Perspectives March 30th, 2010
As a child, I remember my dad sitting in front of the television with his eyes glued to the screen, watching what I vividly recall, 20-odd people chasing after a ball – with my dad giving the occasional euphoria when a ball enters a net. Of course, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t always seem excited whenever a ball goes into a net, but all I remembered was my dad’s appointments with the television gave me the license to stay up late into the night.
Needless to say, I grew up not enjoying what I subsequently learnt was football – or soccer, depending on which part of the world you are at. Alas, when I was in varsity, the football craze came about and there was nothing much I could do except to join in the late nights with my friends. Gee… even my female counterparts got glued to the telly, which I suspected was the works of their boyfriends.
Eventually, I succumbed to the evil side my peers and decided to watch the game seriously for once. Seriously – because instead of watching 22 people or so, running after a ball, I decided to learn more about the sport. Frankly, I didn’t get to retain much of what I learnt. “Off-side”, “throw-in” and “penalties” are probably all that I can remember now, and frankly, I can’t really remember what an “off-side” is, although I am sure I know what a “sunny-side up” is
However, as recent as a couple of years back, my dad lost interest in watching football. I remembered calling up Starhub to purchase what would have been the remaining few telecasts of the matches ‘live’, before I headed off out of the town for a short trip – amidst all the late nights that my friends would have engaged. I figured that it’d have been better for me to spend some late nights elsewhere shopping
Just as I thought this would have been a good idea, I found out to my dismay that… English is no longer the language of the world – at least not during football season. What in fact is, is the language of football! Pubs, night markets and even 24-hour convenience stores all seemed to have that little telly broadcasting ‘live’ matches of the omniscient sport.
Fast-forwarding to today… soccer – which I clearly remember was quite affordable in the last decade, somehow became a multi-billion dollar industry. Well, perhaps it had always been this way, but I guess it was only when news broke between Singtel, Starhub and Fifa + World Cup that I was introduced to the capitalism behind it. The thought of consumers having to fork out potentially up to a hundred bucks for ‘live’ matches almost irks me… although the reality today is that it’s probably going to be a lot more cheaper.
What people will not be looking forward to – I suspect, are the late nights that are going to happen during ‘live’ matches: people – probably ah beks, gathering at coffee shops with glasses of Tiger beer and peanut shells spread all over the table, people who have probably never eaten McDonald’s burgers for their entire lives glueing their eyes on the LCD TV inside 24-hours McDonald’s restaurants, or perhaps pubs filled to the brim with yuppies who drive flashy BMWs. Of course, I am just generalizing. There is however, one thing that I can’t refute… and that is the pseudo-sense of euphoria that you get whenever the entire neighbourhood screams in ecstasy when their favourite team scores a goal.
“And it’s a gooooooooooooooooooooal !!!! What a beautiful pass that was….. !” Oh yeah… going to be hearing that soon