Penalty shootouts – soccer

I am a huge sports fan. I watch lots of sports and follow a few others online. I will not bore you by listing all the sports – that will probably end up being a whole paragraph by itself but be assured that I probably know more about sports than your average sports fan. In sports, I am pretty close to master of all trades.

As most Indians will tell you, we suck at sports. The only exception is cricket. In cricket, our expectation is way more than what our team is usually capable of but I will address cricket in a separate post. Since the Indian team sucks, I have this habit of adopting teams to support. I am free agent when it comes to sport teams, and so I have at least one team per sport and sometimes multiple teams if the teams rarely face each other.

So it is with soccer. My favorite country to support is Brazil – I simply love their style of play. If India ever has a decent team, I hope we play with the same flair. I am passionate enough about the team that I was moved to tears when they lost the 98 final. Aaahhh – bad times. Anyway, I also support Manchester United in the premier league, Sao Paulo in Brazilian club soccer, Boca Junior’s in Argentine club football, Barcelona in La Liga and Real Madrid in Serie A. If these teams face each other, the order is the same order I have mentioned :). If and when India becomes a soccer power, I reserve the right to switch back.

Now to the actual point I wanted to make – I recently watched the penalty shoot out in the UEFA Champions league between Man U (my favorite club as shown by the complex equation above) and Chelsea. To be honest, I hate the idea of penalty shootouts – it is a pretty cruel way to end a game after the players have given everything for 120 mins. Unfortunately I can’t think of a different way to end the game. I shudder every time I think of a game going to penalty shoot-outs. Too many top competitions end in a penalty shootout and makes mere mortals out of supposed great players – David Beckham in Euro 2004 and of course, Roberto Baggio (he of the awesome nicknames – the divine ponytail) missing in the finals of the 94 world cup (Yes, Brazil won :).

That being said, is there anything more exciting or unpredictable than the penalty shoot-out. Boy, it takes a lot out of you when you are emotionally invested in a team. Can anyone name one thing in any sport that is more exciting and tense? I cannot think of anything that even comes close. It is just crazy to watch it as a fan – I can’t imagine what the players are going through. The last one I saw was so mind numbingly good. For all practical purposes, I thought Man U had lost. Of course, if they had lost, I would not be writing this post :).I hope someone in football comes up with a better way to end games but till then, I hope my teams always come on top with a little less excitement.

Anyway, I am back to running full steam after a down week last week. I had been increasing my miles for the last 7 – 8 weeks and figured I will do a week where I just log half the miles. I did a 4.8 mile tempo run on Tuesday and a 4 mile speed training run today.

Explore posts in the same categories: Running, soccer

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