A Middle Finger to Indian Hockey?
For the past few weeks the Hero Honda Hockey jingle has been playing non stop on radio stations. You would think India must be on the verge of winning the world cup. Ha!
dil mein dam bhar lo, fir dil ko hockey ko
Win the cup they didn’t, but to their credit the Indian hockey team managed their best performance in 16 years. By finishing 8th out of 12 participating teams. And managing one win in six matches.
To their credit they managed to defeat Pakistan. Never mind the fact that everybody else also beat up the Pakistani team who seem to have slipped to a new low in world hockey.
For some illogical reason, there was a lot of hype and expectation from the team, and we were actually expecting a decent finish. Alas that decent finish never happened, and India even lost the match for the 7th position to Argentina.
Indian hockey has seen it all now. The burden of past performance, the ignominy of not qualifying for the Beijing Olympics, the suspension of IHF last year, the recent strike over pay, infighting over captaincy right before the world cup, allegedly rigged practice matches against India B teams, a sad show at the world cup, and to top it all, a Prabhjot Singh dispatching a middle finger to upset fans.
A team on a high can afford to piss off some followers, but a mediocre team that loses most of its games can definitely not. We may have given our dil to hockey, but it wont take long to take it back. Not when the Indian Paisa League is in progress.
Maybe what we need is a Shahrukh Khan to coach the men’s team to a world title, like he did the women’s team.
*Long Sigh *