It’s both an honour and humbling experience to receive the nomination in the Best Sports Presenter category at Asian TV Awards 2015 for my work in beIN SPORTS. To make it even better, my own show, Street Soccer is also nominated in the Best Sports Programme category. This is something that I didn’t foresee when I was younger. I always love football but doing what I’m doing right now didn’t even make the vaguest appearance in my pipedream.
If you told my adolescent self that in several years he would get nominated in the same bracket with Jason Dasey (whose face he saw on screen regularly), he would go mental. Not only because it looked like an aspiration with a cliff too acute to hike, he never even thought about it at the first place.
I was set on a very different course when the opportunity to work professionally in sports broadcasting arose. Taking a re-route was not only unthinkable at the time, it was borderline lunatic. What I was preparing myself for and sports broadcasting are two worlds apart. It’s not like those two contradict each other, but there’s no direct link between them.
I feel truly blessed to be able to do something I like. It wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter. It required hard work, hard work, and luck. I’m not a believer of pre-destined fate, though. I believe everybody has the ability to make his own. Fortis fortuna adiuvat, so it goes in Latin. Fortune favours the brave.
Curiosity was the primary motivation when I decided to step in the industry. Being as opinionated as ever, I only began writing football as a pastime. I have an unhealthy obsession towards football - something that probably grew stronger when I found out that I didn’t have the athletic and physical requirement to become a pro player. As my writing took a flight of wider recognition, I began to question myself whether I was up for another challenge. Taking it to another platform came naturally.
Having a few detractors here and there is something I dont mind at all. I avoid succumbing to the accepted norms, as I did in other fields I worked in. I can take all the critics. I probably wouldnt like seeing myself on TV. But I have my own way of doing things. I refuse to be dictated by unchallenged notions.
Tonight is the awarding night. I don’t really bother with the odds of taking the award home. By being here alone, I’m already winning.
Cages will always get rattled if you do something in an unorthodox way. A few years ago, somebody on Twitter posted a tweet, mentioning both me and ESPN, and sarcastically suggested the sports network to take me as one of their pundits. I was halfway through my writing career, but my TV broadcasting tenure was still in embryonic phase. She probably thought that I didnt deserve the reputation i had, something that was built on the back of blogging and social media utilisation. Safe to assume that she thought if I was as good as I made it on the internet, I should’ve had a gig on TV. Otherwise I was a phony. She had quite a good laugh.
A couple of years later, I got hired by the very same institution. This time I did all the laughing.
She’s probably still tweeting.