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Friday, June 18, 2010

Football : The Beautiful Game

Soccer, or football as it is known throughout the world, is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world. Though not as popular as cricket, football still has a huge fan base in India. States like West Bengal, Goa , Kerala, Punjab, and Manipur have traditional soccer fan base. Maybe Football is so popular because of the excitement it generates and the way its is presented.

On a personal front, being attracted towards football was quite natural. Coming from a Bengali family and having a father who is an avid fan of Mohun Bagan, I was naturally inclined towards football. 

The world's biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup is here and it will certainly bring out the best in world football. Yes, the World Cup is the buzz word this season. So let's check out why this game is so popular. 

There are many reasons for this. In football you mainly use your feet, chest and head thus making the ball always open and so the game is fast paced and demands a vast array of techniques. It is because of this fast nature of this game that makes it worth watching. It has all the elements of a Bollywood potboiler. Probably, that's why it is so appealing to the Indian masses. Running after the ball, dribbling it, kicks through the air, ball bouncing off the goal post, on field fouls, yellow cards, free kicks, slight mistakes by the defender, misses by the goal keeper and GOAL ...these are the sights that draw the oohs and aahs from the audience and also bring out moments of eternal joy. People just love it. Anything can happen within the wink of an eye. A goal in the last minute can entirely change the outcome of the game. It is this unpredictability of this game that makes it beautiful.

The popularity of this game is also due to the relative simplicity of the game. All that is needed is a ball and two teams. This game has also diminished the difference between rich and poor. This is everyone's game. This is the people's game. And guess what?? Some of the best players in world football have come from the poorest of families.

The game of football definitely needs some good skills and foot-eye coordination. Millions of dollars are spent in securing players with perfect skills by various clubs and this simply builds media coverage and adds to the popularity of this game.

Football is watched and played more than any other sport globally mainly due to the excitement of hoping to see a goal and the importance each goal scored has on the flow of the match. Each year football becomes more popular than the year before, no other sport has ever been able to achieve this over such a long period of time. 

This game has inspired the today's youth. It has given them hope. It has taught them that if they  are dedicated, if they put in their best efforts, if they are determined, have faith in themselves and if they strive to achieve their dreams, then nothing is impossible. These noble thoughts are taught by the game of soccer, and is one of the many reasons why this beautiful game is so appealing to the masses.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Greek's Obsession with the letter 'S'

Greece is one of those teams you would never expect to win the World Cup. However, in football, as they say, no team is a weak team. Well back in the Euro Cup of 2004, they stunned everyone, in fact I was shocked, when they won the Cup defeating Portugal 1-0. But their charm hasn't worked as of yet in this World Cup. The first match of the Greek team against South Korea was held on 12 June in the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, and they lost 0-2. As a result of this loss Greece now holds the record for the "Most matches played without scoring a goal" in the World Cup.

What caught my attention was not their soccer skills, but their unique names. Most of the players have names that end with the letter 'S', both their first names and last names. Of the 23 players in the national team, 20 players have the letter 'S' both in their first and last names, 2 have it only in their first name, and the remaining 1 has it in his last name only. Here is a list of the Greek players.

1.   Kostas Chalkias
2.   Alexandros Tzorvas
3.   Michalis Sifakis
4.   Giourkas Seitaridis
5.   Nikos Spiropoulos
6.   Vangelis Moras
7.   Vasilis Torosidis
8.   Sotirios Kyrgiakos
9.   Sokratis Papastathopoulos
10. Stelios Malezas
11. Alexandros Tziolis
12. Giorgos Karagounis [Captain]
13. Sotiris Ninis
14. Kostas Katsouranis
15. Sakis Prittas
16. Georgios Samaras
17. Angelos Charisteas
18. Dimitris Salpigidis
19. Theofanis Gekas
20. Pantelis Kapetanos
21. Avraam Papadopoulos
22. Loukas Vyntra
23. Christos Patsatzoglou

What do you think of this post?
Please post your comments here.
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Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Sound Of Football : Vuvuzela

The FIFA world cup has finally begun in Africa ...South Africa. But guess what's making the loudest noise???
Did you say Messi's form?
The Spanish Team?? Brazil??
Christiano Ronaldo???

NO .....actually it's the Vuvuzela  [pun intended]

It's actually a metre long plastic trumpet used by South African football fans. Although cricket fans in India are among the most noisiest ones but nothing can compared with the Vuvuzela loving South African football fans.

Last night, while watching the match between South Africa and Mexico on TV, I had to keep the volume pretty low 'cause the sound of the noisy Vuvuzelas of the South African fans was so loud that it was almost impossible to listen to the commentary. After tolerating the noise for sometime, I had to give up, finally and lower down the volume.

Personally, I found the sound to be really irritating  ....as irritating as the humming of bees close to your ears but the volume magnified a thousand times. The sound of vuvuzela is actually deafening.

The Bafana bafana are quite used to this sound (or noise, as you put it). They seemed to be quite comfortable with the noise in the stadium. However, the Mexicans, surely, would have found it difficult to concentrate on their game and communicating with fellow team mates. I find no other reason for such a high ranked team to be held to a 1-1 draw by a low ranked team. The vuvuzelas did their trick!!

Another important piece of South African football is the makarapa (a decorated miner's helmet).  In addition to this, fans were spotted with large sunglasses and signs with phrases dedicated to their team. Many fans had even got their faces painted with South African flags.
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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

India's Top 50 Universities

Here is the list of India's Top 50 Universities - 2010 (Ranking according to INDIA TODAY - Nielsen Survey) :

  1. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  3. University Of Delhi, New Delhi
  4. University Of Calcutta, Kolkata
  5. University Of Madras, Chennai
  6. University Of Mumbai, Mumbai
  7. University Of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
  8. Indian Institute Of Science, Bangalaore
  9. Jadavpur University, Jadavpur 
  10. Osmania University, Hyderabad
  11. Andhra University, Vishakhapatnam
  12. Punjab University, Chandigarh
  13. Bangalore University, Bangalore
  14. S.N.D.T Women's University, Mumbai
  15. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
  16. Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh
  17. University Of Mysore, Mysore
  18. Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai
  19. M.S. University Of Baroda, Vadodara
  20. Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
  21. Birla Institute Of Technology & Science-Pilani, Pilani
  22. Pondicherry University, Pondicherry
  23. University Of Allahabad, Allahabad
  24. University Of Lucknow, Lucknow
  25. North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
  26. Gauhati University, Gauhati
  27. University Of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram
  28. Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune
  29. Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra
  30. Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi
  31. Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla 
  32. Karnatak University, Dharwad
  33. Anna University, Chennai
  34. Bharathiar University, Coimbatore
  35. Goa University, Goa
  36. Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Gujar
  37. Awadesh Pratap University, Rewa
  38. Kakatiya University, Warangal
  39. Cochin University Of Science and Technology, Ernakulam
  40. Rabindra Bharti University, Kolkata
  41. Bharhtidasan University, Tiruchirapalli
  42. Rashtransant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Nagpur
  43. University Of Rajasthan, Jaipur 
  44. Utkal University, Bhubaneswar
  45. Mohanlal Sukhadia University, Udaipur
  46. Patna University, Patna
  47. Amravati University, Amravati
  48. Assam University, Silchar
  49. Jiwaji University, Gwalior
  50. Nagarjuna University, Guntur 
Source : http://bit.ly/bcNvYP 

Are YOU satisfied with these rankings? 
Is your University in the Top 50?

Post your comments and share your views here....
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