That Ain’t No Way To Have Fun says the Azkals fans

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

http://www.politics.co.uk/reference/football-hooliganism

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.

 

 photo Lakersjeepney_zps42ee7683.jpg
I took this pic. Which only proves one thing. I actually take the jeep. How many of the Azkals do?

 

 

The real national team is the Lakers and not the Azkals . I have no idea why pinoys feel so entitled to soccer supremacy. We are one of the few countries on the planet without a pro league. Which is one way of saying we don’t care about the game. Who the heck expects to be good at something they don’t care about? That is typical pinoy self entitlement. Every jeepney driver knows who Kobe Bryant is.   Ask that same driver to explain offsides, name the last winner of the Word Cup  or even the half the positions on a football team and you will not get the same familiarity.

 

While writing this I could not help but think of some irony.

 

The rioters showed more fight than their team in Game 7
The rioters showed more fight than their team in Game 7

 

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.

 

Pistons
The Malice In The Palace Was A Black Eye

 

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.

 

Casablanca
Rick? You mean to say football fans were misbehaving??

 

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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21 Comments on “That Ain’t No Way To Have Fun says the Azkals fans”

  1. Let me get this straight, you don’t condone people mistreating other people in public.

    You just hate the Filipinos who jump at the bandwagon crying foul and playing the victim card over an event publicly accepted as unruly.

    Did I get that right?

    1. I wanted to point out that I am shocked that they are shocked. This is not exactly a new trend. Being unruly in an international football match. Thanks for reading Kemeo.

  2. Cool one there, Gogs! You’re right! Kudos!
    Can I just say, ‘Go, Philippines! #SmartGilasPilipinas ‘ 😉

  3. I aggree with you Gogs. As I posted on ANC’s page when the story broke “Really? Is that all? LOL… Try going to an Oakland Raiders Game wearing a SF49ers jersey and see what REAL abuse is!”

    What did the Filipino Fans (bandwagon jumpers) expect from a Football (Soccer) fans played in a REAL Football supporting country? Folks drinking tea with their pinky fingers point outwards? “Jolly good show!” NOT!!!

    1. Exactly what point I was trying to make. Do not look for civilization in “The Black Hole” or in an International FIFA match. I even backed up my points with documented events. That slap with a wet towel when expectation means reality. Others may disagree but they should point out either 1) pinoys knew what they were getting into 2) Hong Kong fans were an aberration as far as international matches are concerned. I said very plainly that I was stating what is there. Not the first time nor will it be the last time someone will miss the point in a GRP post.

      1. Admittedly, I too have “missed the point” once or twice… I’m still scratching my head about the Filipino Nazi article. LOL!

  4. Cogs,

    I am a big football (soccer fan) and as far as I know American sport can not be compared to European sport. What I’ve learned is that in most American sports is that supporters/fans of team A will almost never visit an away game. Why? Because of the distance(s). In both England and my own country its very normal to travel and see your own team in away matches.

    The England fans/hooligans are now more “quiet” because of the high sanctions/penalties for a brawl, invading a pitch. The UK government have a seperate law for sport/soccer violations.
    And because most other EU countries are – lets say more ignorant about the UK hooligans – its still a “party” for those UK hooligans to visit England’s away matches.

    Most people attending a soccer match in a stadium do that to enjoy the match and support their own team/country. This will be done by singing, roaring, chanting (and sometimes use vulgair words when a referee takes a decision not in favour of the supported team/country).

    Soccer is not populair in the USA (MSL), it is most populair among girls. I even think that USA was or is the current Women’s World Champion in soccer.

    1. Robert, I meant to answer this a day after you posted and I forgot to get back to it. I do explore other aspects of the two countries in the world indifferent to soccer, the Philippines and the US in my personal blog. Available in my GRP profile. One thing you can not argue is the NFL is king in the US. Plus they have the world’s best basketball, baseball and hockey playing there. All those leagues vying for attention after the American style of football. What is left for football/ soccer when it is not the destination of world’s the best players?

  5. I wonder if this is how the 2016 Olympics will turn out? Machete-wielding hooligans in the bleachers. Assault rifles on the basketball court. Like vacationing in Beirut in the 80s.

      1. Or that the guy sitting next to you might upend his beer into your lap when he jumps up to do the wave 😉

  6. So just because I have British blood and don’t use public transportation, I’m automatically not a true-blood “Filipino”? Wow. Thank you ah. 😉 Then what am I?

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