How aware were you about … The World Cups in 2014?

Did you know that the 13th edition of the Men’s Hockey World Cup was held earlier this year in the Netherlands? Oh and also the Women’s World Cup. They were held simultaneously you see. They were both rather short tournaments too, just lasted from 31st May to 14-15th June, but still, you must have had some idea about it. Right?

Anyways, I guess it’s a given that you knew about the FIFA World Cup though. I mean who didn’t? With all those chants, those facebook, twitter etc. posts, news reports and so on featuring accusations, celebrations and all sorts of emotions from the month long tournament held in Brazil, only a person totally shut out from the society wouldn’t know about it. Whether you were a fan or not, well, you were aware of it. Some of you probably even went with the flow (non-fans) and started supporting the teams which your friends supported, all the time having no idea, and probably not even caring about what was going on. But still, at least people were aware, no matter the means.

But guess what? Some people took this awareness thing to a whole new level, a few examples include -”India will definitely win the FIFA world cup.” Actually, just that one example should suffice. Just think about it -India is playing in the FIFA world cup? And they are going to win it?! WOW! I was so not aware about this (In case you didn’t get it, there was a lot, lot of sarcasm intended here). Not even a state controlled media system like that of North Korea is needed here where, by the way, they have been spouting non-sense regarding their awesome performances at the world cup. Did you know that North Korea played and won all their matches in the cup and didn’t even concede a single goal? If you didn’t, go to North Korea and that information will be drilled into you, literally.

Still, North Korea aside, I’ll say again, at least people in India were aware. Till some degree, but, awareness is awareness, no matter how accurate that awareness might be.
Disclaimer : These are not my views and don’t reflect my opinions either and also don’t show on my exam performances .But, these are the views of quite a large number of other people apparently.

Anyways… Coming back to the topic at hand, there are two sports being talked about here. So enough about football, let’s turn to hockey. Remember the question which I asked earlier about whether you had any idea about the Hockey World Cup? I will be honest here, I wasn’t very keen on keeping tabs on the tournament’s performances but yes, I had some idea that it was going on. But how many of you could say the same here I wonder.

Guess what though, while some people were aware that India was apparently playing in the FIFA world cup, in reality India was actually playing in the hockey world cup. And yes, for some of the little duller people here, India didn’t play in the FIFA cup. We managed to bring in a win and a draw, and 3 losses in the group stages which of course, signaled our exit out of the tournament. But hey, at least we played for real, right?

For the record, hockey has been India’s most successful sport to date. Yes, it is more successful than cricket. Believe it. India is the most successful team in the Olympics as a matter of fact, with more gold medals than any other team extensively participating in the sport. Not to forget, India also has won the world cup before.

So why all the interest in a tournament in which we didn’t even play in rather than showing interest in a tournament in which we did play and could have ,with some drive ,gone all the way ? Some of you may say, popular opinion? Yeah right. Those lot of people probably don’t know or maybe even forgot that Hockey, is India’s national sport. Oh, here’s a spoiler that many weren’t expecting, eh?

I wonder how our team would have had fared if we had shown the same enthusiasm and support that we showed while supporting the countries playing in Brazil. Even if it wouldn’t have had direct effects, they could have had been felt. When you receive support, you feel inclined to do better, you feel motivated to do better, and vice versa. To prove it to you, I will just tell you to remember India’s cricket performances especially the recent world cup held at home back in 2011. That should speak for itself. Many of us will try and find different excuses to cover our folly here, but few will try to accept it. What about you?

Regardless, I am not telling you to become die-hard fans of hockey and hockey in India, but, I am telling you to at the very least, take pride in one of the most successful areas of your country’s sports department. (And of course, to increase your general knowledge, this being for those who need to).

By the way, home team Netherlands performed exceptionally well in the Hockey World Cup, both of them as a matter of fact. The men’s team were the runners up. And the women’s team were the victors.

Do you think that home support had a major hand in their performances?

An Article By:

Padma Bhusan Pati

2nd year bca

IFIM College