Friday, April 06, 2007


We've all been there, especially when it comes to our beloved sports teams. Last year, somewhat stupidly, pushed by my general state of paranoid neurosis, I actually thought Barca would collapse when Messi got injured in the middle of the Champions League game against Chelsea. I of course completely discounted that other than Ronaldinho and, to a lesser extent, Puyol, Eto'o and Deco, no player on that Barca team was irreplaceable.

On the other hand, what was a justfiable act of throwing-all-faith-out-of-the-window was Wasim's injury before the infamous Bangalore game. I remember, to this day, two immediate reactions on seeing Aamir Sohail at the toss. The first was "What the fuck is he doing there?" After taking a split second to surmise what had happened, my second was "Fuck". And yes, I used those words, even though I was twelve years old. I know, I know, I should wash my mouth out with soap. (That reminds me, have any of you ever say the word "Bhenchod" in front of your mother? I have. A few years ago, I was trying to reverse the car out of a really narrow driveway and bumped one of those huge-ass plants that for some reason are extremely popular in really narrow driveways in Karachi. Of course, I said what any normal 20 year-old would say under the circumstances, with the added wrinkle that for that fraction of a second, I forgot my mother was sitting next to me. I didn't even get a chance to get the word out - I said "Bhen..." before I got a slap on the head. It would have landed on my face but over the years, I've built up my reflexes vis-a-vis warding off slaps from my mother.)

Why do I bring the issue of despair-in-sports up? Becuase Gilbert Arenas injured his knee last night, is out of the playoffs, and everyone who knows a thing about basketball (and even some who don't) now know that the Wizards will not win more than two games the rest of the way and probably won't win a half, let alone a game, in the playoffs. This realization has made one the guys at Freedarko pine for the Wizards trading away their playoff spot for a pick in the draft, even if it's not a lottery pick. The statement itself is funny but the sentiment behind it is not. Like I said, we've all been there and can empathize when one ankle twist, one freak collision, one avoidable accident or one dislocated shoulder can ruin your team's prospects for the forseeable future and causes you to think of ridiculously hopeless and ultimately futile ways of salvaging the situation. Hang in there, Wizards fans. We feel your pain, if not Arenas'.

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