Sunday, November 20, 2005

scowls and howls

In college, we were clearly divided as far as the vote for the scariest Ogre was concerned. Martin Keown was the undisputed winner almost always, and Stefan Effenberg a creditable second, often in nail biting finishes. Roy Keane used to muster a few sporadic votes from here and there, mostly from the Manchester United coterie, but after his bust up with Effenberg where one scowl from the formidable Teutonic Goth almost made the Irishman pee in his pants, they dared not vote for Keane again.

Life as a minority in any form of social setup is most often than not, extremely tough - there are some things that you simply can't do freely without getting criticised, exorcised, berated, labelled a traitor, sometimes hanged, or as in this case - getting ridiculed and mocked at. Hence minority people often end up suppressing their true voice and reluctantly succumb to the whims of the majority, and pretend that everythings fine, rather than pressing for a crusade. Same thing with the poor Manchester supporters. Being in the minority, life itself was difficult, and hence, these chaps didn't want to complicate their lives any further by voting for Keane the Sissy as the scariest ogre and subjecting themselves as sitting ducks to the sarcasm of us nasty majority, who absolutely hated Man.U. (and still do). I mean, they had to survive college, and if you have ever been in college you'll know how difficult life can become once you get labelled something that is totally uncool. So these chaps not only succumbed to social pressure and voted for other ogres like Keown or Effenberg against their natural wish, but additionally had to pretend that they were doing that willingly. If someone was a fresher in college cum Man. U. supporter, then he also had to go through the additional embarassment of having to announce loudly in some public place or social hall or toilet room that Keane was a Sissy.

My votes went to neither Effenberg nor Keown. They were reserved for Paolo Montero, the scraggy pahelwan from Turin. Being a Juve player, Paolo Montero was outside the petty Man Utd - anti Man Utd. skirmish spectrum, and although a few eyebrows were raised initially, and some of the girls even found him handsome, people eventually adjusted themselves to this choice I had made, without making an issue out of it or fishing for an opportunity to pull my leg. Imho, Paolo Montero looked non-ogreish when he used to walk out to the pitch, but moments before the whistle, his expressions used to change totally. From then on, he looked positively doped, coupled with a bloodthirsty face that used to transform to hideous scowls each time the ball was on his feet, or an opponent forward was nearby. He was pretty useful too - won many Serie A medals with Juve, and had World Cup caps for Uruguay. He should have won some more World Cup caps, but the other day, the Aussies pipped them for the final berth, which means that Uruguay and all its fine players - Recoba, Forlan and especially the doped ogre Montero won't be seen in Germany. Montero is quite old, so he'll definitely not play in the next edition either.

I'm not optimistic about the ogre scene of the future, and I really worry about what the college kids must be discussing today. I mean, I definitely hope that they don't discuss who's the biggest metrosexual out there after David Beckham. Not that I blame them entirely - the tradition of ogres is badly on the fall from the hey days of the 90s - Valderrama, Effenberg, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Paolo Motero, Stig Tofting, Oliver Kahn etc etc. These guys set high standards - they were not only great players, but one frown from them could send shudders down many a feeble heart. With the likes of Wayne Rooney as probable flag bearers, the future indeed is VERY bleak.

Note - the phrase 'Scary Ogre' is not to be confused with 'ugly' at all.

Note 2 - this is unrelated, since Christian Karembeu isn't exactly an ogre, nor a fine player - but he's an extremely lucky guy because his wife is the ravishing Adriana Sklenarikova. Lucky bastid, you!


Id it is said...
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Id it is said...

Good to hear from you!
Beckham's in a different league altogether:
'scowls or howls', he gets the female vote, hands down

Mridula said...

While reading your post the name of Wayne Rooney was coming to my mind, but it seems he has not made that kind of an impression on you.

I have to show this post to my football crazy nephews and particularly your comments on Beckham, I hope it will drive some sense into their heads. But what to do newspapers keep drooling about him and they are just kids. Now this is a proper piece for them.

morpheus said...

Mridula: there will ofcourse be a major fan following for David Beckham - he is after all the Popstar God of football. He's a good player no doubt, but then, to purists, popstar status means nothing. Effenberg must have been the most non-popstarish guy out there, but hes the sort of guy purists look up to. As for Wayne Rooney - he's a bit of a bad boy and scowls quite a bit, but his scowls can never match up to the fear factor and charisma of the scowls of his glorious predeccesors.

Id it is: yes indeed. *sigh*

but thats how girls are. while girls and girly boys will hoot (wolf whistle included) and scream for beckham, boys tend to save their appreciation for the sterner stuff (besides good play, of course).

Id it is said...

Beckham is 'sterner stuff', 'good play', AND MORE. Boys, too, have to grant him that, even if it's with a taint of envy