Tired of watching the same old matches of the same old sport? How about trying something totally whacked-out?
If IPL is all about eight teams slugging it out to face CSK in the final, the UEFA Champions League is essentially a battle between Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Manchester United, while the French Open is but a pre-scripted drama staged by Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. Whichever way you look at it, mainstream sport has become as predictable as Siddhu’s motor mouth — spewing clichés by the dozen, match after match. The only way to escape the drudgery of sameness is to look beyond the usual suspects. And embrace bold new games that break new ground.
Three Sided Football
Imagine adding a dash of imagination to a brute of a sport. ‘Three Sided Football’ is about stripping soccer off its ‘us versus them’ core and injecting the intrigue of three teams plotting against each other to concede the fewest possible goals, on a hexagonal ground housing three goalposts. With five-member groups pushing, kicking and enacting a love-hate triangle, the game feels very much like Indian politics as teams have the freedom to backstab or form cosy alliances at will. Strictly recommended for folks who seek the thrills of a threesome on a football field.
Back in Finland, where men used to steal wives by carrying them away, the quirky practice was instituted into a sport. And thus was born ‘Wife Carrying’ – a gruelling obstacle race on a 253.5 meter track contested by valorous men who strap their wives onto their backs and run with all their might to breast the tape of victory. The minimum weight of the wife has to be 49 kilos. So to be eligible you have to be a hubby with a chubby. Not advisable for men with who practice polygamy.
It’s a sensuous tango of brain and brawn. A cult sport invented by French cartoonist Enki Bilal, ‘Chess Boxing’ is a cocktail of 6 rounds of rapid chess and 5 rounds of frenetic boxing. To checkmate opponents in this format, a Viswanathan Anand must be willing to brave the black eye and a Mike Tyson will have to think of cerebral strategies beyond ear biting. If Clint Eastwood were to make a movie on the subject, he’d call it ‘Million Dollar Deep Blue Baby’.
Race with Cheese
Cheese Rolling has got to be the wackiest race form. To recreate the magic, all one needs is a steep hill, a seven pound wheel made of cheese, and participants who are willing to slide, tumble, and hurl themselves down the incline to catch up with the roll. Conceived in the 19th century in Gloucestershire, the race is best run with ‘Tu cheese badi hai mast mast’ playing in the background.
Experience the high of your favourite malt and the simple pleasures of Ping Pong with Beer Pong. Played on a table of your choice by arranging any number of beer cups in a triangular formation, the task is to aim and throw the ball so as to make it land on a cup. If it hits the target, you get to glug the booze. And take the next throw. Two teams vie for the winner-drinks-it-all prize. If beer is not your cup of tea, you could even opt for Rasam or Sambar Pong!
Extreme Ironing (EI) involves taking the ironing board to the remotest of places and removing the creases on items of clothing. The wilder the place, the more brownies you earn. EI buffs have been caught pressing clothes standing on top of statues, hanging from mountains, in the middle of motorways and deep underwater. If one were to capture the gist in Chennai parlance, it’s istri with oodles of mystery!