Tuesday, June 24, 2003

To be the Best, drink like the best!!

Byline: Oliver Yong.

It has been a fact that foosball is and will be a part of the "infected" parties. Let me cut-and-paste from an F-1 article.

"The Federal Republic of Germany is situated in the heart of Europe. It has nine neighbours and covers an area of about 357,000 square kilometres.  Germany has a population of approximately 82.1 million (including 7.3 million foreigners) and is one of the most densely populated countries in all of Europe. In Germany, there are about two million more women than men. The most popular sport in Germany is soccer, called "Fussball" and is played at thousands of clubs which have more than 6.3 million members. The German national soccer team has won the World Cup three times and came close in 2002 before losing to Brazil in the final. Germany is now gearing up to host the 2006 World Cup."

What is required from a foosball player? What do we do to train for an event?

Ability to withstand crap talking (trash talk) from opponent, how do we train?

Simple solution for simple task, for the women. Irritate your mom, and a full day scheduled 24hr nagging will be guaranteed. Married man? Ask for Jack Hii, he would just ignore all calls from his mobile. To an extent, he would just leave his obsolete mobile lying around table top, praying hard that it would be stolen; save the hassle!! (** psst.. it's a Nokia 6110. Grandfather generation phone lah!!.. )

How the great players train. Got this training regime from Alex Hing, Alex Chong and our expert, Albert Cheok. We can see all of them in training mode every Monday at our friendly local pub; Barcode. They will report for duty @ 6pm onwards, punch their employee card and proceed to their work desk (high bar table ). What do they do to train up their games?

WARM UP with warm mug, it will circulate the blood in your body, warming it up just like a pre-warmed F-1 tyre, ready for racing!! Dump all unwanted fluid at the boys room, make coin changes, play Bee Gees songs and we are ready to roll.

STAMINA training by ordering 2-3 jugs of super chilled beer. It will allow non stop beer flow, creating the best mug-mouth-refill action. This will greatly enhance the ability to make dead shots and accurate Lafredo's. Note: happy hour training rates are from 6pm-9pm. After that, a different rate will be for casual training. Tips: If the beer happens to be warm, get our trusty Amir or Carol to get a bucket of ice, it will do the trick. A cold beer-action will stimulate the brain to go the distance. Ask Jack Hii, he knows best after a few rounds. His eyes would be an indication that it is time for him to stop training. It shows dedication and full effort by him. It is a strenuous training regime, but someone has to do it.

Psychology is an important factor in this game. Training in this aspect would require a stable mindset and shut down to the external factors. Alex Hing is the extreme crap-body language sensei. He has repeatedly made the opponent offset their games with cramps and spasm. A remedy to counter back this onslaught of crap talking is by laughing it off. Cant?? try to imagine him being a chimp inside a zoo cage, it will do the trick.

We should prepare ourselves for an onslaught of tournaments by doing more training session. I anticipate beer supplying company will have a higher share market price if our practise is persistent.
To our dear Prime Minister, We are doing our part to stimulate the market too!!

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Where do we go from here? One fooser's perspective.

Byline: Din Syazman Isham.

6 years ago, I started playing foosball. I took to it like a newly hatched turtle finding its way to the sea. Many of those I played with had already been playing for a while. Many have since quit. But those that remained have gone to reach great heights and along the way have passed their knowledge and experience on to a whole new generation of foosers. And foosball has become more than just a spin-the-rod and hope game but has become a sport in its own right with rules, organizations, clubs and tournaments. Even before I started playing, there were those who pushed the sport. Pushing to see the sport become mainstream & accepted by the public not as a game where people pretend to be Pele or Maradonna but as a sport where people will try to reach the standards set by people like Terry Moore, Todd Loffredo et al.

Foosball in Malaysia has grown, expanded and touched so many people over the past 6 years. What was once "just something to do on a boring Friday" became "the only thing to do EVER". I see it in the faces of many people - their complete obsession with the sport, their absolute commitment to it.
We, the foosball community of Malaysia, have many to thank for the growth and expansion of the sport here in Malaysia but a few key names come to mind. These people have pushed the sport hard. They have their own reasons but whatever it is, I would like to say thank you for all your efforts and may you not give up on us.

Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor have seen the birth of many brilliant foosers. The Mild Seven Nationals and the FM tourneys have highlighted a few key players and it is up to these key players to push foosball's expansion onwards by passing some of their knowledge, wisdom and experience to a new generation and hoping that this new generation will carry the sport to heights and territories as yet untouched.

It took me about a year to get my basics down. I had foosers who were willing to sit with me and discuss how I can improve my game and strengthen my weaknesses, they showed me what the basics were, ball control, anticipation, timing and all that, to these people, a big thank you. The new generation of foosers today have advantages that I never had and as a result, their improvement and mastery of the basics can be measured in a matter of months. The internet, club competitions, DYPs, a growing community of friendly and helpful foosers as well as an expanding level of exposure to the sport has critically reduced the time for someone new to the game to achieve their goals (pun intended).

The ladies deserve special mention here. When I started playing, the number of female foosers playing competitively was virtually zero. Times have changed. Female players have shown that they have what it takes physically and mentally to play the game at the highest level. And the numbers are growing. It was only a matter of time.

And that's where we are today. Foosball joints have sprouted all over the Klang Valley and I hope this is not just a trend. More people are being exposed to the sport than ever before and it would be a shame if all this progress were for naught.

But as the title of this article states where do we go from here? How do we bring this revolution (and I do sincerely mean a revolution) to its climax and bring about a phenomenal change in the public's attitude towards the sport as well as expanding the current base of players? How do we reach the other states within Malaysia? Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor have seen an explosion in new foosers, but is this enough? What about Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, Kelantan, Kuantan and so on? What is the foos scene like in these areas? How exposed are they? And the big question, are they ready? Will they accept foosball as a sport?

It would be great to go to the next M7 nationals and seeing whole new faces. You never know, if the numbers keep growing then M7 might revert to its old practice of rotating cities for the finals instead of having it only in KL (*sigh* those were the days).

Only time will tell where foosball will go from here. 6 years ago, foosball seemed like just another pub game destined for nothingness. Here I am today, playing foosball with people from all over Asia and the middle east. How times have changed.

I pray that the only way to go from here is forward.