March 23, 2010

Delhi Daze

My days in Delhi are numbered. For the past two weeks, I've done nothing but eat, drink, sleep, and watch cricket. Of course, I've also had a lot of time to reflect. And if I've learned anything at all over the past six months, including the past two weeks, it's that nothing ever goes according to plan. That no matter how many times you're thrown a curveball, and go down swinging like Vernon Wells, you've got to keep trying to make contact ...

1. To say that cricket-obsessed India has fallen in love with the Indian Premier League is a gross understatement. It's kind of a big deal out here; all IPL, all the time. And with the value of an IPL franchise set to soar to $500 million in the near future, making the league's next team more valuable than even the Toronto Maple Leafs, the world is beginning to take notice. As for me, I've fallen in love with cricket all over again, especially the Twenty20 format which, undoubtedly, is here to stay.

2. Delhi is my Indian hometown, which means I've thrown my support behind the Delhi Daredevils. The club opened the tournament with back-to-back wins; playoffs!!!1 But, true to form for any team I grant my exclusive fandom, they've dropped three in a row, including an utterly embarrassing loss to Mumbai by a ridiculous 98 runs. Luckily for Delhi, I'm about to say goodbye.

3. The rallying cry in the front office of the Toronto Raptors isn't "Playoffs!!!1" It's got to be "Playoff Revenue!!!1" One round's better than nothing, right?

4. If Andrea Bargnani is lazy, what does that make Hedo Turkoglu?

5. It is every Indian woman's responsibility to complain about her servant, maid, driver, and/or child care provider. While at the same time realizing that she couldn't survive without any one of them.

6. Seriously, my cousin asked me: "How do you survive without a servant?" Incredible India.

7. No pressure, Shaun Marcum.

8. If there's one thing I wish for more than anything else this baseball season, other than Vernon Wells winning the triple crown and MVP, it's that V-Dub walk up to home plate at the SkyDome to Soulja Boy's "Turn My Swag On."

9. In the fight to restore Wells' good name, this type of stuff from Jeff Blair really doesn't help:

"Turkoglu in particular is so abject and so low energy and has such awful body language that it is not a stretch to repeat the sneaking suspicion he is this franchise's Vernon Wells."

It's true. But it doesn't help. Let's just leave Wells out of it. Of the Joe Mauer contract extension discussion, too. Please and thanks.

10. Is Adeiny Hechevarria a Toronto Blue Jay or what?

11. I can't fight it anymore. Because it's official: "The Manager" is no longer named "Cito." From this day forward he shall be known only as "Clarence." Well done, Drew. I salute you.

12. Now that Jason Blake is no longer with us, I believe John Mitchell is the owner of the Maple Leafs' most impressive fist pump.

13. I've seen Dion Phaneuf play one game as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yet I'm proud to throw my support behind his bid for the vacant captaincy. Such is the power of a Garnet Exelby recommendation.

14. The curious case of Lee Stempniak: 11 goals in 61 games as a Maple Leaf last season. Fourteen goals in 62 games as a Maple Leaf this season. Suddenly, nine goals in nine games as a brand new Phoenix Coyote. I know he can't possibly keep up that pace, but it truly begs the question: what the fuck?

15. Martin St. Louis is tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring. Why does this shock me? Does it shock anyone else?

16. Five of the NHL's top 10 scorers are Canadian. Three of them - the aforementioned St. Louis, Steve Stamkos, and Brad Richards - didn't play for Team Canada at the Olympics. But second-guessing Steve Yzerman's roster would be pretty pointless now, wouldn't it? However, it's certainly obvious after the fact that Patrice Bergeron had absolutely zero business being in Vancouver.

17. Tuukka Rask is the owner of the league's best goals against average (2.08), and second-best save percentage (.928; .001 behind Ryan Miller). This was bound to happen.

18. If there is a God, Boston will not end up drafting Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall.

19. Personal hygiene doesn't rank high on the average Indian's priority list. And that's cool; who am I to judge? But the smell of a jam-packed Delhi subway car on a day when the thermometer touches 40 degrees Celsius cannot be described, only experienced.

20. I'm officially templed out. You've seen one, you've seen them all.


Arti said...

does that mean you are going to come home an even smellier and dirtier indian??

eyebleaf said...


I believe in personal hygiene.

Ian H. said...

I love that fist pump picture because of the kid pounding the glass in celebration.

Bruins don't get the number one pick!!!!!!1

aapd said...

Incredible India. Seeing that billboard always brought a tear to my eye. Speaking truth once again. Taking the flying Rani to Vadodara was my waterloo.

Steve G. said...

Responding to numbers, like I normally do!

1) I read an article about cricket in the "Best of American Sports Writing" 2008 collection. Although it has "American" in the name, you should definitely check out the series. There was a great piece about all of the intrigue behind cricket, and about the guy who got murdered in 2007 after losing a big game.

4) A god damn thief? It was shocking when people tried to claim that he was a better player than Vince Carter after his brief resurgence in the playoffs last year. The dude is like the new Jerome James, parlaying a decent stretch in the playoffs into a FAR too lucrative contract.

16) Patrice Bergeron being on the Canadian roster shocked me. He is fragile and injury-prone, and it's not like his offensive skills are so dominant that it makes up for his brittleness.

17) And unfortunately, the Bruins somehow felt the need to give Tim Thomas a new, multi-year contract before the season. WITH A NO TRADE CLAUSE!