Friday, June 12, 2009

Tiebreaker

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Like two gladiators facing off in a Roman arena, they stare down each other, with the lone ball standing 'tween them. The ball is a weapon. It will blaze from the swift footed Maximus Mascarenhas and sear past Commodus D'Costa into the goal. Or will the brave barefooted Costa punch it away with a mighty thrust of his brawny hands?
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This Roman crowd (Christian and Hindu alike) at Benaulim wait with glee to cheer the fall of either warrior. No 'Cool Zone' this...the heat is on...the TieBreaker hath commenced...


Spreading his limbs like a scrawny Spiderman this Gladiator has worn his favourite football shirt today. His web stretches behind him.

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Football runs in the blood of Goans, though many a laddie is seen playing cricket nowadays. Salgaocar, Dempo, Churchill Bros and dozens of other clubs large and small have inspired boys and girls from all over Goa. These boys and men await the recovery of the errant football from the road.
.ootball from the road
How old is football in Goa? As old as the poskotto...an inflated pig's bladder! But on a more academic note, indianfootball.com says "Football was brought to Goa in 1883 by Rev.Fr.William Robert Lyons, who came to Siolim, in Bardez, from Udipi...to recover from health problems...he founded a school at Siolim and introduced the sport there...The first reference to a football match played in Goa is in 1900 at Panjim at the Largo do Conceicao..."



Doesn't our foot sometimes move involuntarily in sympathy with the footballer about to blastoff?
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For some pics of men practising Goa's favourite sport, click here. And here. And here is a picture of Salgaocar Sports Club players posing with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru!
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India may have been unceremoniously booted out of the T20 Cricket tourney, but Goa won the Santosh Trophy 2009 by defeating West Bengal 4-2 ! The finals were held at Tamil Nadu and ended in a penalty shootout. Shootout, gladiators, same thing...
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You are never too old to wear those stripes. And wear them proudly on your shoulders. After all you wear your heart on your sleeves!





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José Lourenço - Margao,Goa

This blog is about Goa as she really is, with her dimples and freckles et al. There's also a Goan Architecture blog and other useful links on this page.

Drop me a line at: joselourenco@rediffmail.com