Lessons from Sports Sunday with Manny and Lebron

June 10 was at the very least a double header for sports that Pinoys like keeping track of. First-up was Game 7 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Eastern Conference finals between the Miami Heat (MIA) and the Boston Celtics. After that was Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Timothy Bradley. There was also a UEFA match between Italy and Spain, but exactly how many Pinoys keep abreast of soccer? Nonetheless, it was a very busy day for couch potatoes, indeed!

In case you have not heard, the Miami Heat won, thus they will advance to the NBA Finals where they will face the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC). Will Lebron James finally be getting that elusive championship ring that will finally shut all his detractors and critics up? Will he finally be able to say that the King has found his crown? OKC is apparently very evenly matched with them; they will have a lot to say about that.

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Manny Pacquiao lost via split decision to Timothy Bradley. The statistics showed that Manny Pacquiao landed more punches. If each round was to be scored, more rounds would have been in favor of Pacquiao. So, the big question is, why did he lose? There are quite a few conspiracy theories surrounding this; we’ll get to them later. For now, Pacquiao says that “he accepts the verdict, but he believes 100% that he won.”

I can remember around this time last year, the Miami Heat were also in the NBA Finals. Their opponent was the wily veteran team the Dallas Mavericks (DAL). I can also clearly remember that there were some Pinoys who were rooting for Miami to win simply because their coach, Erik Spoelstra, has Filipino blood. Oh well, talk about your Pinoy pride projection once again. At the same time, there were also those who were rooting for Miami to lose, because some felt that Lebron James did not deserve to win a title yet. Some of the things people said: mayabang(pompous), he’s not mature enough, he hasn’t shown himself capable as a leader, he chokes in clutch periods, etc. All well and good, but I won’t be surprised if Pinoys do the same thing again this year. After all, they do expect different results while doing the same thing over and over. Pinoys are insane.

Manny Pacquiao’s loss was harder to take for many Pinoys, naturally. The truth, according to Pinoys, is that they never lose; if they do, they were “cheated”, they were “discriminated against”, the match was “unfair”, etc. There are rumors abound, that the local Nevada mafia had a hand in making sure that Pacquiao lost. Another rumor says that Bob Arum wanted Pacquiao to lose because the rematch is sure to make even more money for him.

Why is it hard for Pinoys to take a loss gracefully? Do they feel that if they “lose”, then their precious “Pinoy pride” is shattered to bits? Pinoy pride is a type that is empty to begin with!

Pacquiao’s loss should be the thing that snaps Pinoys back to reality: they’re not the best people in the world. Pacquiao is recognized because he is a good boxer, and not because he is Filipino. And, yes, professional sports is dirtier than people think it is.

Now that the boxing match is over, Filipinos should “move on” to more important issues, such as making the government accountable for their promises, and working with it to uplift our society. The world did not end when Pacquiao lost, but then again, Pinoy pride is the only thing that shallow Pinoys have to cling to. Is it any wonder then why our society is in shambles?

Ultimately, there’s this thing called sportsmanlike conduct which Pinoys should learn from. This is not only applicable to sporting competitions, but to other aspects of life. I believe that we Filipinos, provided we’ve “moved on”, should be able to take away a few lessons or so from these two sporting events:

Being cry-babies will not change reality

Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics called the Miami Heat out about incessant complaining of the referees’ calls. Lebron James kept complaining that he shouldn’t have fouled out in Game 4. Although the Heat went on to win the series, the lesson is clear: being a cry-baby or a whiner only makes you look pathetic. Regardless of whether it was really bad officiating or not, the athlete has a responsibility too: to learn from his mistakes

Bob Arum was such a pathetic whiner. Referring to the referees as three blind mice was something I think done in bad taste. As for Pacquiao, we will see in the coming days whether he really was true about “accepting the verdict”. Yet, his “believing 100% that he won” runs contradictory to the first part of his statement, don’t you think?

We must never forget to mention the Pinoys. We as a people have taken the victim mentality to an art form. This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to our progress as a people. Unless we start taking responsibility and “move on”, we will occupy the same pothole indefinitely.

