The Nationals Are Proof Something Works In Washington

Sports is the only real reality television. Or at least the only reality television dressed as pure entertainment. Still after over 130 years of big league champions, the baseball gods show they are still capable of rewarding us with something we have never seen and a journey that most Hollywood producers would throw out for being too corny. The champions of baseball this year called three different countries home in the last 15 years and overcame a record of 19-31 ( after 50 games) almost a third of the way into the season .

An immortal verse from the  Grateful Dead goes “ What a long strange trip, its been”.   The Nationals got their start in Montreal, Quebec. An expansion franchise which got its name from the World’s Fair held in that city in 1967. Five  years earlier the venue of the World’s Fair was Seattle which gave us the Space Needle and an Elvis movie co-starring a young Kurt Russel.

The Expos first stadium was Jarry Park. They eventually played the rest of their games in the house Caitlyn Marie Jenner made famous better known as Olympic Stadium. Remember how  cities like Athens and Rio financially nosedived  and after hosting the Summer Olympics   The Expos’ Stadium       was nicknamed ” The Big O” but because of different factors that lead to some financial problems that nickname was slightly changed to the Big Owe.

The early 80s Expos were known for great players like Gary Carter, Tim Raines ( one of the few real  rivals of Ricky Henderson), Tim Wallach and Andre Dawson. Dawson   got more notoriety with the Cubs later in his career. Tim Raines became the poster boy for owner collusion.      Another Expo  during that time period was future Red Sox curse breaker Terry Francona.

The mid 90s Expos for me symbolize one of the biggest sports What If questions this side of “What if Len Bias did not imitate Scarface? ” If you look in the record books, there was no World Series in 1994. This was due to the player’s strike .  It accomplished several things. It led to only partial seasons being played in 1994 and 1995. The strike killed Michael Jordan’s dream to play in the major leagues.  What the 1994 strike did for baseball fans is similar to what pictures of Jover would do for males who do not idolize  Vice Ganda.  The same USA Today article I referenced also made another earth shattering claim. The strike killed baseball in Montreal.

In sports we never know for sure. We can never say if this happens then this happens. All these people who tell me that the 2012 _____  could beat the 1996 ____  just think they are geniuses till I ask them why are they working at a bank and not making a living betting on the 2018 ____   (A) vs the 2018 _____ ( B). That is much simpler. Players are playing by the same rules, same court  and zero projections.  In 2011 , the Dallas Mavericks won, in 2001 it was the New England Patriots, in 2019 it was the St Louis Blues. who saw any of them coming??

The Internet though is full of articles asking what if? One from CBS Sports talks about a sold out 1994 World Series hat     made 22 years after the strike. It sold out rather quickly. Bleacher Report even imagined the rest of the 1994 Season.  That is usually Rappler’s job.   I like the approach of this blog site called The Dutch Baseball Hangout that reminds us who the Expos had and asked what if this amazing group stayed together.

The could have beens and the might have beens just ushered a  slow death for baseball in Montreal. 2003 and 2004 saw the Expos split their season between their traditional home and Puerto Rico. A bit of a contrast in the winter time. At this point the Expos were already on their way out of Montreal.      This is a more detailed view on the demise of baseball in Montreal.

Imagine that the Nationals won the big one right after this big one decides to leave them. Just makes their story more fascinating.

2005 saw the Expos finally play all their home games in one country. They relocated to the capital city of the United States and renamed themselves the Nationals. Three of their best known drafted players include:

The Houston Astros also have an interesting history. Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States behind New York , Los Angeles and Chicago. Their nickname of course derived from the fact NASA has a significant presence there. Granted that comes at a cost for any sports team based there. The low hanging fruit headline ” Houston we have a problem ” whenever adversity rears its ugly head.

Their original home was really nicknamed the Harris Country Domed Stadium to my surprise. I have only known it by it’s nickname ” The Astro Dome”. It was the first sporting venue to have an artificial playing surface since grass could not grow inside no matter how they tweaked the roof . That surface was known as Astroturf.  The Astrodome was also further nicknamed the 8th wonder of the world.

