Friday, March 09, 2007

When Genius Deserts You

*Note: This post was made last Thursday but was only published by blogger today because of spams going into my blog. It's cleared now, I hope.

Genius is innate. Either you have it , or you don't. It's that ability that made Einstein see 3- dimentional objects in his mind while creating mathematical theorems and formulas. It's the swiftness in Picasso's hand while paint glides from brush to canvas effortlessly. It's that athletic impossibility that modern-day sportsmen show while we ordinary mortals can't even dare to imagine improbable in our meager and limited thoughts.

In sports, genius is about claiming greatness. Exceptional athletes wanted to be demanded of, they want to dominate teams-- both their own and the enemy. They own the stage. They hug the spotlight. And they deliver the goods in such way and style that we ordinary expectators ran out of adjectives and praises for such deeds. In World Cup '86, Maradona single handedly pass through six opponents to claim a goal against England in such extraordinary fashion. He always wanted the ball. Because only when the ball is with him that he became somebody else... Somebody not us.

In modern football, only two athletes come to my mind when I think of genius-- Ronaldinho and Thierry Henry. Ronaldinho with his wizardry in the pitch and turning out football moves that defies biomechanics; Henry with his gracefulness and finesse with the ball, caliper- precision strikes and field leadership. Incidentally, they came from the opposing teams that slug it out in last season's champion's league final. It was in which Ronaldinho's team Barcelona took the honors and left Arsenal (Henry's team) grasping on regrets.

Lately I've been burning the candles of dawn (these past two days to be more precise) to again watch my favourite football team slug it out for Europe's most prestigious competition, the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, in its last 16 tie.

Arsenal was taking Holland's PSV Eindhoven while Barcelona took on another English heavyweight and another favourite of mine Liverpool. I was expecting firecrackers and goal fest from the two modern gods of football. As if I absolutely knew that they will lead each of their teams for the onslaught of the opposing team's doom to oblivion.

...It was never meant to be. Arsenal was a a mere shadow of their mighty self as PSV disposed them 2-1 and left Henry injured in the last minute. Barcelona was a bigger disappointment. Never even half the team that they were last year, they scored but haven't really turned out a performance and spirit of champion that they, more often than not, demonstrate. They vowed to Liverpool 2-2 on an away goal role.

And so, with the blow of whistle for the end of the game played in two different stadiums, two of the greatest teams that I admire most-- two teams that came to the finals last year undefeated, two teams I've expected to leave a firebrand on their way to a finals clash repeat-- has danced their swansong for this year's Champion's League, taking broken hearts, shattered dreams and hard lessons they will carry for next year's attempt for glory.

I guess, even genius have their off-day.

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