT at the time and my classes started at 7am. The matches got over at 2:30 am – which meant sleep till 5:30am, get ready and leave for the institute by 6:30 am. The entire day would be spent in a daze and then evenings & nights were spent back in front of the tv. I even dreamed about football! 2002 was spent mostly watching games in my uncles house along with him. The matches were held in Asia – South Korea and Japan and hence easier time slots for us in India.

2006 was ok; I got to watch a lot of matches but nothing stands out for me at all. 2010 – well I barely watched a full match and work was the villain standing in front of me, baring me from enjoying the games. An plus my tv was on the fritz. I wasn’t even interested in watching many games either as I was going through a sea change in my life and wasn’t sure that football games held much meaning at that time.

I wonder how the next couple of World Cups will be?

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