My first exposure to the Houston Astros

The Houston Astros first got on my radar when they appeared ( as themselves) in one of my favorite movies of my childhood that repeatedly played Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The sequel to Bad News Bears which was titled Bad News Bears  in Breaking Training. The same film that  contained one of the most emotional scenes I have ever seen in a movie. I am saying this with zero sarcasm. I still get misty watching the Let Them Play scene with Bill Devane and his reel life son future Academy Award nominee Jackie Earl Hayley.   The Astros further entertained me when they went the limit in two memorable post season series against the Phillies ( 1980 ) and the Mets ( 1986) . Each time losing to the eventual world champion. Back in the old days they were still in the National League.

Other events of note . The Astros played their 2000 season in Enron Field . The stadium previously agreed to a 30 year contract with the energy firm to have their name on the stadium. Who says contracts can’t be broken? Enron went bankrupt the next year. Significant people either died of natural or unnatural causes or went to jail. Naming rights then went to the Minute Maid orange juice company. Four years later the Astros would make their first World Series appearance losing to the Chicago White Sox.

Fast Forward to 2019. The Houston Astros were overwhelming favorites to win this World Series .   From what little I know about sports gambling,  you could have gotten  rich betting on the Nationals before the Series opened .   It was Houston’s second World Series in 3 years. They won it all in 2017. The Houston Astros ‘ blueprint for success was later duplicated and renamed by the Philadelphia 76ers as The Process.

The blueprint for the championship success of the Washington Nationals will be hard to duplicate. In the last 14 years despite the Big 3 mentioned above the best they could manage was losing the National League Division round.  I will now give you pinoy types a playoff term you may have never heard before and that term is wild card. In baseball and NFL football, you can be a wild card team and participate in the playoffs but should you survive the opening single game where it is win or go home then every opponent after that will be guaranteed home field advantage and usually is better rested. The Nationals were losing to the Milwaukee Brewers but a 3 run 8th inning buoyed them to the divisional round where they almost got eliminated by the Dodgers.

After 3 games the Dodgers were leading the 5 game series 2-1.  Meaning the Dodgers only had to win one more game to advance. The Nationals evened up the series in Game 4 with a 6-1 win setting up a winner take all Game 5 in hostile territory for the Nationals. . They were down 3-1 in the top of the 8th inning before tying it up. The game went to the tenth inning tied at 10 before they exploded for 4 runs while preventing any scoring in the Dodgers half of the tenth. This sent the highly favored Dodgers home who have come so close the previous years in their quest to win it all for the first time since Tommy Lasorda , Kirk Gibson and Orel Herschiser in 1988. A boring sweep (4-0) of the St.Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series allowed the Nationals to rest their pitching and also recover from the stress of having survived a total of 3 elimination games. The New York Yankees helped in a way by extending their series with Houston to 6 games.

The Nationals though had an uphill climb against their World Series opponent the Houston Astros as previously stated.     Yet considering what they have been through , what would not be an uphill climb? They won the first two games in Houston. In Game 1 they were able to get to Astros starter Gerrit Cole who has not lost a start since May 22. The Nationals scored 6 runs in the 7th inning en route to a 12-3 win. Sweeping the home team convinced some observers that Houston fans saw their last home game of the year since their team  had to win 3 straight games in enemy territory to send the series back to Houston.

 

Yet that is exactly what the Houston Astros did in Nationals Park ( Washington D.C.) . They beat the Nationals 4-1 in Game 3 scoring a single run in 4 different innings and using 6 pitchers. Alex Bregman hit a grand slam home run in the 7th inning of Game 4 to seal a 8-1 victory . Again the Astros used 6 pitchers. You can read the quote immediately above by Earl Weaver. In the case of the Nationals momentum was literally a pain in the neck in Game 5 as Max Scherzer was forced to miss his scheduled start due to neck and back spams.   Gerrit Cole avenged his only loss since May 22 by going 7 strong innings coupled with 3 Houston home runs from 3 different players and Astros cruised to a 7-1 win. They swept all their games in Washington , D.C. forcing the series back to Houston , Texas and they only had to win one more game to celebrate in front of their fans and to claim a second World Series in 3 years.

Game 6 was an elimination game for the Nationals, a situation they have survived three times before in the 2019 post season. Make that four times mainly because Stephen Strasburg settled down after a first inning where he gave up 2 runs but goes scoreless until the end of the 8th. Three home runs by three Nationals including 21 year old Juan Soto contributed to the 7-2 victory. In Game 7 the Nationals proved they truly were a team of destiny. Washington skipper Dave Martinez stuck with the previously injured Max Scherzer for 5 innings where he gave up 7 hits and 2 earned runs. The Nationals did not get on the scoreboard till the 7th inning which they were losing 2-0 but erupted with 3 runs from 2 dingers. They never looked back scoring 3 more runs in the 8th and 9th with Patrick Corbin providing 3 scoreless innings of relief earning the 4th and clinching win for Nationals 6-2. Corbin started 33 games in the regular season but was only making his third appearance in the post season including one start which was the series opener against the Dodgers.

The Hollies once sang ” The road is long, with many of winding turns”  The Nationals road to hoisting the World Series trophy included these winding turns:  3 countries, 5 games that they had to win or go home, their phenom who decided to play in Philadelphia back in February, 19-31 record after 50 games, infamous neck problems and winning all 4 games in Houston. Sports is the only real reality TV and this could not be scripted. That is why some of us love sports. Unless you are the bulk of Filipinos that only focus on one  team sport.

Wondering when the pinoy content was going to come into this blog entry? I said before that the pinoys do not care about baseball since baseball is known as a thinking man’s sport.  I also say in it that baseball does not lend itself to instant gratification. Pinoys love noontime shows and none of what they produce for the local audience ever gets much smarter than what you see on noontime shows. Those shows for better or worse represent pinoy aspiration.

Get Real Philippines is a culture blog and a few of us here have questioned pinoys love for their noontime shows and devoting themselves to basketball. Pinoy institutions  that no other culture appreciates. We have been told before not to write about sports and stick to the politics.  As if what I write is meant to appease those who love pinoy noontime shows.

 

Pinoys don’ t love sports and that is why team sports around the world do not look for Filipino players

My most recent pinoy sports opinion piece centered on the winless Gilas in the last FIBA tournament. To my knowledge the only international team game that grown men compete in where   the participants are born and trained in the Philippines. You can see how far that has gotten us. I detailed in a different piece that 21 countries contribute to the highest level of baseball in the world. Pinoys just make every excuse like genetics and everything else for the basketball myopia. Pinoys don’t love sports ( plural) enough to develop and produce athletes that other people want for their sports leagues. The cliche goes choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Pinoys don’t love team sports (plural) enough to work hard and smart like most of Washington as stated in my title. That is why a future where the big time sports leagues of the world come to the Philippines to recruit athletes with promise of fame and fortune is much more unlikely than what the Washington Nationals did last month.

 

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27 Comments on “The Nationals Are Proof Something Works In Washington”

  1. I find it odd and strange because (participating in) so many sports is the fastest (and or easiest) way to get out of poverty. And many athletes (especially) in football (that is soccer) come from poor backgrounds. Yes sure you need to be talented and gifted but that can be developed by good coaches and good trainers. And some people have to recognize (to see and realize) that you have talent.

    1. Thank you Robert as always. Well someone here can be born with the talent and even the determination but being the Philippines we lack the outlet. Really where are the sporting hotbeds in the entire country?? We are 100 million people. Yet it is only Cubao, Mall of Asia, Ultra? What inspiration does a budding athlete have who happens to grow up removed from Metro Manila? We don’t care about team sports and it shows.

    1. What makes you say that?? Just because I say the ugly truth that no one in the world cares about the Philippine team sports? They don’t do well abroad. Nobody comes to the Philippines and picks players for any league to play on their team? My life is short. Appreciate what is good. No time for baduy muse contests. Look how much $$$ the World Series makes and look how little $ all the PBA championships make combined. I surely am not the only one in the world paying attention to Houston – Washington.

    2. All sports wherever country are entertaining but like politics have corruption and flaws. Even US sports have problems in order to compromise integrity leading to maximization of profits.

      The more you love things and people, the more flaws you see as well.

      1. First of all , your nickname brings back fond memories of 70s comics. Oh yes I am very aware of the flaws of any league I follow. NCAA football and basketball with their cars for 18 year olds. MLB and their historical numbers devalued because the union would not allow steroid testing in the 90s. The NFL with the Will Smith movie that they tried to downplay. Now we see the NBA whose players love mocking the USA and yet China is a sacred cow. Many people to this day love the Wizard of Oz. Read up on what diet the studio forced on Judy Garland during production. Tip of the iceberg.

