Monday, March 22, 2010

IPL Vs Gladiators...

So is there anyone untouched by the Indian Premier League. Well I suppose it would touch most Indians, even if they don't like cricket, or to say the least,, hate it. One cant really get a day away without hearing a word about it - either on the news, or listening to the colleagues opinions on how last night's match could  have been won, or a discussion on a public forum, or your friend's status message on facebook. There is just no escaping it.

With the advent of T20 format, and the popularity of IPL, its certainly a money tree. A radical fast paced adaptation of a game, that normally used to last for days. A game that used to involve artistically guiding the ball along the ground, with the flick of a wrist, instead of making it fly to the farthest corners of the park. A game which used to be about facing a 100 balls to score 2 runs, has changed to scoring 100 runs of 37 balls. To add to this,  bringing in players who used to swear to be mortal enemies, into the same team and watch them pat each other like good ol' buddies. I think this appreciation of talent, beyond any national identity, enjoyable in convenient way, is what gives IPL its increasing popularity.

And with great popularity, comes great profit. Every space on the clothing, slapped on with a brand logo. Every possible action-less second stuffed with an advertisement. Screens and score boards filled with advertisement, with the real action sometimes pushed to a comfortable corner of the screen. Well, that is what this is all about. Pay people to do stuff, that other people like to watch, and in that process make a good profit. 

To put it metaphorically, its quite similar to the gladiator matches of Ancient Rome. Hired, enslaved, brutal men, fighting to the death, surrounded by the cheers of a frenzied mob. In the modern scene, though a lot less bloodier, the theme appears to be the same. Good fights (matches) entertain...!!

Here are a few comparisons between the Gladiators of Ancient Rome and the IPL.

I think its a natural high for us humans, to watch men combat. Thankfully, far more humane compared to bouts of ancient times. A huge six now, could be comparable to a Gladiator's chopping off an opponent's head. One thing for is for sure that, Roman emperors and modern business men, sure know a lot about exploiting these human tendencies to get their due rewards.