Dribbling Minds

Dribbling Minds Football Magazine

Toons… I can’t help falling in love with you

It’s a story to be told and it will be. Episode by episode. This is the first episode.

Toons….. a sports bar tucked away in the underground of a very cosmopolitan area of pune. Is that it? Is that the story? No. It’s just the beginning of a story.

I entered the place for the first time in my life to watch a live football game. And here… are the proceeds.

6.10 p.m. Channels switch onto the live Aston Villa v/s Chelsea game on five large screen plasma television screens. Chelsea were playing some sublime football in the first half and I was ok with the songs flowing in the background. No commentary here guys so glue your eyes onto the television screens.

My ears opened to ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins. And when Anelka hit his most sublime goal ever for Chelsea, the song serendipiteously (like all his goals are) was ‘Knockin on Heaven’s Door’.

They were playing ‘Wonderworld’ during halftime when i thought that as I write this on the Dribbling Minds Football Magazine, I also need to mention the sports bars address. ‘TOONS’, the sports bar is located in the underground below Wonderland on M.G. road in the Camp area of Pune city.

 The second half started with ‘Sweet child O’ mine’ by Guns N’ Roses record being played in Toons. Aston Villa were looking child’s play in the second half. Pun intended if you have seen the horror movie ‘Child’s Play’. Villa controlled the ball better and played the better team and made Chelsea look miserable. But Chelsea got away in a very Jose Mourinho fashion. Though it was not Jose today.

Chelsea played it’s first game under new first team coach Mr. Guus ‘Effective’ Hiddink. I thought Guus Hiddink will make life tough for fourth positioned Aston Villa and his counterpart at Villa Mr. Martin O’ Neill. In fact, I knew it that, with a coach of Guus Hiddink’s pedigree, coaching profile and history as manager, Aston villa would not be able to overpower Chelsea.

Guus ‘The Brain’ Hiddink took underdogs Australia to the quarterfinals in the last World Cup only to be beaten by an unfair last minute penalty given to eventual winners of the World Cup 2006, Italy. He also took South Korea all the way to the semifinals in Japan WC 2002. And how can you forget an inexperienced Russian team’s run in Euro 2008 when they beat title contenders Netherlands. Which is also the country this brainy little Dutchman comes from.

The games were being seen live on five large plasma television screens by the hordes gathered at Toons. By the time the Arsenal v/s Sunderland game started, they were playing hard rock at the bar and everyone was singing along. I think Arshavin got two shots at the goal in the whole melee.

Towards the second half of the Arsenal v/s Sunderland game, the headbanging stuff going on in the bar with a few headbangers having a ball of a time is what kept me alive. But I thought Van Persie and Bendtner and Sagna could have joined us and banged their heads into the wall for leading Arsenal to a goalless draw inspite of playing their hearts out.

I put the blame squarely on Arsene Wenger when he sent Eboue in for Alexandre Song instead of sending Adebayor. In fact the bar had trance music playing and I confirmed with the DJ that the genre was ‘Trance’. No wonder Arsene was in a trance. There were so many balls in the air in the Sunderland box, if only Arsene had the balls to send Adebayor in as he is good in the air inside the box. You send a wrong message about strategy to the opposition by getting Eboue in. The game ended in a goalless draw.

 I told Samir, a friend [not Nasri], “I don’t like Song…. No.. Not the song…. I like the song… I don’t like the player Song.’ That drew a smile from a liverpool fan sitting close by who was not ready to speak to me as I cracked a pj on Rafa which didn’t go down well with him. The whole pj is on me cause this being a bar which served beer and beer was flowing like a river and no wonder the wash basin in the men’s room was decorated, however, the p.j. is on me cause

A) I don’t drink beer and

B) I don’t spend big money in restaurants unless the bill is paid by the better-earning half.

Even then I had two very very large glasses packed with delicious Lime on Ice and two whole plates of chicken with coleslaw and it only cost me a total of 150 rupees. I personally think they should charge more. Cause Toons and when I say Toons I mean Toons, The Sports and Music Bar is more than just an experience. Especially on Saturdays.

 And thus ended an exciting night of football. I didn’t watch the Manu game though I am a big Manu fan after the Manu v/s Chelsea game last month as the bar closed by 11 and the match began at 10.55. Toons the sports and music bar has a karaoke scene every alternate Mondays and I will be singing the lines “Edelweiss Edelweiss I’ve been longing to meet you” You too guys who’ve been reading this page. See you next Monday.

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February 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment