Well, I have been in Canada for 7 and a half years and I am finally going to give it a shot……developing an interest for Hockey (that’s Ice Hockey to you non-North Americans).

This season I promise to follow NHL……ok that would be too much. I promise to follow the Leafs this season. That’s how I learned to appreciate football (that’s American Football to non-North Americans). I forced myself to watch the games and over time, I realised that football requires a lot of skills and strategies which really appeals to me as a couch athlete.

So here are my thoughts on the Leafs’ game last night (which I was able to watch in peace and quiet on account of my wife and in-laws). Keep in mind that these thoughts are from someone who has never in his life watched an entire game of hockey.

Leafs and the Canadiens played quite an engaging game of hockey. Never was there a dull moment and when the fights started, it was even more entertaining!! I guess there is a fair amount of animosity between the two teams because they came to blows fairly regularly. I thought it was the Senators from Ottawa that the Leafs hated.

From what I can gather, the offense was top notch from the Leafs. They were playing hard and most of the time the puck was in Canadiens’ half. But it was their sloppy defense that basically lost the game for them. 3 of the 4 goals by Canadiens were from power plays in which, I swear, the scorers basically walked over to the goal and scored. It’s start of the season so let’s see how it unfolds.

I hope to watch more games (now that I have a PVR, it would be easier). I will not bore you with the details except to let you know from time to time if I have any passion developing for the game like most of my colleagues and friends do.


Djokovic The Clown Who Bled

Looks like someone needs to concentrate on how he celebrates a win!!

SHANGHAI, China — Third-ranked Novak Djokovic won his first Masters Cup title with a 6-1, 7-5 win Sunday over Nikolay Davydenko in the season-ending tournament.

It was Djokovic’s first tournament victory since he won the Rome Masters in May, leaving him just 10 points behind No. 2 Roger Federer in the rankings.

After Davydenko netted a serve return on match point, Djokovic repeatedly pumped both fists and threw two rackets, his wristbands and shirt into the crowd. He celebrated with his family and coach in a group hug, jumping together in joy.

Djokovic managed to cut his left hand during the celebration and, dripping blood, had to call for the trainer for a bandage before the awards ceremony.

Sachin Tendulkar

Congratulations Sachin!!! Way to go.

The stifling suspense and the prolonged wait finally came to an end as Sachin Tendulkar on Friday emerged as the highest run-accumulator in Test cricket’s history……Tendulkar arrived here with 11,939 runs against his name from 151 Tests, averaging 54.02 hitting 39 centuries in the process. His ODI record put together– he tops the run-accumulator’s chart there too with 16,361 runs — Tendulkar has scored more than 25,000 international runs with the help of a mindboggling (42+39) 81 centuries and 138 half-centuries.

And all those runs flowed from the blade of someone who, rather reluctantly, swapped leather-flinging with willow-wielding after a blunt Dennis Lillee told the 12-year-old aspiring fast bowler in a Chennai camp that he had no hopes as a pacer.

Or probably the blame actually lies with Waqar Younis.

Tendulkar was hit on the mouth by Waqar in his debut Test series in Pakistan with dripping blood drenching the shirt of the cuddly teen with curly hair. Nineteen long years since the incident and bowlers around the world continue to bleed even to this day for a folly of one of their predecessors.

I remember watching this young man who joined the Indian cricket team with enormous hype surrounding him. I remember him as the first player of the new generation of Indian cricketers who had this “fuck-off” attitude that was so desperately needed by the Indians. I remember him being a lousy captain. I remember him resigning as captain and returning to what he does best, being a great sportsman. I remember him being the first athlete in India to be managed by a professional company that bought him loads of cash.

Sachin, you thoroughly deserve all the accolades.

F1 Politics

Aah!! What would F1 be without some controversy. I am convinced that the boring days of Ferrari dominance earlier in the decade were due to lack of controversies off or on track. I mean the “best” controversy was when Barrichello refused to let Schumacher pass him until the last corner in Austria 2001.

And now we have the latest scrap.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was stripped of a dramatic victory in the Belgian Grand Prix after stewards handed him a 25-second post-race penalty.

The Englishman was demoted to third place behind Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld.

He was accused of gaining an advantage by cutting the Spa circuit’s Bus Stop chicane in a late-race battle with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

McLaren announced that they intend to appeal against the stewards’ decision.

Now, I am a big fan of Ferrari. I have loved this team since 1998 and have been following it intensely ever since. Whenever an opponent’s car is leading Ferrari, I am usually slumped on my chair crying into my beer/coffee but as soon as the McLaren or BMW or XYZ car crashes, I cheer and throw my beer/coffee into the air forgetting that I am in the TV room.

And having watched this race, I am convinced that the stewards (who generally have a penchant for backing Ferrari all the time) were completely wrong. Thank god that this controversy was not started by Ferrari (who have a penchant for crying “mommieeeeeee” and running to stewards at the slightest of infringements by other teams) and was instigated by the officials themselves.

Check this clip and let’s discuss it :

As you can see from the (shaky) clip, that Kimi was defending his line the whole way in the turn and aggressively pushed Hamilton, who was aggressively trying to push Kimi away from the track. And in that tussle, Hamilton gave up and went off track and actually cut across the turf and come in front of the Ferrari after the turn. This is illegal and is not allowed. The rule (I think) is that if you do something like that, you have to concede to your opponent immediately……and that is what Hamilton did. He conceeded to Kimi and overtook him in the next turn!!

Why the hell should this entire sequence of events be termed – an advantage for Hamilton?

Why is the FIA trying to shoot itself in the foot? This was a non-issue all the way. It’s almost like the FIA wants to generate some PR – bad, good – who cares. Here we have a great tussle between two top drivers who display their prowess on track to accolades but what does the FIA do? It alters the results thereby showing that the whole race was a farce.

BTW, Kimi did not even finish. He slammed into a wall in the next lap because he is not as good as Hamilton in the rain. And that’s why Hamilton was the winner and should be the winner despite his “advantage”.


It’s difficult to understand why a sporting powerhouse like Canada has not won a single medal yet. I can only hope that the best is yet to come. They have come tantalisingly close, but in the end, the result has always been against Canada. My money (really) is on Simon WhitfieldJames Steacy (a surprise!!), Melanie Kok and Tracey Cameron, and, of course, Adam van koeverden.

As for my country of birth (India), it has been good news. Abhinaz Bindra won the first individual gold medal for India, ever. For a country that size (both in terms of population and actual size) that is pitiful. But all kudos to Abhinav who proved that not all Indians flicker just before olympics. Another hopeful is Akhil Kumar in boxing who just beat out the heavy weights in his class. Here’s hoping that India will win some more medals and jusitfy it’s presence in the olympics.

UPDATE : Go Ryan Cochrane.

UPDATE 2 : Go Canada!!!

Tennis And Corruption

I just love this sport. I love it so much that I am bypassing my cardinal rule on bringing up Rhea. I bought her a kids’ tennis racket and I will make an attempt to force her to love the game I love.

However, this just makes me sad.

An independent review of possible match fixing in professional tennis recommended that 45 matches played in the last five years be investigated because betting patterns gave a strong indication that gamblers were profiting from inside information. While finding that professional tennis is neither “systematically nor institutionally corrupt,” the report cautioned that the scale of the suspicious matches left no room for “complacency.”

I would have never ever expected this to happen to Tennis. But why not? Players burn out by the time they are 27-28 which means that they have that small window in which to earn as much as they can. If an opportunity comes along in which a player can earn enormous amount without actually putting in too much effort, then why not. Hell, I would do it.

It’s just sad to see it happen to one sport which I was sure was immune to corruption. Oh well.