Weekly Wits


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Football has been the most popular sport on the planet for some time now, and not without reason. Each World Cup has left a mark in time. A gaze into history will tell you that the 1966 World Cup was remembered for the Geoff Hurst goal, 1986 for Maradona’s Hand of God, and more recently 2006 for Zidane’s head butt. But this world cup will be remembered for a lot more than just football. Here’s a fact – at 2.24 goals per match so far, the average this year is the second-lowest after the 1990 World Cup in Italy, which saw an average of 2.21 goals. Perhaps that is why news off the pitch managed to grab more headlines this FIFA.
Take Paul, the Octopus for instance. Who knew the biggest star of the World Cup would be an eight-legged creature who can’t even kick a ball. He made all the football pundits feel like mere parrots, who stealthily watched Paul’s predictions before every match. With the World Cup coming to an end, there have been talks hinting at Paul’s retirement. His owners stated, “He won’t give any more oracle predictions – either in football; or in politics, lifestyle or economy”(the task of predicting whether India would ever play for the FIFA World Cup probably did him in). Hearing this, Fabio Cannavaro (given no media coverage), who retired after Italy’s exit, just hit a new low in his career.
There was lack of entertainment on the field but off it, Paraguayan model Larissa Riquelme, like Maradona’s proposal for Argentina, promised the media to pose in the buff if her nation won the Cup. Now we know why Paraguay was cheered for more than Argentina. However, Paraguay’s loss didn’t stop her from posing nude for the team, while everyone is thankful Maradona did not follow suit. Also, it would be unfair to not mention the French mutiny. Even the vuvuzelas weren’t able to drown their voice. If only Nicolas Anelka produced some magic from his feet rather than his mouth, things would be different.
Another trend this World cup saw was the never ending spat between Pele and Maradona. These ‘men of honour’, in an attempt to bolster their own case, ended up criticising each other’s personal lives. The Brazilian accused Maradona of not being a great role model for children because of his history with drugs and even though too inexperienced to coach Argentina, he took up the responsibility solely for the need of money. To this Maradona, outraged, claimed that Pele lost his virginity to a man. It’s a pity that the two parties did not meet; nothing like an added fist-fight between the two legends.
Last but not least, ESPN deserves special mention for showing Shakira’s Waka Waka on replay, which proved to be more entertaining than watching goalkeepers dance to the Jabulani’s tune; and so does Iker Casillas who bade adieu to this World Cup with an on-camera kiss with his reporter girlfriend, Sara Carbonero. And with this, the FIFA World Cup 2010 ended on an entertaining note for football and non-football fans like. Now that’s what you call masala entrtainment for all.

Unlike my colleagues I’m not the one who writes an article with intrinsic details and ornate wordings. Being an economics student, I’ve learnt to do my work with perfection, in a simple yet immaculate manner. Although I’ve read the usual Dan Brown and Jackie Collin publications I am quite literally at loss of words when people around me start discussing the new bestseller by John Grisham or so. Not surprisingly then my favorite book is ‘David Beckham’s autobiography- My Side. Owner to the fancy title of ‘Sports Editor’ of DU Beat, I try to bring out my passion and enthusiasm in my work. Being a Manchester United fan (I can see you frown), my favorite quote is by none other than Captain fantastic Roy Keane: “Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail”.

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