More than just pretty faces

If sports were all just about handsome and pretty faces, I might have given up watching football matches when Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn retired from the field. The fact is I continue enjoying watching football games with many fresh faces coming up in the screen.

Kahn — image source

This thought suddenly popped up in my mind after a cheerful lady asked me some minutes before I watched Starbol event in Jakarta late February.

“Do you like football because of players’ handsome faces or because you like the game?,” she asks.

It’s been a while I haven’t heard such kind of question. Back in senior high school, I and my classmate admitted that we were both a bit disappointed toward girls who watch soccer games simply they want to see those gorgeous faces. But that is personal taste.

I explained to her that I love sports beyond those good-looking countenances. It will be naive if I say I am not interested in those awesome bodies with cute faces. But I fall in love with sports longer than I get to know of Alessandro Del Piero or Fabio Cannavaro.

Alessandro Del Piero-image source

I added I fell in love with soccer after I unintentionally watched a game of Italy Serie A regular football competition back somewhere in 1990s. I was wowed on how a footballer was accurately kicking a ball from a long distance. The ball came right at his teammate’s. Later on, I was marveled how a coach was trying to practice his tactic in the fields. It would be amazing how a defensive team could topple the dominance of offensive rival in a 90-minute of a match.

For me, football, like any other sports, is an art. Seeing how mind-made strategies are finally fruitful is amazing. The way they formulate tactics, kick the balls, organize 11 players to be a good team is surely a hard thing to do. But when it comes to a goal, bum!

So I told her how marvelous the sporting event for me is. She nodded and asked for no more.

As I posted in earlier writings, sport, including football, has inspired me to be a journalist. Most of my idols are athletes. I love soccer as much as I love badminton, and only slightly less than my passion for tennis or volley ball.

In reportage, sport offers its own challenge. I used to turn a blind eye on sport coverage, but later I agreed to my former co-worker’s statements on the challenges of writing a piece of article about sport.

Canna as taken from

Sport is not a common interest for all readers, unlike national issues where readers can easily get in touch with. Sport is a distinctive field that captures the loves of not so many people thus strives to win others’.

That’s completely true. I remember how I found it so damn hard yet so joyful when I was composing a story on the final battle of Indonesia’s professional annual volley ball competition called ProLiga 2008. Humanizing movements, describing spectators’ enthusiasm, giving a life in each of the moment during the event were very difficult parts. Once the story was completed, I could not stop smiling while reading the result. That was the first ever time for me to write a sport story. And that was when I completely fell in love with sport journalism. I will never ever underestimate it anymore!

I am happy to learn sport becomes a lucrative segment for television stations in Indonesia. Back in 1990s, there were just two foreign leagues, Italy and UK, that were broadcasted in Indonesia. But now… a bunch of options are on offers during weekends. Till I am confused to which channel should I watch.

Women are often seen in TV screen nowadays though I must honestly say I miss the moments where only credible women TV presenters who should appear. Again, back in my old time, I loved to watch Tamara Geraldine every time she hosted a football match. For me, she is a truly lover of soccer regardless those hot players. She masters the field, knows the players’ name well, and definitely understands how to turn a TV show into a life.

But now… more female Indonesians come up in screen but with little knowledge of football. How poor is that? But let’s think positively and hope they enjoy the beauty of football as much as I do or may be even more. Once they, or other women, do feel the same way, football and sport in general is one of the greatest human’s creations.


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