      2. Gogs mentioned Friday Night Lights earlier. That was one book then TV series or movie where the flaws of a certain sport came out. The people of the town mentioned did not like it at all, and hit back at the author, much as people hit Get Real Phils for exposing Philippine culture’s flaws so the same.

  2. The Washington Nationals were invited to the White House recently, by U.S. Pres. Trump. Some of the players did not show up, because they hate Trump. Politics is now influencing sports in America.

    We, Filipinos , have different kind of sports. It is Politics. All kinds of dirty tricks is done to win in politics, which you cannot do it in sports. Because , in sports, there is a referee. In politics, there is no referee. However, we have the COMELEC, as a referee…Sometimes, the referee, like the COMELEC, is too crooked, like the crook, Andres Bautista. The crook, Bautista, helped the favored political party that bribed the COMELEC, win elections…

    Political players are crooks; COMELEC is crook; Andres Bautista is a crook . What can you do ? No sports…no politics !

    1. It is way too soon for the White House visit. They are too hungover. Yes I agree that historically, the most members of championship teams resist visiting Trump more than other recent presidents. Yes I agree Andy TNT Boy Bautista was allowed to go the US unabated despite being impeached . The guy abandoned his sons. He should have been scourged at the pillar here last Holy Week. I have this wish that he was allowed to leave the country but first he had to give details how he rigged the May 2016 election, Signed confession. Just in case the recount favored the Lugaw Queen. Notice yellows all quiet about Andy being impeached and that is a fact.

    2. Never seen a White House visit so quick after the victory. Then again they live in the same town so do it now before everybody goes their separate ways. This might interest you but many others notice Inquirer and Rappler and ABS CBN will frame a picture or video to get across their bias. Well same thing happened to the World Series MVP when it came to Trump. A video went viral that looked like Strasburg ignored Trump but if you view the real video he does shake Trump’s hand. Nothing we don’t see here in Pinoy MSM on a regular basis.

      https://www.newsweek.com/world-series-mvp-stephen-strasburg-says-claim-that-he-snubbed-trump-white-house-celebration-fake-1469725

  3. The best way to diversify Filipino sporting culture is by encouraging the youth to play multiple sports. In most US high schools, it’s not uncommon for students to be varsity players for 3-4 sporting events. The problem is that Filipino parents tend to not only introduce an orange ball to their kids despite not growing to at least 6’2 by the time they are 14.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. Jarvey Gayoso, who is 6’1, played basketball, soccer, and athletics before ultimately deciding to pursue a soccer career by playing for Ateneo. Filipinos simply need to diversify their sporting interests in order to identify which one is suited for their physique.

    I remember a guy in my class who was 6’2 and 200 lbs at the age of 17. Guess how many varsity sports he played? Nine! Namely basketball, volleyball, soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball, athletics, swimming, and ice hockey.

    1. Athletic directors for schools that play tackle football if they had wish would make either track or wrestling mandatory to improve their football players. You get my point that pinoys believe tunnel vision or myopia when it comes to basketball will work despite all the decades of evidence we have access to. They can’t even admit they suck. How do you feel about “big time” sports in this country only being Manila-centric? There are universities outside of the u-belt all over the country and does sports matter out there?

      1. There are collegiate leagues outside MM but not at the same scale. The problem is that schools and universities outside of Metro Manila simply don’t have the budget to maintain a competitive athletics department. It costs money to maintain those departments and the only way to raise that capital is by doing a tuition hike—not gonna happen, especially at state universities. This is likely the reason why collegiate sports isn’t that big in Europe. Academic institutions there simply do not have the same operating budget compared to their American counterparts.

        The solution? We need to look into the European multi-sport club model wherein each province’s district have their own club to attract local talent and train them from ages 7 up to 16. As soon as aspiring athletes are selected to form a team at the u16 age group, they can start playing regional and national tournaments all the way till they reach the professional levels. If they identify a promising talent, then they sell him to a much larger professional team for some amount of money. This works for soccer because kids only need to attend training or matches during weekends. Let schools focus on academics and let sports clubs focus on athletics.

        I believe we’re already seeing this materialize in small ways like Iloilo FC and Kaya FC.

