I have lived in Manila for 17 years. In the past the NFL provided a respite from mass media stupidity from September to February every year. There have been episodes of drama where Sky lost ESPN and only Destiny had it as well as other incidents. In 2011 ASN ( All Sports Network ) was magical. They had all the prime time NFL games as well as a lot of the other games live or taped. Some of them even live in the wee hours of early Monday morning our time. They even had NFL Network shows.
A pleasant byproduct of having the NFL in the upper tiers of your cable converter is that about 98% of the commercials ( or space fillers in between the live action) were produced elsewhere. ASN HD has these constant tributes to height, speed and snow. I am talking about extreme sports: guerrilla skydiving jumping off buildings, hazardous surfing, base jumping with wingsuits, extreme skiing in Hokkaido and other visual treats.
A year ago the local rights of the NFL were given to Sports Illustrated Asia . Their programming between the action consisted of talk between their hosts about all kinds of US sports as well as international soccer. The NFL preview show had “Pearl ” among its stable of experts. Better known as Andrew “McLovin” Perloff of the Dan Patrick Show.
When September rolled around this year I wanted to punch something when I discovered the NFL was no longer on Sports Illustrated. Then after a few weeks my fellow NFL junkie cousin sent me an ad that TV5 was showing the prime time NFL games. I did not turn to it immediately for the following reasons: 1) the baseball playoffs provided games almost every day. 2) After a few years of watching the NFL on HD it is painfully hard to go back to over the air local TV. 3) I avoided anything with over the air commercials for decades.
Once the final out was recorded between the Houston Astros and LA Dodgers I knew that a return to NFL football was inevitable. You know that when you resort to the argument “it’s better than nothing” then it is synonymous with scraping the bottom of the barrel. An axiom they have in marketing is that presentation is everything. We are 21 days from 2018 and we have to put up with standard definition?? Oh I forgot this is the Philippines where the standards are low.
“Speaking of the Olympics. The Olympic gods smile on the Philippines even once in a while. A silver medal!! As in singular. Japan has 7 more than us. Silver medals I mean. They came up with a total 41 medals in Brazil. The Philippines got one. They have a slight advantage in terms of population. They are no different than we are genetically. Then how can we be so proud of one silver medal in 20 years and they have forty more in a single Olympics? We treat Hidilyn Diaz like she walked on the moon… barefoot.”
Me in my last GRP post
This is the Philippines where basketball is not the dominant sport but the only sport. Again, the standards are low. This is the only country in the whole world where the national team can not have any regrets about the team they put together. Let me explain. In other countries they can ( does not mean they do) all mull over what could have been when it comes to their national basketball team because their best athletes may be playing striker, goalkeeper, shortstop, center fielder, right wing , quarterback, cornerback, left tackle and so on. The Philippines does not produce athletes that excel in other sports (individual or team) that should be on the national basketball team. Our basketball team is the sole destination of the elite athletes produced by this country. Those other countries that routinely beat us in basketball I am sure produce more Olympic medals than one every 20 years and with their male athletes.
The NBA is by far the best basketball league on the planet. They only have teams in two countries. Neither of them have basketball as their most popular sport. The NFL is not only the most popular sports league in the US but it is the most popular program in five different TV networks (ESPN, Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC). Let me repeat that: not the most popular sport but the most popular program in five different networks. This in a country that already has the best basketball, hockey and baseball in the world. They also have professional soccer and several professional racing circuits. Compare that to the Philippines where there is only basketball. We are the only country in the world that has basketball myopia. There is no soccer league to feed the Azkals with players let alone any other sports. We have one pro sports league that nobody pilfers players from. I only bring this up because the NBA is the only pro sports league in the world that pinoys care about. In the one pro sport they care about they can not even generate token representation because their standards are low. They struggle to qualify for FIBA every four years because their standards are low. It does not matter that every country that beats them has a sport it prioritizes over basketball. They can not dominate in the win column so they yell puso. Puso is just another way of saying we can not excel in the one sport we focus on.
Look at my plight, I am starved for the NFL but my enthusiasm was dampened because the standards of the provider are low. Watching the NFL on local TV in 2017 comes at a price that simply was not there before. As Herbert Marshall McLuhan said ” the medium is the message”. How you deliver the message is part of the message since your choice of media for your message is part of the experience. Yeah so give us the NFL in low standard definition after being spoiled with High Definition the previous six seasons. The message I am getting loud and clear has two words. The last word being ” …. you!!!!”
I have no idea how TV 5 won the rights for the NFL but in my mind they feel that the local fan does not deserve to view the NFL on High Definition. Otherwise they would have given us the choice to still be able to watch the NFL on Sports Illustrated in High Definition. The way God intended it to be viewed. I doubt a specialty HD channel in the upper tiers of your cable TV spectrum will put a dent into whatever ratings TV 5 gets for the NFL. We must placate the low standards of over the air local television and give you the NFL in (low) standard definition.