If at first you don’t succeed, change your strategy

Lebron James, together with the Miami Heat, has earned a second straight trip to the NBA Finals. The big questions: will the spectators see Lebron mature and take charge of the series, or is he doomed to repeat the same mistakes he made last year? Is Lechoke (Lebron James choking in clutch situation) finally going to be a thing of the past?

Similarly, Pinoys have been electing the type of politicians who have few accomplishments to brandish other than their family name or whatever showbiz gig they’ve done. The 2013 elections is a chance for us to prove to ourselves that we are not insane.

Learn to quit while you’re ahead

Is this going to be the wake-up call for Pacquiao that maybe he is already past his prime? After all, he is already about 34-35 years old. Add to that the fact that his stints as Congressman and professional entertainer here in the Philippines have reduced his available time to train for fights. Better to quit a winner, than to leave either as a body bag or a shell of what you once were.

The world isn’t fair; get used to it

So the match was allegedly fixed. Too bad. Life isn’t fair. Are we Pinoys just going to sit and complain? If we think about it, the boxing match should mean very little to us because it has no bearing whatsoever with the plight of our nation. The bottom line is simple, Pinoys should get on with their lives and stop sulking.

Eventually, someone who is better than you will come around

Bradley is about 6-7 years younger than Pacquiao, and he’s black. To be perfectly clear, I’m not saying that blacks are better than Pinoys, but physically African-Americans seem much tougher, much bigger, much more tenacious, and more imposing than whites or Filipinos. The age difference is a big factor too; around the early 30’s the human body starts to deteriorate physically. In the end, that difference made Bradley a difficult opponent to knock down, end of story.

Pinoys are not the greatest thing since sliced bread. They don’t even have a collective accomplishment to brag about. What exactly are we doing about it? Are we going to finally get to work at rebuilding ourselves?

All that bragging of how great you are is worth nothing without results

This is a simple truth that probably has been eating at Lebron James for his entire professional career. He still has no NBA ring to show for it. He’s had many chances to win, but somehow he’s his own worst enemy.

Similarly, Pinoys keep brandishing Pinoy pride all over the world when someone like Manny, Charice, or Lea Salonga makes it big overseas. Yet collectively as a people, we still have nothing, no accomplishments that we can show to the world. Our economy is not keeping up with our population boom. Politicking and persecution of political enemies still take precedence over improving the plight of our countrymen. Many Filipinos are still finding it hard to keep up with what to them are expensive costs of basic commodities and goods.

At the same time, I can never appreciate that Pinoys are very quick to complain that Manny Pacquiao was “cheated” out of a win, yet they never complained once that Renato Corona was denied a fair trial from the start. It’s a case of misplaced priorities.

So where are the results? If we still keep on insisting on projecting Pinoy pride without being able to answer this question, then we will forever be kept out of “main contender” status in the global arena.

30 Replies to “Lessons from Sports Sunday with Manny and Lebron”

  1. this article sucks, all haters for pinoy pride… did you know that football fans around the world would kill for their favorite teams? rugby(stampede/riot), the nba (remember mj father?), tennis (stabbing on a court?), and of course boxing (mexicans wud fight for their boxing icon)… you can’t stop people from their passion for the game, their love for sports, for idolizing their favorite players, why keep on down playing with pinoy fans being proud of manny or being disappointed with a loss, i too bleed when maria sharapova loses… manny’s loss with bradley was criticized by many boxing fans and sports writers around the globe, not just pinoy fans, that is why the decision of the judges was tagged as one of the worst in boxing history (again it did not came from pinoys) you guys here simply sucks, pinoy haters!

    1. Bad grammar and pure EMOness makes you a total a$$uscker. 😛

      Anyway, I pity you on clinging a ‘Pinoy Pride’ which it doesn’t exists. Pacquiao’s wins are not from the people, but from his. And you, an idiot never realized this: you can’t be proud of what you can’t ACHIEVE. You were born a Filipino much as I was. We can’t be proud on something that we were put into.

    2. It took a Manny loss for you to realize boxing sucks. It always sucked. That’s what happens when you don’t really watch sports and just want to wave the flag. That was nothing new except it bit the pinoys in the a$$ so bigla daya yung boxing. It was always the case.

