World cup is upon us, one more time. For someone who has followed all the world-cup closely since 1979, here are few of my predictions:
- The media, afflicted by slightly altered mad-cow disease (aka foot-in-the-mouth disease), would whip up the mob hysteria (#2 below) and portray as if the Indian team is made up of 11 Daniel Craigs, draped in blue. They would gently goad every other expert they could lay their microphone on to say that
is the favourite to win. India
And every one of gullible us would fall for that.
- Collectively, as a nation we will go into ecstasy when
Indiawins a match, even if it is against Bangladeshand frenzy when it loses to far superior side like . After every win, the reporters from every news channel and otherwise, will interview a horde of supporters on the street, who will chant mindlessly, “jeetega, bhai jeetaga, South Africa World cup jeetega”. Likewise, after every loss, the horde would want everybody’s head from the team, including the head of Kiran More, even though it does not matter if More has less to do with the team. India
- Shah Rukh Khan will appear for Pepsi, Videocon, Vicks, Dog Biscuits, Brooms and whatever brand he could make money on and urge
to win with a fake emotions and urge Indians to support the team with faker tears. Last heard, marketing gurus from those companies are getting together to create a pot-pourri of blue motif – that has SRK, in blue colors, gulping all those down and making a clean sweep of the opposition (with that broom, of course). India
- Every regional channel will ardently try to imbibe the fever; and do a poor copy of the original copy. You would the likes of Sadagopan Ramesh, Tinu Yohannan and Narasimha Rao (the cricketer) giving completely c(l)ued-in responses to completely inane questions from the completely clueless anchors. Yet, that would still be bearable compared to the motor-mouths!! (refer #6 below).
- The morning absenteeism at conferences in cafeteria of already highly productive IT companies will rise; resulting in cricket ball-talks shifted to the post-lunch work session. At the same companies, due to better connectivity to the net and better TVs, a lot more people will stay overnight and work; and claim late-work dinner and tea. The midnight-oil will be burnt to make the net-work.
- Motor-mouth Charu Sharma and his side-kick Mandira Bedi will be on again. They will, of course, ensure that they have their informed opinions heard ahead of experts, who have only played a bit more cricket than them. Thankfully, Set Max did not win the ICC telecast bid for the next umpteen years. But, yet again, the next set of motor-mouths would be as bad as the above two.
- MMs would interview slightly-drunk and slurring Indian movie stars at the ground ahead of the game. The IMS would go, “Yes, India will win, blah, blah” – goes to fit the tag line perfectly – you can take an Indian out of the streets, but you cannot take the streets out of Indian (refer #2 above).
- There will be horde of product-launches – all with a cricketer acting abysmally and endorsing them. And each one of the cricketer would be eulogized and their houses stoned.
Some gullible (ref #1 above) would even believe that a cricketer did not turn up for a match, since he was shooting a commercial.
- Dravid, Pawar, Vengsarkar, Sehwag and Chappel will all maintain that Sehwag is one big game away from huge score. Unfortunately, that is (but hopefully isn’t) the game,
does not get to play. Last heard, Kapil was to be recalled to the team, since he is also a “proven” performer in the past. Gavaskar wont be; in any case, he'd be busy criticizing the Aussies for their ethos and their work ethics. India
- Countless companies would seek viewers to SMS their opinion on Sehwag’s inclusion, as he’d play every match to reach that huge score in the next match. Everyone would make money off it, the business, the advertisers, the channel, the telcos and Sehwag. The billion blue folks would sit smugly, knowing that they have made a difference in Sehwag’s selection (team, not shot), through their SMS.
- Regardless of all the brouhaha, the Television sales would go up. Stupidity would become the currency and people would fall for any marketing campaign and go in for better TVs , in a hope to see all of the above with much greater and crystal clarity. I did.