Thursday, October 06, 2005

Baseball - a true underdog story

So the Baseball World Series is on and I have no idea how I got hooked to this sport.

I remember going to a Richmond Braves game a year ago and getting so bored that I left after 3 innings. Its freaking boring. The ball moves so fast you can't see it. People swing wildly and miss most of the time. In fact if you can hit the ball one in three times - someone should start showing you the money!

Maybe it is the softball league I decided to join. On the field, everyone was amused that I did not use a glove - till I tried to catch a fast throw and my hand went purple. I have learnt to use a glove since. I am as bad a fielder - but at least my hand is happy.

On the other hand, I will say that I am a good hitter. It is a piece of cake since in softball the ball is reasonably slow and there is not much variation. All my years of cricket and the blind swinging have obviously helped. Its like facing underarm spin bowling - only that the ball does not spin. Its awesome. I feel like Afridi, Sehwag, Dhoni and Gilchrist all rolled into one. I do keep getting caught out - but at least I get to hit the ball far far far away.

Anyways, I am watching the Angels play the Yankees. The score is 2-2 and although I've just started following the game - I already know that I hate the Yankees. Why? Coz they are the perennial overdog. Why the love for the underdog? I present Raju's very insightful words..


The Logic Behind The Madness - A Philosophical Analysis

Montu had asked me a couple of years back, having supported an underdog and having ended on the losing side - "Why on earth do you support underdogs?". I misunderstood his question, assuming it to be a rhetorical swipe at my miseries. My answer was to no-one's satisfaction. Have been meaning to tell him this for a long time now and maybe this does more justice, also maybe to another greater question that seems to be tossed around by people not on this list - "What's the big deal about sports?".

Stefan Zweig, an Austrian writer once wrote:

"Only that which points the human spirit beyond its own limitations into what is universally human gives the individual strength superior to his own. Only in superhuman demands which can hardly be fulfilled do human beings and peoples feel their true and sacred measure."

I have always believed that the human spirit is capable of much more than what is normally attributed to it. Things get so lost in talking about "abilities" and that "you can only push yourself so much", that we forget that you have far greater potential and strength in your mind and spirit. What would life be without moments when your spirit overcomes great adversities and odds? Words like persevere, struggle, strive will no longer be needed!

I guess I have been lucky enough to have witnessed some such amazing moments - Sari single-handedly putting in 3 pointers with seconds to spare for (I don't remember) how many times to take an Inter IIT basketball match to (I don't remember how many) extra times, Topi running off a guy (who apparently ran 2 crossies a day) by 100+ metres, a team of nothing-to-be-afraid-of athletes beating an Inter IIT-returned-otherwise-unbeatable team on the last race of the competition.

Miracles, according to me, are nothing but stories of spirit and mind coming to the rescue of the human body. Such stories need not always be on a sports field - they might happen in everyday life! But probably sports manifests such stories more often than any human activity! That's why I am so PASSIONATE about sports! And I support underdogs because it allows me to believe in the fact that human spirit can and will triumph over substance and because I believe that doing so will somehow "miraculously" enable the underdogs to believe so themselves.

That's MY logic behind MY madness! :-)


The above snippet was from an email Raju sent after Liverpool the underdog came back from 0-3 down and beat AC Milan the favourites in the Champions league final at Istanbul in May this year - in my opinion - the 2nd GREATEST comeback ever.

The GREATEST comback ever - in my next post.

The Angels just scored thrice :) The score is now 5-2 and it is the last inning. Barring a Yankee comeback - we should be good. Yankee homer!! Damn 5-3. 1st man out. 2nd man out. Just one more. 3rd man out. Game over. Angels win.

The spirit of the underdog prevails again :)


Blogger kate said...

You've been linked! i hope that's okay..

7:43 AM  
Blogger Roman said...

KN...what up man?
Golu told me that u blog...thought id come over and say hello!

2:23 AM  
Anonymous roman said...

Kn...unlike the previous one this is a legit comment...Nice post man...I am really inspired now...Im going to go to the basketball courts today evening and throw a 1 on 1 challenge to the big 6ft6" dudes here! :)

10:06 AM  
Blogger Kn said...

pentala - i think i'm ok with being linked :P yaar.. why do ppl ask? bindaaaaas link karne ka :D

Sro - macha - if those big 6'6" dudes bash you up.. dont give up - just remember that you need to try harder the next time.. underdog jeetega.. kabhi to.. worst case your spirit will have the satisfaction :P

1:52 AM  
Blogger Karthik said...

In a place like IIT you meet a lot of people who you can "look up to". Somehow, Raju even stands out amongst all those people.

Send me the entire e-mail.


I tried challenging a 6 foot 6 guy recently. He beat me 11-1 - in slippers - he just kept stroking 3s. Turns out he has tried out for the Knicks. So consider yourself warned


12:48 AM  
Blogger Nilesh said...

Hey Kn..whats up man?

2:40 AM  
Anonymous roman said...

Ohh yeah to both the karthiks! :)
I played 1-1 with some 6'2" bull of a guy...gave him a fight but lost ultimately! Still had loads of fun scoring against him!
So yeah...Ive known defeat, but as flea says "big and macho u can kick my fucking what!" :D

4:27 PM  
Blogger Golu said...

ro i hope u know in what context flea sang that song right??? u just strengthened my case

8:05 AM  
Blogger Golu said...

congos rahega KN...angels beat the yankees again :)

10:49 AM  
Anonymous roman said...

In this case...Im simply quoting flea out of context!

3:04 PM  
Blogger Kn said...

@ Golu - Thanks dude. Kya uselesss bande hai Yankees. Like Real Madrid. All the stars. All the money. No team!

@ Sro - Saale I'm just happy you still zinda and in one piece

@ Golu and Sro - what is context of Fleas statement?

@ Nilesh - doing good bhai. Tu kaisa hai. and kahaan hai??

@ Kramu - agree about Raju! Mailed you entire mail.


7:28 PM  
Blogger Golu said...

Flea sang that song in support of homosexuality and I strongly believe Ro is one though he doesn't realise it.

4:20 AM  

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