      1. What kind of betrayal? Hey, what Manny did was his, not yours Because of your pathetic thinking, Filipinos are the butt of jokes in the world. 😛 Onion-skinned people are so annoying.

      2. Here’s an example of high treason: selling government secrets to subversive or terrorist movements. You’re total idiot if you consider Pacquiao, Charice, or even Spoelstra as government property. They’re not. 😛

      3. High treason? Are we not a democratic country? Don’t we have the freedom of speech? These would be high treason if you lived under Saddam’s rule. But hey, are we not already?

      4. @FishF*cker

        Meh, YOU’RE the one that should be charged with high treason for supporting a wannabe dictator.

      5. Wow. Looks like someone forgot to read the constitution. Oh that is right. Dumb asses wouldn’t know freedom of speech even if it was right on the tip of their tongue.

      1. I’m not really a big MP fan, nor of this Pinoy pride BS, but I think, Marquez lose all those fights because, he is more of a counter-puncher than an attacker. And since he’s the contender, he’s the one who should be more aggressive. He did land punches, but then, did he landed more? I think those loses are more of a lesson for JMM rather than for MP, which I thought he would have learned in their third bout. But then, just like many Filipino, he’s just another knucklehead who didn’t get it to win the fight. Cheers.

  2. In psychology, they came up with the term “BIRGing.” It means “Basking In Reflected Glory.” You identify with the glory attained by someone else. You claim the achievement of someone else as though you had a hand in it. The fact is, the glory of any Filipino athlete belongs to that athlete and that athlete’s coaching and management team. Spectators don’t get any credit or recognition for what an athlete achieves. The greatness of one athlete is not transferable to the nation to which the athlete belongs. An athlete’s accomplishment is at best an inspiration to that athlete’s home nation. It is never a testament to a nation’s superiority. We cannot take pride in something attained by others or something we only attained through luck rather than own effort.

    1. ” It is never a testament to a nation’s superiority.” Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it is. If you check the countries which always land the most Gold medals in the Olympics, these countries, which happens to be the more powerful ones, also has the most advanced training regimen for their athletes. Pure talent coupled with some mathematically-enhanced techniques and an approach using scientific methods, increases the athletes chances of winning. And all of these are due to gov’t funding.

      1. True. They have allocated time and money, and are focused and determined to improve their talented athletes; And they probably used the same allocation and values to improve their country in the first place.

        So in conclusion, it’s all about the nation’s values. Unfortunately for us, ours seems to be “wait for that one lucky break” as proven by our collective love of game shows and individual acts/talents, most of them having cinderella-life-stories themselves.

      2. Well, at the risk of seeming like a nitpicker, it is “a testament to the effectiveness of the national sports program of the country in question”. But to say that just because a particular athlete won something, then the entire population of that country is great, then that’s hasty generalization at best, don’t you think?

        Are there some countries whose citizens are more athletically inclined than others? I don’t want to answer that given that it will step on some very racially sensitive lines. However, it’s a generally established fact that talent not honed and trained in the right direction will be erratic and inconsistent in competitions.

      3. In the case of the Philippines, the achievements can hardly be attributed to the national sports program. Our winning athletes got to where they are despite our national sports programs. To succeed in this world, you need talent and luck. Our winning athletes were blessed with the talent and had either wealthy families or were discovered by generous patrons. Pacquiao had the determination and talent to become a world beater and he became world champion through the support of private individuals. The US and China have contrasting approaches with regard to their sports programs but both are very successful. The US sports associations are all private entities while Chinese sports associations are all state-controlled.

        1. China’s are state controlled probably due to the fact that they won’t have money to throw around for a private system. The US can do a private system because their sports programs have a more refined way of weeding out young talents. Hence there is a gauge to figure out who are hopefuls with good criteria to back up in most amateur sports programs.

          You are very correct in how Pinoy athletes are found out. It is NOT the National Sports committee that funds them. It is guys like Roach with experience who take a gamble in seeing potential with the Pinoy athletes and usually fund THEM both overseas and in the country to train. Or in other cases, the pinoy athletes overseas who come back to be nationalized have already been training at better facilities overseas.

  3. Those trolls like Fishball wants me to be charged for high treason because of ‘betraying my countrymen’. Hey, this is all sports, man! What’s the big deal? Totally pathetic.

