Saturday, March 06, 2010

Let it go

To all the people bemoaning the step-motherly treatment being meted out to hockey and writing letters to newspaper editors in anguish: let it go. Face it, hockey's heydays are over; people have voted with their feet and wallets, and the -- ahem -- national game lost its deposit. The best thing to do would be to strip the game of this meaningless title and allow it to claim its rightful place, which I surmise would be somewhere between kabaddi and kho-kho.

The reasons for hockey's demise are quite obvious: the resources needed to play this game are beyond the grasp of most people (as opposed to cricket, where all you need is a rubber ball, a plank of the right size, and some chalk to draw the stumps on a gully wall). Also, maybe it's just me, but watching a hockey game is pretty much an exercise in frustration: compared to a football game, there is very little scope for a good rhythm or flow to build up -- the referee's whistle blows with a much higher frequency than football ("Did the ball touch your feet? Sorry. Oh, did you touch the ball with the wrong side of your stick? Oops." You get the picture).