Sporting Orgasm...


Written on 3/05/2007 12:23:00 am by sikapitan

Success can be measured in many ways. A straight As in school is perfect, absolutely brilliant. And yet, its relevance and recognition is dependant not on the final score, but in the manner in which it was achieved. A student who studied 8 hours a day, goes to tuition every afternoon, gets the best books money can buy, eats supplements to improve alertness and then achieve straight As would be applauded and congratulated, but will not be revered. Get a poor, troubled teenager a few As and everyone will be remembering a legend…

People do not take the time to reflect on their thoughts (it’s a bit oxymoronic but bear with me for a bit…). Reflection is a thought process right? But how many of us actually reflect on what we think? If we did, we would notice certain traits and patterns that would surprise.

I mean, how many of us actually remembered the A we got for Bahasa Malaysia in standard 5? Or better yet, how many of us care about the A we got for Pendidikan Jasmani? The same goes for everything else in our memory selection process. We don’t remember the straight drive to Subang Parade that we do every day. We don’t remember the countless nasi lemaks we had on weekends. We don’t remember the names or even faces of girls we pick up without batting an eyelid.

Instead, we remembered the miraculous C we got for Add Maths (crazy!), or the A we got for Science when we had diarrhea on exam day. We remembered the crazy drought in 98 when we overcame serious water shortages and managed to survive on oily tanker water. We remembered how we bounced back from the economic meltdown. We remembered the crazy traffic jams on our way to an important meeting. We savored the taste of the sotong bakar we had by the beach in Terengganu. We definitely remembered the names of the girls whom we somehow, despite their greatest resistance and the sheer impossibility of the task, managed to ask out.

Nowhere is this theory more aptly applied than in the world of sports. People loved Lance Armstrong because of his exceptional recovery from cancer (and somehow, despite leaving his wife who was by his side throughout the traumatic period for Sheryl Crow, he managed to remain popular). Or how about Senegal’s magnificent campaign in the 2002 World Cup? Does anyone here actually remember Milan’s win over Juventus in the Champions League final a few years back? I bet not. I rest my case.

This leads me to a startling conclusion. People love adversity. The greater the challenge, the more impossible the task, the more we take joy in its outcome. Sometimes we don’t even have to succeed for it to be forever ingrained in our mind. We find it more interesting to hear about people who earn RM50 a day selling nasi lemak than people who care to talk about how they earn RM4000 a month counting someone else’s money.

This finally brings us to one of the most memorable weekend of this year for me. On Saturday, I think I experienced one of those “sporting orgasm” moments when Manchester United beat Liverpool by a single goal. It was a combination of many factors. The crowd, the venue, the people with you….but most importantly the manner in which victory was achieved.

United did NOT play well. Liverpool was the better team. United defended resolutely, Liverpool attacked cautiously, and that made the game a bit a tactical battle (you know it will with Rafa in charge). It wasn’t the most exciting or entertaining game to watch. But when John O’Shea blasted the ball beyond Reina at the Kop end of Anfield, it was like having Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba and Elisha Cuthbert…you get my point.

Was I embarrassed that I shouted as loud as I did? On hindsight, it wasn’t the coolest thing to do. But when your team overcomes another important hurdle towards glory, being cool isn’t the most important thing in the world. When the ref blew the whistle, my heart was beating so hard, my veins were ready to pop out, my breathing were shallow, my happiness so uncontainable that I started saying things I don’t even remember…I guess for a person who never experienced drug use before, this is as close I could get to being “high”.

It’s adversity that makes us strong. It’s the impossible that makes us dare to dream. Do I remember where I was when United won 4-0 against Fulham in the opening day of the season? No. But I would definitely remember the smell, the sound, and the people when John O’Shea’s shot hit the back of the net. It’s just the way our mind works…

Go figure.

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