People still talk with awe when they mention Nostradamus — the 16th century French astrologer. Wonder what would people talk about Paul the Octopus a few years from now. Hopefully, if he doesn't end up on somebody's dinner table, we can expect more of him the next Euro Cup when he grows wiser with age. Is there any truth behind the so-called predictions? Looking at the way the Germans played against Spain, I was left to believe that the octopus had taken up their mind eating away their confidence. Psychological effect? I'm not kidding.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, the magnificent midfielder was nowhere near his usual form in their semi-final against Spain. And Klose, who was on the verge of making history, couldn't, unfortunately. Hopefully he can score some goals against Uruguay on Saturday and earn a place in history becoming an all-time top scorer. Coming back to superstitions, now even I'm scared to support my favourite teams. Starting from Italy, all my favourite teams have stumbled on their way. After Italy, I picked Portugal, then Argentina. Though Germans weren't my favorites, I was rooting for them yesterday. Looking at the way things have turned out, I'm really scared to support Holland in the finals. I'm putting aside my plans of wearing any 'orange' stuff that day. But I've requested my colleague Tenzin to wear the same orange tee she wore during the Brazil-Netherlands quarter-final clash. But again, there is another nemesis in my path. Another colleague of mine, Vinay, a die-hard Espana fan also believes in this 'sartorial spell'. Every time he wore the Torres jersey, victory was Spain's. Wish I could do something to prevent him from wearing that.
Most footballers are superstitious, ranging from French footballer Laurent Blanc kissing the bald head of Fabien Barthez as a part of his pre-match ritual, David Beckham wearing a full-sleeved jersey and brand new shoes, to the hard-to-believe story of John Terry wearing the same shin-pads for the past ten years. Terry even listens to the same CD, parks at the same spot before every match — all for his immense faith in 'Lady Luck'. But, did all these help his team? Sorry, that question is irrelevant.
Why blame the stars for being irrational? It's a fact that we viewers too are superstitious to a great extent. Back when I used to follow cricket, I remember switching off the TV whenever Dravid was on the verge of scoring a century. It did work most of the time, but I always missed that decisive shot. While watching Pete Sampras play at Wimbledon, I really never had to bother about all these. He managed to win almost all the time . But when it comes to Nadal, I still try looking away for a few moments so that Nadal can hit a few winners. Even Nadal is superstitious, too. He is very particular about the how his water bottle is positioned, making sure it's placed exactly at the same spot. He also has this funny obsession of pulling his shorts every time before he serves. He is often mocked for this habit. Once during Wimbledon, Robin Soderling imitated 'this act'. Although the crowd enjoyed the fun, Nadal was least happy about all that.
Now my confusion starts — should I cheer for Holland or Spain? Though I've distanced myself from any sort of feelings here, I still would love to see Sneijder and his guys take home the golden trophy. Italy has always been my one and only love, ever since Baggio missed that penalty in 1994. His missing shot actually broke my heart. Still, Netherlands has always been there, though not my first love. I was a big fan of Dennis Bergkamp, the footballer who was scared of travelling on planes, Edgar Davids and his funky long hairdo and the incredible Ruud van Nistelrooy. Even the masters of 'total football' Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten weren't lucky to hold the World Cup trophy. This time I'm hoping that Robben or Sneijder are gonna live their dream, but I don't dare to say it loud. Instead, I'm saying: Go Spain Go!