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  • The Sports Desk

Sleeping Giants, GOATs, and Curry - Our Writers' Defining Sporting Moments from the Year Gone by

Despite the seemingly never-ending cycle of sport, the summer offers a chance to breathe, look back, and remember all over again why we allow it to dictate our lives to the extent it does. We asked the writers of The Edict’s Sports Desk to tell us their personal highlights from the sporting season gone by.



Dortmund Hotspurs - Karnav Popat, UG 24


The 2022-23 season was a special one for football. Football fans all over celebrated a renaissance of sorts, as three sleeping giants — Arsenal in England, Napoli in Italy, and Borussia Dortmund in Germany — mounted serious charges to end multi-year title droughts. The most gripping storyline by far was Dortmund, the heroic knights of German football, tilting against the mean, evil dragons of dominant Bayern Munich with 15 Bundesliga wins in the last 20 years. Entering the final gameweek, Dortmund were top of the table, on a winning streak, playing at home against a thoroughly mid-table side. Dortmund’s fate was in their own hands: if they matched Bayern’s result, they won the title. Bet365 estimated their odds of winning at 93%.


At half-time, they were two goals down. Bayern were one up.


But half-time is magical and can turn fate on its head. In the 69th minute, Dortmund scored. In the 81st, Bayern conceded. The scores stood 1-2 and 1-1, so with ten minutes remaining in the season, Dortmund needed one goal… and got it! Niklas Sule, a superhero at the heart of the defence, who joined Dortmund from Bayern this season, scored at 90+4!


Too little, too late. Bayern had scored five minutes ago, won the game, and won the title. Yet again, Dortmund’s title challenge had collapsed, in a way that set tongues wagging about curses and losing cultures.


Bayern’s celebrations at the final whistle were raucous and well-deserved; they are a well-oiled machine steamrolling through sheer efficiency and with positive play. But the trophy they lifted that night was a fake, a replica; the league had thought Dortmund’s position so secure that the real Bundesliga trophy had been transferred to Dortmund before the game. There it sat that night, abandoned by a heartbroken city, yet another reminder of the fickle glory of sport.


Curry Chawal - Sristi Bafna, ASP 24


My team, Curry Chawal, reaching the Semi-Finals of the Ashoka Basketball Association (ABA) tournament last year was the highlight of my sporting experience. Curry Chawal was no ‘legacy’ team - none of our players were valued at over 60 million and we were one of the few teams to bid for non-cis male players actively. As first-time team owners, we spent quite some time strategising, creating player tier lists and team outlines, although none of them turned out as planned (they never do).


During the Quarter Finals, we faced off against A2Z BC, a team with impressive credentials and a star player who was acquired for a whopping 105 million. Despite our 2-point deduction, reaching the Quarter Finals was already a significant accomplishment. However, nothing compared to the thrill of witnessing our team's exceptional performance on the court. Chinmay and Bamal formed an outstanding partnership, Tanisha and Tenzin displayed unstoppable offense, and Anjana Ramesh (ASP 22) pleasantly surprised us with her defensive skills. Abhivir Beri(UG24), who had sprained his ankle during practices, was the team's driving force, always motivating and cheering us on.


When the final whistle blew, it was an unforgettable moment of triumph. I remember running to hug my co-owners, feeling a sense of achievement as a woman in basketball. Being a woman who loves sports can be challenging, but fortunately, I got to be part of a team that trusted my instincts and abilities.


While our loss to Mylapore in the Semis by a single basket remains memorable, the most significant memory for me was witnessing our team’s determination. Despite bleeding from his mouth and the coach not calling a foul on that play, Bamal returned to the game within minutes and gave his all. Curry Chawal was an unexpected experiment last year, but will return as an established franchise this year (that is, unless all the co-owners decide to play in the tournament themselves!)


Undisputed - Sarthak Gandhi, UG25


“Rafael Nadal,” announces the commentator, and the crowd erupts into a massive roar as from the shadows he emerges. Smirk on his face, and with eyes determined, the 14-time champion walked into his favourite hunting ground, Roland Garros. But that was 2022. Much to the dismay of the sporting world, history was not to repeat itself this year as Nadal was forced to pull out of the event that had defined his career.


The doors to the trophy were wide open. The most revered and feared competitor was out. The young guns, following a few disappointing Grand Slam outings, were hungry for a breakthrough and now had their eyes on the prize. Carlos Alcaraz, the perceived heir to the throne of the sport post the ‘Big 3’, was the hot favourite coming into the tournament. But, in a pack of cards, there always lies a “djoker” and Novak Djokovic was not to be counted out. Elegant, elastic, passionate, and ruthless, the Serbian maestro meant business.


