Saturni, Dhanus 21, 249
Europa United Forward Alex Barlas described his first week on Mars with terms like, “absolutely maddening” and “why did my parents bring me here again?”
Put yourself in his cleats: isolated from friends some 54.6 million kilometers away; constantly facing severe risk of radiation exposure that could increase his lifetime risk of cancer; a complete shift in diet; a majority of his day spent on exercise just to keep his muscles and bones from deteriorating; and for the rest of his day - confinement with fellow citizens.
Who would have guessed he would grow up on Mars and become among the first to play professional sports on a whole new world?
One couldn’t blame Barlas or others for such an assumption. After all, Football was born on Earth. Of the 106,000 Mars citizens, 78% were Earth born. So the majority of MAFL players are from Earth right?
Before the season began, MAFL set player targets for birth place and gender because they wanted balanced player demographics. So despite Mars born citizens only representing 22% of the Mars Population, they represent 41% of MAFL players, followed by 38% Earth born players and 20% Naturalized citizens.
Of the 108 goals scored in total after Week 11, the highest scoring segment belonged to Mars born players with 47% of the goals scored. This was followed by 27% for Earth born players and 26% for Naturalized citizens.
The top two scorers in the league are both Mars born: Uday Lanka (Lanka Legend to many) of the Amrita Immortals with 9 goals and Readale Nash (the Cash) of the San Olympus Titans with 7 goals.
In fact, 5 of the top 8 scorers in the league are Mars born.
Contrary to Barlas’ point of view, are the Best Footballers from Mars?
“I’ve been around this game for over 30 years, and the best Football training comes from Earth,” said Manager Gordan J Pryce of the Marineris Comets. “Ilya Jaroslav Petrovich of the Novyimir Dynamo, Vivian Badour of Al’amal SC, Liddell Marsh of the Marineris Comets are all among the top scorers and they were born on Earth”.
Nash disagrees, “the Best Footballers on Earth, are from Earth, but once they touch down on Mars, this is a whole different world of Football for them. A world I’ve been used to since Birth”.
Is it true? Do Mars born players naturally acclimatize to Mars’ conditions much more easily than Earth born players?
Does this make Mars born players better than Earth born players?
In the short history of Mars colonization, it wasn’t too long ago that the thought of ever conceiving Mars born citizens was highly questionable.
- It took three major breakthroughs to answer all the questions to: Where will babies come from? Radiation Barriers
- Fertility Medications
- Advances in Reproductive Technologies such as In-Vitro Fertilization
Once the scientists alleviated everyone’s fears that their private treasures wouldn’t disintegrate while copulating, the long season of wildness began – because what the hell are you going to do on Mars when you weren’t working the mines or farms or construction i.e. surviving.
And that was one of the key questions and challenges, Earth born Martians had as they acclimatized to their new surroundings.
What to do on Mars other than surviving?
According to ongoing studies by Marineris Tech U on Mars acclimation, Earth born Martians have exhibited various forms of anxiety related stress due to a multitude of factors including:
- Lack of outdoor exposure – No fresh air? Where’s the sun?
- Separation from loved ones on Earth – Are virtual hugs virtually empty?
- Isolation in their confined living spaces – Where can I roam and be free?
- Diet – Where can I get a juicy BBQ steak?
- Excessive gravity training which increases incidents of sopite syndrome (fatigue, drowsiness, and mood changes) – If I train more, I get depressed? If I don’t train, I get emaciated?
Questions all running through Earth born Martians. Questions that Mars born citizens wouldn’t have. Because, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Are all these differences from Earth life to Mars life really impacting the performance of Earth born players negatively?
Nash isn’t sure. “I mean, I hear my Earth born teammates bitch and complain about all these things they miss on Earth but c’mon man. It isn’t like life on Mars is bad. We have entertainment and games here and plenty of chances to have fun at the markets and clubs.”
Barlas adds, “The lifestyle adjustment was tough, especially as I came here as a kid. On Earth, I was used to running freely and going outside... so this was probably the biggest factor.”
Barlas has 0 goals to date after 11 weeks of MAFL play.
Nash adds, “I’m sure Barlas and all those Earth borns might be awesome on Earth but it’s a different game here on Mars. I’m no scientist but if Mars is 38% of Earth’s gravity, shouldn’t the Earth borns be doing a lot better up here?