The great advantage of being in a world class institute is having world class sports facilities. And Georgia Tech sure is one of the best in this area. As Atlanta was the host city of the summer olympics in 1996, a lot of work went into sports development. The Georgia Tech campus was the site for many events, most importantly the swimming events. They are mad about football here. Not the beautiful game, their own version of it. So there is a 55,000 seater stadium on campus and a huge artificial turf for practice.
We had to start committing sacrilege at one place or the other so we went to their practice field with out good old soccer ball in hand and started kicking the ball around. Turns out it wasn’t sacrilege at all. Loads of people in Atlanta do play soccer and they are exceptionally good at it too. So since there were only four of us, we decided to join 5 other guys to play a game. Turns out they were Colombians visiting the campus and they had all of Valderama’s genes in them.
We scored a good first goal but after that it was basically over as a contest with the ball flying into the goalpost from unimaginable distances and angles. Add to that the fact that it was at least four months since we had had any real exercise. So it was just an exercise in futility. We were soon joined by two American girls, Deedee and Danny who represented their respective colleges in soccer. Deedee joined our team which led to a brief resurgence but in spite of the fact that she played better and was fitter than all four of us put together, the competition was too tough.
Enter Adnan and Faisal. Two Bangladeshis out of which Faisal was a professor of Material Science in Gatech. Well we tried out best. They played their part. But the game ended at 16-8. And by ended, I mean the four of us were too tired to go on and trudged back. Those guys quickly reformed teams and went at each other without a break.
We came back home tired and defeated, but as everybody knows, the aim of a good game of football is not about deciding who won or lost, its just about that sweet great feeling you end up with which feels like someone saying, “Attaboy champ. You had a great time.”