        1. I know you know this but for the others reading what we are discussing is the Philippine infrastructure for cranking out athletes. This includes everything team sports and Olympic sports. Everything you said is true about the system in the US. Since you brought up athletics in Manila being funded by tuition . In America many of the lesser sports like lacrosse , track and field, tennis , gymnastics, swimming, cross country, wrestling are subsidized by the earnings of the football program. That is why there has been an eternal debate of why football players are not paid a salary since they draw huge crowds on gameday and even Spring Practice. Now a new law in California has opened the floodgates allowing individuals to profit on their image and likeness. Anyway more fuel to the fire.

  4. @Gogs

    We don’t have a sound infrastructure for producing world-class athletes to begin with. The level of corruption at every National Sports Association (NSA) under the POC is simply through the roofs. There is no long-term planning whatsoever and all they have is band aid solutions. This is obvious given our abysmal standings in the Asian Games since 1986 (the last time we made the top ten rankings in the medal tally). Even our most “beloved” sport, basketball, is struggling to produce quality athletes at the world-level because our local sporting officials insist on following the same antiquated tactics to the game. The only institution who is making legitimate efforts to enhance our basketball culture is Ateneo, which recently swept the just concluded UAAP season. The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) should simply be called the Metro Manila Basketball Association (MMBA).

    The US model is great but simply difficult–nigh impossible–to implement elsewhere. Do I think it’s a bad system? No. It works for the US but for countries like the Philippines? Not really. What we really need is a sound system suited for us. Not simply a carbon copy of what works in one country. The law regarding collegiate athletes being paid for their image and likeness has not yet been ratified but it brings an interesting dynamic to the US NCAA in the future. Will this lead into a domino effect in other states? We’ll find out by 2023.

    1. Little anecdote. I was not even a teenager when the PBA was new. Maybe it was the limited channels but I can tell you something like a brawl was big conversation in a factory town way outside of Bacolod.

    2. Interx

      While I do not disagree with your analysis of the systemic problems, I do not feel that you have delved deep enough. I have followed Philippine sport for some years now, mainly through the on line offerings of the mainstream print media, and have come to the conclusion that much of the problems merely reflect normality, Philippino style.

      I note below some of my thoughts in no particular order.

      The governing bodies are about power and control. Look at the number of sports that have two bodies claiming control. Can you imagine British swimming saying ‘we will not select Adam Peaty for the Olympics because he competes under another body. Despite having recorded the 12 fastest times in his specialist event’ ? Several seem only marginally competent, and are quick to blame others or gloss over their shortcomings.

      The US college system works to avoid the major team sports having to find and develop their own talent. In the RP, it reigns supreme because getting a degree is essential to getting a halfway decent job,so they can hold a gun to any potential ahlete’s head. This also delays the development of the athlete by restricting the standard they play at while many overseas athletes are already developed to appearing in their national team. Consider that the youngest Gilas player in the last FIBA world cup ,Robert Bolick, was 24,and a PBA rookie. Serbia had a player of similar age who was drafted into the NBA in 2014, and was playing for the Nuggets the following year.

      Short-termism is the name of the game. Someone like Hidelyn Diaz, an Olympic medallist in weight-lifting, received major cash rewards as a result, but how much funding did she beforehand, and how much going forward to the next Olympics? Giving a team or an individual some cash and an overseas training camp does not cut it at top level sport. Most major countries are preparing their top class prospects now for major championships 5 to 8 years into the future,depending on the cycle in the sport.

      Most team sports require more facilities than nailing a couple of baskets to the walls. The authorities boast about the new or refurbished facilities for the SouthEast Asian Games {which seems the pinnacle of ambition for many } but,of course, these are in Manila. The RP actually boasts a national ice-hockey team, but how many ice-rinks are there in the whole country ? Field hockey would be a much more feasible sport for both sexes, but how many artificial pitches are there ? Equally, the country is not renowned for maintaining its infrastructure, so how long will all these facilities last /

      I decided that the last two topics are intertwined. The piss-poor sports writing { I am not going to insult journalists by calling it journalism, or even reporting } feeds the overblown expectations of the public. Because college performances are inflated by the media, the public is led to believe, by the cheerleading of writers, that they have world-class talents playing, with no reference of what world-class, or even regional class,standards actually are. Similarly,they are never offered the question of whether Filipino coaches might be actually holding back what talent is coming through the absent system. In most of the top European soccer leagues, a coach cannot be appointed unless he holds a FIFA Pro coaching licence. It would be interesting to know what qualifications the PBA and UAAP basketball coaches hold, and ,if you go further down the line to schools, how much do coaches know about coaching,particularly the basic techniques.

