World Cup @ POPTATES!!!
This post is about my best experience of watching a match live in a sports bar.
This Sports Bar is located @ Mulund, Mumbai, India. And is called POPTATES
Lights, Camera, Action:-
The day didn’t start as any other day. I had to get up early coz I had to appear for my M.S. Sem II exams. Since it was an open book exam I had hardly opened the book before. Also I had slept really late, since I was up late night watching the earlier day World Cup matches.
I reached the exam centre well before time, only to find that the exam will be starting late by 1 hr. Since it was an open book exam no one really cared to have a last minute revision expect for a group of suckers (I don’t want to take names here). Rest everyone was discussing the details about the previous day matches. Soon the exams started & as alweyz the first paper was a cake walk for most of the students & the exam after lunch was really pathetic (I don’t even remember what the paper was, & I don’t want anyone to help me in remembering that). So after the exams were over, we all started to plan for an outing, we call it “Night is Young” plan… (actually the term was coined by me, snehal can vote for tht)
So it was decided that we’ll be going to POPTATES to watch the match between England & PORTUGAL. Intially everyone agreed but only 4 ppl lasted in the end. Kurt, Shivam, Ziom, Snehal were the fantastic four. As usual snehal started cribbing ki he has some work @ home (he usually has some excuses with him for not coming out with frenz). So the no. reduced to 3. It was agreed that I’ll meet them @ POPTATES directly @ 7.30. We had planned to reach there early coz it was a weekend n it would be really crowded out there.
By the time I reached Shivam & Ziom had registered our names with the attendant. All this time Shivam was bragging about him knowing a manager named John @ POPTATES, & it will be easy for us to get in. But things were different out there, but I must give shivam some credit in getting us in even though we entered 10 mins after the start of the match. Inside the atmosphere was absolutely electric, everybody was enjoying the game. “Some were in high spirits” and “some were high on spirits” :). Luckily we got a seat near the gaint screen. Just as we entered England came close to score a goal, the whole crowd in unison said “Ohh, Shit man!!!”. I was the only one who was cheering for PORTUGAL & everytime they came 30 meters close to the goal, I would start jumping up & down on my table. Each & every move on the field was appreciated by the crowd.
The scores @ halftime was 0-0, and ppl were even more exicted coz they knew very well that both the teams will be charged up after the Halftime. The Second-Half was much more eventful than we ever thought. First Beckham was replaced by Lennon & Second and the major blow, Rooney was red carded for stepping on Carlvanho’s groin & then pushing C. Ronaldo (his teammate from Old Trafford). After that incident the whole crowd went slient, with only me dancing around, I could feel the eyes of the ppl on me, waiting to get their hands on me. There was a spring in the footsteps of PORTUGAL players after England was reduced to 10 men. They made the life miserable for the England Defenders & Midfielders. During the Injury time of the Second half, PORTUGAL scored a goal & I instantly jumped from my seat & started dancing around, again the crowd went silent. But as soon as the referees assistant raised the flag to declare the goal not void the whole Bar came to life again. My frenz started teasing & cussing me. Neways the Final score was 0-0.
PORTUGAL held a strong hold over the game during Extra time. Luis Figo was playing @ his best proving all his critics wrong. Plz make a note PORTUGAL were playing without 3 of their best players, who were red-carded in their WAR against Netherlands. The 30 mins went by in a flash, in which Maniche missed the goal atleast 10 times. Ziom, was really happy abt the fact that Maniche was missing the goal, some by inches & some by miles. As the extra time came to close England had a beautiful chance, but the match was destined to reach the Penalty Shootouts, so the ball hit the Woodwork and went out of play. Once the final whistle blew. Myself & shivam were totally dejected coz, we both believe that once a team reaches so far, there should not be any losers. (I know it’s a strange theory)
So we both were sitting in the corner with our heads down, the entire crowd was cheering for England. Soon the penalty shootout started. Ricardo was the hero for Portugal with saves from Lampard, Gerrard and Carragher before Ronaldo tucked away the winning spot-kick. It was a familiar tale for England, who once again exited from a major tournament on penalties following a brave display by Portugal.
The entire crowd went dead silent once Ronaldo had hit the final nail on England’s World Cup dreams. Am sure some people had a tear or two in their eyes. There was pin-drop silence in the whole Bar. After a few minutes the Bar Manager changed the channel & there was a Cricket match being played between India & West Indies. Soon after he changed the channel Harbhajan Singh took a wicket & the entire Crowd went berserk. People who were sad a few moments ago, started cheering for our very own Country. The experience was outsanding, I get goose bums everytime I think of that moment.
I must admit I was so thrilled by the whole experience that I decided to write a blog on the whole thing.Please forgive if there are any grammatical mistakes, coz this post was written in a 1/2 hours time.
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