Open up the window
Let some air into this room
I think I’m almost chokin’
From the smell of stale perfume
And that cigarette you’re smoking
‘Bout scared me half to death
Open up the window, sucker
Let me catch my breath
Mama told me not to come
Mama told me not to come
She said, that ain’t the way to have fun, son
That ain’t the way to have fun, son
Mama Told Me Not To Come.
Recorded by Three Dog Night and written by Randy Newman.
If anybody accuses me of making too many analogies, I will not apologize. To get my point across I start off with a situation I hope people understand and then try to make the transition to the bigger point I am making. The Philippines is the only nation in the world where basketball is dominant. So I will use a basketball analogy. Technically basketball is a non-contact sport. Technically. If that were really true then a player’s weight and strength should not really be a factor during play. But in big boy basketball it is. You fight for position, you fight for loose balls and rebounds. All other things being equal strength and weight come into play in those situations in basketball. Basketball is not all Carmelo Anthony types who just shoot and don’t get their hands dirty. There are just certain things you have to accept when the stakes are high in anything.
— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) June 4, 2013
To God the Glory? Why? I am sure some atheists play the game too.
Big boy anything is not for the onion-skinned . June 4 2013, the Azkals played a game in Hong Kong. Sorry I have to get in the mood to wrote this. Our lads played a match on the pitch in Hong Kong. The case for the Azkals as a source of “Pinoy Pride” has always been flimsy as far as I am concerned. Lots of Spanish – Filipinos / British- Filipinos but very little Filipino/ Filipinos. None of them took the jeep or tricycle to school growing up so how representative are they of us? For more of my thoughts on them you may go here.
What is inspiring today’s rant though is not the play of the Azkals. I want to highlight one of the side effects of people who are late to the party. Like I call it , people who just jumped on the bandwagon. Football is the world’s most popular sport. Except for certain pockets, the average pinoy historically cared more about cock fighting than soccer at any high level. I wrote this about the country’s apathy towards the World Cup back in 2010. The only thing that has changed since then is the emergence of the Azkal bandwagon. Pinoys are so late to the party if they are even actually in the party of big boy soccer. You don’t show up to a party five hours after it has started then get steamed that the people there are wearing t-shirts, playing cards and drinking vodka straight out of the bottle. You may be invited but it is not “your” party if you feel a certain way.
What motivated this rant is what some locals consider harsh behavior of Hong Kong fans. Pinoys are so late to this party that they had no idea that the party was always like that. There are those who attend the party and there are those who set the tone for the party. Pinoys need to know that because they are the ones who wanted in on the party. Pinoys love the Azkals but don’t know anything about soccer. Because if they did they would know fans being unruly in an international match is actually par for the course. Decorum at a big time soccer event is much much closer to wrestling than it is tennis or golf. Pinoys would know that, if they paid any kind of attention to soccer.
I am not saying rowdiness is right or wrong in an international soccer match. What i will say is that it is there. There is a local event that pits a school founded by the Jesuits against a school founded by the De La Salle Brothers and as far as I know there is always profanity before after and during the game among the spectators. There is the ideal then there is the actual. Why is it like that? Same reason if you ask me why you can order a beer at a McDonalds in Rome. Mr. Hand, I don’t know.
Guys, if you have photos or video clips of the incidents at Mong Kok Stadium, do send us copies so we can tell your story. Thanks! #azkals
— Jojo Pasion Malig (@JojoMalig) June 4, 2013
Unfortunately this is how hate can start. Pinoys in this case do not realize that this behavior is football fan culture and not necessarily Hong Kong culture. So the knee jerk reaction is to “hit” all of Hong Kong. I do not condone any racial slurs in any situation specially when strangers are together in a public place. This piece is not about what I believe should be the case but what is the case now and how it has been in place for many decades.
Furthermore, while England has the worst international reputation for hooliganism, a number of other countries have similar and growing problems. Today, the highest profile hooliganism problems tend to occur in relation to international matches and events.
The Azkals and their fans right now don’t seem very fond of Hong Kong. The behavior of the Hong Kong fans was called for yes. But combine nationalism, fanboyism, conflict and alcohol all in a common venue and that is a recipe for trouble. The history shows that.Yet, read that paragraph I quoted. It zeroes in on England as being one of the worst historical examples of bad behavior when it comes football events. Hong Kong before going back to China was a territory of who again? That paragraph ends with saying that infamous behavior tends to be during an international match as opposed to domestic ones. The Azkals tend to play international events.
While writing this I could not help but think of some irony.
Vancouver, British Columbia is one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. Canada in general is typecast as conservative and laid back. Yet home to not one but two of the biggest sports related riots ever in North America.
The USA has long had a reputation as being warmongers. It is a violent place with their gun culture . Somehow America has also produced more than its fair share of the world’s serial killers. America is also home to the world’s best basketball, baseball and hockey. Their most popular sport by far is their version of football which manifests itself in the National Football League as well as in every level of college sports there. Despite all those sporting events going on in a large violent country, high profile fan misbehavior is quite rare. There is that case of what happened in Detroit when Pistons mixed it up with the Indiana Pacers. Still with that number of events combined with the number of people attending them it’s a miracle that we don’t hear of too many of these.
Once again I do not for a second condone mistreating people in any public place. Still I bet all these people who are as shocked as Capt. Renault in Casablanca that home fans in a soccer game can be unruly never once heard what it is like for Team USA to go down to Mexico and play a “friendly”. Bags of “used beer”? I am sorry that all these Azkals fans wanted to do was support their team in person and they were not treated well. I am not even a soccer fan and I know this to be the case. Judging by the long history of football hooliganism, I doubt Filipinos complaining will make a dent.
Pinoys are late to the party that they wanted nothing to do with earlier. Yet are offended when the standards of behavior are not to their liking. You do not go to a Guns and Roses concert with Barry Manilow sensitivities.
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