      I realise that I have done the easy bit, and that socio-economic and financial factors come into play, but nothing effective will happen unless somebody asks hard questions. At least, at that stage people might decide improvement is not possible, and put to bed the angst over Philippines standing in the sporting world.

      1. Hi Niall,
        I read your comment. Pls allow me to add something. If possible pls try to take a look at how (sport) clubs were founded (in Europe). Most (or some) were just founded by a few friends who wanted to play soccer in their own neighbourhood. You can read about this in many Wiki pages about the history of so many soccer clubs. And one thing leads to another. This can still be seen today. I know this because even today this is how new field hockey clubs are founded in my country.

        As far as I know sports in Europe are not initiated (not started) in schools/universities but are club based.

        1. That’s something we ought to look at. In a way, it’s similar to startups but it’s more focused on sports. It makes sense because why should I pay extra tuition for school activities I’m not even involved at like Field Hockey? If I wanted to play football, I’ll simply go to a football club and play with my friends there. This approach is more feasible here given that many families are not well off and can’t afford private schools with “elite” sports programs.

        2. Like you, I have always had the impression that sport on the Continent has been much more community/club based, but much less so on this side of the Channel, although this is changing with the educational system.

          Certainly, I agree most sports clubs were founded by a group with a common connection, but not necessarily by close geography. Over time, some have mutated becoming one or multisported professional clubs – Arsenal or Newton Heath { the origins of Manchester United } Real Madrid or Olympiakos – funded benefits for employees { the 3 Royal Dutch Shell clubs in England,The Netherlands and Belgium }, or ,maintain their original affiliations – ethnic { London Irish,London Welsh } educational {alumni – known as Old Boys in England,Former Pupils in Scotland } or merely local. Most of the last two tend to operate at the amateur. Nor must we overlook the legacy of the former Communist Bloc, { CSKA ,Dinamo and Torpedo Moscow, Dukla Prague, which eventually closed because of its links to the Secret Police }

          Overall,I do not see any one-size-fits-all development across Europe, although I admit my knowledge of developments on the Continent is limited. What I do see is that it is possible to reach top level sport without having to move to one city, which is the case in the Philippines,with the possible exception of soccer.

        1. I did not introduce corruption, because that is something that can only be inferred from available sources. In saying that, I can think of two reported cases that do not pass the sniff test for honesty.

          Incompetence is much easier to demonstrate, by comparing actions to words and other available sources of information. This is something the media in general appears either unable or unwilling to do.

  5. Niall,
    Why start your own sports club in your own neighbourhood? I think this stems from “yesteryear” where neighbourhood X hated neighbourhood Y and people living in X dont/didnt want to join a club located in Y. (Isnt this where the movie “Gangs of New York” or even “West-Side story” is about?) (PS: Maybe the word “hate” is maybe a bit too harsh/too strong).

    Furthermore, to start a club (no matter what sport it is) you need a pitch/soil/ground. And who owns a possible perfect site for your club to start? In my country that is either YOU (as civilian; or you as a company/firm/office) or it is the city council (LGU). So you (your friends) have to go to the city council and ask to rent (or buy) that piece of land/soil.

  6. Niall,
    Like you already stated. PSV is an omni sports club and was started from the Philips (the famous light bulb in Eindhoven, Netherlands) company. The most famous branch within that omni sports club, is the soccer club, PSV.

  7. It seems to me that the Philippine view about big sports is that it is only a promotions tool for a company or a ratings drawer for TV stations. Otherwise, no big entity will spend much on it. Club-based sports can be tried, but they are mostly against the grain. Also, during elections, candidates might contribute money to a sports program, but more as an epal thing, not as any serious effort to prop up sports.

    1. I agree about the Philippine view. Even in the PBA, the frequency with which teams change either the name or nickname certainly supports this. Interestingly, this seems to be common in Asia, but the only sport in the rest of the world so blatantly commercialised that I can think of is road cycling, and I am not sure how many teams are actually owned by their title sponsors.

      For TV ratings, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Does TV exposure { frequently subscription } drive interest in the sport, or does interest drive exposure ?

      This blog frequently bemoans the fact that Filipinos would rather take a jeepney from where they are standing rather than walk to their destination, so could it be that there is little interest by the majority of the population in expending physical effort in taking part ?

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