As the competitors began to get their shoes dirty, some probable contenders slipped and tumbled out of the tournament. The ‘rackety’ Russian and the second seed, Daniil Medvedev, was the first major upset of the tournament, leaving the lower half of the draw open. Casper Ruud, a clay court specialist and last year’s finalist, wished to capitalise on this opportunity and began his campaign with a couple of gritty wins. With thumping forehands and high-kicking first serves, Ruud was proving to be a ‘rude’ competitor to his opponents. A convincing win over an out-of-sorts Alexander Zverev helped him cement his position in the final once again.


Meanwhile, in the upper half, Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic were bulldozing past their opponents with aggressive and dominating tennis. A string of clinical performances put them on a collision course to the final. The keenly awaited semi-final had all the makings of a blockbuster. But like one of those ill-written scripts with a stellar star cast, the plot went horribly wrong as Alcaraz hobbled with cramps. Djokovic sensed blood and like a true predator showed no mercy to seal the win.


Doomsday for one, glory for the other: it was the day of the finals. Ruud, playing perhaps the tennis of his life but unable to shake off the losses of the past, was unable to cope with the relentless salvos of Djokovic from the get-go. Despite the physical prowess of the duo, it ultimately came down to their mental resilience. Djokovic, with a composed persona on the court, seemed in cruise control while Ruud struggled on the other side of the court. Eventually, Ruud succumbed to Djokovic’s barrage and the Serb lifted his 23rd Slam title, putting him in a league of his own ahead of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.


More than a Team - Vishnu Prakash, UG24


I must admit, as time goes by, I feel more and more distanced from professional sport. With Nadal taking the year off, Chelsea and both my local Indian teams having dull, emotionless seasons, and the Indian Men’s Cricket team being profoundly unlikeable because of the antics of the BCCI (amongst other things), I struggled to find a moment that had me thoroughly lose myself in a way that only sporting moments can make me. Pineapple Express FC changed that. Besides the obvious monetary investment I made, the emotional investment that professional sport seemed unable to draw out of me this year pervaded into my attitude towards APL. Nothing could top the experience of building a brand with your friends, working with a team as likeable and fun as ours, and making countless memories. Except for winning, maybe.


Our Time? - Lamkhogin Haokip, UG24


Seeing India lift yet another South Asian Football Federation Championship was no surprise. It was a ninth victory for India in a tournament that has often seen them cruise past inferior football teams in a lesser-known footballing region. However, this time felt different. First, the tournament involved invited teams in Lebanon and Kuwait who were of a higher calibre than India’s usual opponents. Further, the victory in the SAFF is off the back of India’s unbeaten run in the last 11 games scoring 16 goals and conceding only 2. In the process, India climbed to its highest-ever ranking in the top 100. Don't take your eyes off, you might miss the fun.


Beating the likes of Lebanon and Kuwait is no easy feat, and Indian football fans have taken to supporting their team's display of discipline, hard work and team spirit. Finally, fans of the Indian team have something to be hopeful about and cheer for. Get on the Indian Football team train, and who knows, you may find yourself in USA 2026.



Keeping Up With The Championships - Samhith Shankar, UG’24


This was my first academic year as Sub-Editor at The Edict’s Sports Department. The past year has been puzzling for our group of writers and editors, as we were still in the process of figuring out the perfect way to package sports content for Ashoka’s diverse student body. Finding our place in Ashoka’s lively sports culture proved to be a tough task, as the campus returned to form after a lockdown-induced hiatus, hosting a myriad of sports events over 2 semesters. To cover these events, we set up our own Twitter account, taking advantage of students’ social media engagement to keep them informed about the latest scores and results.


The inaugural edition of Ashoka’s Batch Championship, towards the end of September last year, was the first event that we chose to cover on Twitter. We were stretched thin covering all the sports, many of which were taking place simultaneously. I had never intently watched some of these sports before — Table Tennis, Badminton, and Chess, among others — and had to learn certain details like writing scores as well as the rules of the game. If not for covering the tournament, I would perhaps never have been exposed to these sports, and I’m grateful that I was.


Next semester, we were back tweeting for Agneepath. My editor, Kartikay Dutta (UG 23), and I were constantly shuttling across campus to stay updated on every sport, covering for each other when we needed a break. I remember standing between the Basketball and Volleyball courts, regularly turning around to watch both sports at the same time.


By the end of Agneepath, my friends were all aware of the Edict Sports Twitter account. So when APL came around a few months later, some of them were excited to try their hand at tweeting. What followed were drastically different writing styles and a good bit of fun as we sat together on the slopes of the football field and discussed the best way to phrase our tweets. We were able to cover every single APL match, not just updating scores, but also important moments for the games. We had detailed threads for the knockout matches, which, looking back, I am quite proud of.


The Edict Sports Department will be providing live updates for all games and tournaments in the upcoming academic year as well: stay tuned on our Twitter page for more!


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