I am such a fossil I remember when it was big news when the first ever US TV show was dubbed in Tagalog. That show was Kojak with Telly Salavas. There was novelty I admit. I can not remember if it was only for that one episode. I bring that up because to watch the NFL I have to be bombarded with ads for US shows like Walking Dead, Arrow and Supergirl with the people speaking Tagalog. Call me old fashioned but only Tagalog shows should be in Tagalog. When I watch Japanese movies I prefer subtitles to dubbing. This is about my opinion and I do not believe replacing English with Tagalog in a country where the news outlets of record are in English enhances the intellectual level of those TV shows.
I am sure all of us support the troops unless you go on record saying that our troops should not kill people who are willing and able to kill them. I wonder how are men and women in uniform feel about the FVP’s sentiment? I feel bad for the troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in the recently concluded Marawi siege. I was watching what I thought was a public awareness of the sacrifice of the troops and the family they left behind. Then they show a locally prominent businessman addressing the troops and of course the name of his organization. The poor grieving widows are the worm that draws you to watch and feel sad then turns out underneath the worm is the hook that is awareness of a businessman and his company. I definitely have nothing against business and nothing against selling but this?? This PSA (public service announcement) of a grieving widow in tears brought to you by _______ . That is totally up to you if that sits well with your conscience.
It is interesting to note that TV 5 is now showing the NFL. The big name behind them is Manny Pangalinan. The same Manny Pangalinan who read speeches at grad ceremonies that were plagiarized from many well known sources. The same Manny Pangalinan who was rumored a few years ago to be purchasing the Sacramento Kings. Rumored only by local media I might add. I am not saying I am cynical or anything but a guy whose companies do so much advertising in all forms of media in this country might be able to plant a story in some of those outlets that he is buying the Kings. It is not out of the question that somebody in the local media ” did him a solid“. I listen to all sorts of American sports talk radio for 14 years and not ONCE did this ever come up in any of them. America, you know the country where the NBA plays. Any NBA, NFL or MLB team for sale to any non US entity is always big news for talk radio.
I bring this up because several local fans were so extremely excited at the time of the thought of pinoy coaches and players in the NBA based on a piece by the late Beth Celis. It is available in several places online. It mentions the possibility of a pinoy coach and a pinoy player that the owner can “haggle for a Filipino assistant coach or for transfer of technology and a Filipino player or two in the team. After all, he owns it.”. Which brings up the question why has this not happened yet?? The answer is simple: the Filipino sports scene is a culture of low standards and the NBA is a league of high standards. Sorry but that is not a match made in heaven. Did LeBron James ever have to haggle? No , he was good and it is that simple. The word “haggle” is something you do in a flea market not in a world class organization like the NBA. The fact that the sophisticated pinoy sports fan got so excited that pinoy ownership will make their dream of a pinoy in the NBA come true!!! These people ignore the fact that the only reason there are no pinoys in the NBA is they never had the talent or skill to beat the 12th man in any NBA roster ever. That will not change if ( and that is a big if) that a pinoy is allowed to and has the enormous resources to buy an NBA team. Like I said before here in GRP, The Pinoy culture does not value work but they value the prize that other people get for putting in the work. So the idea (not the reality) of MVP buying an NBA team just stoked the pinoys unrealistic fantasies enough that he got all this attention. High expectations with low capabilities is bad enough. What is worse is high expectations based on a tall tale devoid of any additional achievement on the hardwood.
I think I have shown that pinoys would love to see a pinoy play in the NBA. There is nothing wrong with that on its own but expecting their dream to come true only because Daddy Warbucks was rumored to buy the Kings?? Really ? Somebody buys something privately ( in theory) and it makes YOUR dream come true? Even newspaper delivery man child Chris Petersen is more rooted in reality.
I am sick of pinoys playing the gene victim card. Like I said above the Japanese are like us with colder weather and MORE discipline. That is why they win more than one Olympic medal every 20 years. Japan also has several high profile Major League Baseball players.
Pinoys also cry victim when God handed out height. They will always give that excuse ” we don’t have the height.”. Let me render that refrain superfluous: #1 do you dominate among countries that don’t have as much height as you?? #2 Isaiah Thomas ( who is 5 feet 9 inches) in the last post season scored 53 points in a single game for the NBA’s Boston Celtics. He is not only in the league but excels from time to time. Not sure about you about you but many pinoys ( including me) are taller than that. Pinoys will always whine about height in basketball but never about lacking skill , discipline and desire. Japan’s medal count and Isaiah Thomas’ mere existence in the NBA is proof of that. In the words of Colin Cowherd that is a you problem.
We have HD TVs . We have HD providers . We once had the NFL in HD . Can we have it now ? No. It’s all about going backwards in this country . In a true free and competitive market we will have the choice . In a country that gets so overjoyed with one Olympic medal in 20 years, completely devoted to basketball with zero impact on the world scene, had a useless president for six years only because of the timing of his mother’s death, this is not a culture that strives for nor rewards excellence. Expecting quality and choice through rigorous competition is simply not part of our culture. That is why in 2018 we only have standard definition for the NFL because in all aspects of our lives we have very low standards and pinoys are very fine with that. Who loves ya baby??
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