We got smilin’ politicians
(It ain’t nothin’ to me)
Got songs from rich musicians
(It ain’t nothin’ to me)
Called Tokyo long distance
And the queen came for tea
Might mean somethin’ to you
(It ain’t nothin’ to me)
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers “It Ain’t Nothin’ To Me ”
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As you can tell from my previous rants I am not big on Pinoy Pride. No amount of FIBA or American Idols / or Steve Perry impersonators will ever erase the fact that we have a convicted plunderer as the mayor of Manila, a career OJT as a Senator and a bland mama’s boy as President.
Besides that we have a few advantages in the basketball department that we have not been able to exploit. The best of the best athletes in this country are programmed by DNA to play basketball by default. We can not boast of Olympians, soccer, baseball or tennis players. Taiwan, Korea and Japan all love to play baseball and even produce major leaguers. China does well in every Olympics. All the other Asian countries have their own professional soccer and usually dominate the Philippines with what I assume are home bred players. Other Asian countries athletic leftovers play basketball internationally and they still beat the pants off of us.
As usual the bandwagon is full now. This may come as some surprise but it is OK to make a big deal about the tournament in other years when the pinoys are not contenders or hosts. Since this is the only country where basketball is the dominant sport. I thought you guys love basketball? Or is that love conditional on a pinoy presence? I would feel less annoyed if more people watched this tournament for the sheer joy of the level of the basketball. A level that usually escapes this country in recent decades despite the aforementioned advantages we have in the region. Even the advertisement for the event (see above) plays up the country, the local team, the slogan and the sponsors but the event itself has the smallest representation. Like I said before in the Philippines, it is always more about nationality than it is quality.
I also have no idea why anyone would brag about the Volcanoes. We do not have a thriving local scene nor do the locals pay attention to the sport. They don’t even know the rules. Are we just a bunch of KSP lemmings?
One of the reasons I don’t buy the Azkals and the Smart Gilas as teams going into international competition is that maybe I am old fashioned. I am used to hearing Team USA, Team Canada, the Germans, the Brazillians etc. No other teams in international competition like the World Cup have a nickname ( Azkals) or worse a cell phone network provider. No wonder we can’t focus on winning. We are too occupied with epal even in places where other countries set the decorum.
For those who don’t follow sports in other countries, team names in North American and European leagues (NBA, NHL, NFL, CFL, Premier League , MLB) are devoid of advertising. Unlike here. Jerseys in Europe can have a very conspicious logo like “O2” while in North America there might be a slightly more subtle Nike “swoosh” logo. Even in international competition the pinoy culture of KSP and epal has to stand out among others.
I have loved spectator sports since I was a young boy. Sports is entertainment. I could care less though if Smart Gilas beats the Iranians, the Turks or the Koreans because a win against them means nothing to me and my life. What does matter to my life is the culture of corruption, self entitlement, disregard for law, chaos and disregard for human life that is so prevalent here in the Philippines that our children notice it as much as guppies notice water. This will shape their values and their future way more than 15 Filipino men participating in the 2014 World Championships only to get blown out early in the tournament. I also do not appreciate a government that chooses to use taxpayer funds to covertly hamper citizens dialogue on whatever they want to dialogue on. To me those things define our pride way more than getting an orange ball to go into a hoop ten feet off the ground.
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