“The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public” by Phyllis Diller.
Yes! Football and women have always been a not-so-popular game altogether as compared to men & football. But I don’t think it is because of women’s vanity as the witty quote above suggest! Blame my poor health, I thought running around in search of a ball and a goal post never sounded appealing anyways.
I was never a big fan of “Football” (still not am). To me, it seems to be a game of many smaller balls chasing a bigger ball. Not to forget, players picked from the best of theatres around the world! However, I really do respect the game.
The game does instil in the viewers as well as the players a sense of unity. Umm, call it the “team spirit”. I grew up watching my parents, uncles; aunties, brother & friends huddle up together midnight to watch the World Cup match. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself playing football! I always chose to stay away from the tiring physique work, the kicking dirt and bruises.
It was in my midyear of graduation did me and my girlfriends decided to sign up for a football match with another girl team during the 2009 Naga Sports, Chennai. (Imagine the heat in Chennai 40°C and soccer, I got free sun tanning!)
We called ourselves (the team) the “Spearheads”! So after much boggling, I decided to be the goal keeper! (Because I didn’t want to run around, but hey, I can boast of playing!) With an enthusiastic Manager Awon Rungsung, all in Black, we were all pumped up to kick the ball and defeat the other team.And you know women, we began to see the other team as our arch enemy, and on our defence, this was necessary because we needed to build up our anger to win it.
And here is what went down with our team-mates. With Ikrormi’s humour, we had to hold our tummy laughing all the while during the warm-ups. Somishon doing the “lets-go-team” attitude, and Rinyami supporting it all the way, we were all pumped up for the game. Thotchuila and Sochanphy along with Rinn again played the expert role in the player positions, teaching us where to stand and how to play (even though I admit that they were algebra to me!).
Belinda, the ever active nerd had us all energised with her enthusiasm. We also had charming damsels in our midst, like Chon alias Kuku and Chuimirin who would make every head turn. We also had Amalyn and two other professional players. (We call them professionals for their strength and vitality! Gee)
We also had off-field supporter like Shanmi, the sweety pie who was always a phone-call away and ever cheerful, even Janeline and many more!
Well, anyway, in the end we lost the game in penalty. I mean, they chose a lazy goalie like me, what more did they expect? (I am sure my teammates wanted to kick my ass, but as the youngest one, I was excused apparently!)
Now my teammates have gone their own ways. Some are married and some are now engaged. One of them is already with a good central job, another in a corporate office and some others still ardent scholars hoping to dig the best out of researches. And then there are some like me who are still juggling with jobs all for the sake of landing up a purposeful career.
Looking back, I really thank my girls for convincing me enough and convincing ourselves to play football which I believe will be the last ball game played for some of us. The team spirit this football game instilled in us is magical. Apart from our differences, we only thought of one goal, to win it. Even though we didn’t win, all thanks to me, we had hell lot of fun.
By the end of the game, we could barely move. I was rather fine by the way but my other team mates who were the strikers; the scorer etc. had to have bed rest for some days!
The one good lesson I learnt from that day was, for a team to win, you need to pull out your best efforts. Like, maybe if I had tried harder to catch the ball, maybe we would have won and my team wouldn’t go home empty handed. But winning and losing is a part of a game so it’s natural I guess.
And above all, my whole experience proved the above quote wrong. Because once women set their mind on a game, I don’t think they care about wearing the same outfit in public. They don’t care if they get a lifetime’s tanning in a game of 90 minutes, and yes, they don’t fake injuries! Even though I have to admit, I spotted some hair pulling on my teammates! (Really, not biased)
Playing football instilled in me the importance of being a team player. The joy you derive from the adrenaline rush of scoring, the breathless excitement in a goal missed, I think every girl ought to play at least once in their life to feel these.
Even though I cannot promise to play again, I sure won’t mind if I get the chance. To all my lovely team-mates, I am sorry that we lost but thank you having me and letting the other team score a goal. (Geez)
PS: I think men who love football tend to sway towards the “macho” side. Just saying.
And you know women, we began to see the other team as our arch enemy, and on our defence, this was necessary because we needed to build up our anger to win it.
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