    As 4chan said: COME AT ME, BRO. 😀

  4. I can’t agree with saying that expecting different results from Miami Heat is insane.

    This is sports, it’s never the same thing over and over; there’s always a random factor involved in these things, especially in a team sport such as basketball.

    I guess for this year, I’m rooting for Heat. But I’ll still have a sly grin if Lebron still doesn’t get his ring.

    1. Ah, I see the root of your disagreement. I guess one of the statements I made above was ambiguous:

      All well and good, but I won’t be surprised if Pinoys do the same thing again this year. After all, they do expect different results while doing the same thing over and over. Pinoys are insane.

      What I was trying to say that Pinoys are the type of people who expect to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. I wasn’t necessarily referring to cheering on basketball, but was thinking something like…electing government officials.

      Oh by the way, I’ve also met a few Pinoys who insist and think that their Pinoy pride cheering made all the difference on whether one of their idols won or not. Those are the insane ones too 😛

      The Heat can win, but only if they can overcome the weaknesses that bogged them down last season. Plus if Lebron can finally step up his game even further. The Thunder are not exactly push-overs, either.

      1. I see, I had thought you were speaking of the event the Heat plays on the finals, and that they can’t win just because they’ve already played the before and lost.

        I also believe that “Proud to be Pinoy” is false in itself, you can be “proud of the Pinoy” if they do something that changes the world (EDSA one though this is open for argument) and you (The Speaker) did something to contribute to the said something.

        Believing that a win is due to cheering is insanity indeed. unless the contest is cheering itself.

        BTW, the Thunder has 1 win over the Heat. I’ll have a sly grin on my face for the next few hours :-1

      2. i dont believe lebron can carry the heat on his own, he needs wade and bosh to step up, wade has to recover from poor performance in game 1 and bosh is bothered by an injury, remember a finals game is won by bench support, thats worries miami as of now…

    2. Well this is AFTER the fact, but fuck give ME 8 years with Lebron/Bosh/Wade and I will at least win a fucking championship as a coach. As much as Spoelstra gets credit (much to the chagrin of Pinoys as he is the first Peenoy coach in the NBA to win a championship), any decent joe shmoe has a high chance to win with 3 superstars and a decent support cast. Just to remind sports fanatics, In 2007 Lebron led his Cleveland Cavaliers to the Finals, toppling quite possibly their best matchups against an aging Pistons, incomplete Nets and inconsistent Wizards. Mike Brown, ‘defensive’ stalwart was awarded coach of the year with 66 victories for his team. The same Mike Brown who could at least concoct different defensive matchups against teams but is crap when figuring out offensive plays besides ‘give Lebron the ball and let him create’.

      The ‘random’ factor is called momentum. It is what allowed Nowitzki and the Dallas along with their ability to go downtown with ease to go toe to toe with the Heat last season and the what Miami was going on when they split the series in OKC before taking it all at home and allowing Mike Miller of all bench players to shoot 7-7 from the three point line in the last decisive game.

      1. I think Mike Brown will probably another Cleveland LeBron if he keeps on doing that. Kobe wasn’t much of a playmaker; he’s mostly Jordan in terms of play. What makes Kobe a formiddable player is because of Phil Jackson’s triangle offense, same thing on what happened to Jordan.

        It’s not ‘Pinoy Pride’ that made Coach Spo a champ. He’s more like a Pat Riley clone. At least with the Heat, LeBron has developed into arguably the best player in the world nowadays. Not just a dangerous scorer and defender but also a dangerous playmaker. The Heat nowadays are like the Mavs last year. And OKC are composed of young guys so inexperience kills them.

  5. the pressure for james to step up and deliver the goods for the heat is not only the thing that bothers the heat now, they need help from wade and bosh, wade needs to recover from a poor performance after missing 12 of 19 shots in Game 1, bosh is suffering from lower abdominal strain before returning for Game 5 of the eastern finals, he missed the starting five in his four games since returning and only have 10 pts and 5 rebounds in Game 1 of the finals, winning the finals also requires bench support and only 6 heat players have played legitimate minutes in game 1, what troubles james and the heat is the thunder believes they can play better against the heat, game one goes to oklahoma, lets see if miami find its range…

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