Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Brewskies

It’s that time of the year where people hand out gifts and whatnot. I on the other hand will hand out my year-end awards. Before we jump into that, a few readers asked why I chose Bleachers’ Brew as my column title. Was it because I enjoyed my Pale Pilsens every night after work? Truth to tell, Bleachers because it was there where it was fashionable to sit in the 80s during UAAP (and the NCAA too since like time immemorial) basketball. That was where the action was. Yes, I heckled one too many opposing players and coaches, not to mention fans. And yes, we rumbled. The Brew part comes from the great Miles Davis’ Bitches’ Brew. I love Miles’ music but so that you know, on heavy rotation on my player is an eclectic selection of Narda, Hard-Fi, British Sea Power, John Boswell, Santana, and Bob Marley.

So now that you know, on to the first-ever Brewskies. You’ll see none of the Best Basketball Player of the Year stuff here. There are enough awards shows for that in the world. Instead, I thought I’d concentrate on the nitty-gritty in between. Those who made the year in sports all the more memorable. The envelopes please… (And someone hisses in the background, “Take it. Take it.”).

Best Sports Moment – Tiger Woods winning the British Open. (Damn. That was
touching and awesome.)

Most Exciting Finish – UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals Game 1 (Top that!)

Most Over-hyped Match of the Year – Pacquiao-Larios (Total showbiz crap!)

Sudden Impact Athlete of the Year – the African Lion… Sam Ekwe

Best Interview – Pido Jarencio of the UST Tigers

The World Cup Moment – Zinedine Zidane’s heabutt on mealy-mouthed Marco
Materazzi that decided the World Cup’s outcome right there and then.

Most Generous Award – Brian Viloria for handing over the belt to Omar Nino
Romero in their first match (but isn’t that the spirit of Christmas?)
Runner-Up: Coca Cola Tigers for giving Rudy Hatfield, Billy Mamaril, and Rafi Reavis to Ginebra for almost nothing.

Most Gruesome Injury Caught on Video – Michael Owen during the World Cup

In A Zone Award – Kobe Bryant scoring 81 points

Upset of the Year – JRU against UST in the Collegiate Champions League

Chris Webber Memorial Award – Josh Howard for his ill-advised time out in
Game 5 of the NBA Finals

Rivalry of the Year – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
Runner-Up: PCU vs. Letran (these two teams have eliminated one another the past couple of years in the NCAA)

Cain & Abel Award – Rico Villanueva and Joseph Yeo

No Balls Award – UAAP Board for their handling of the DLSU basketball

This Year’s Michael Jordan Model – Dwyane Wade

Born Again Award – Ruud Van Nistelrooy in Real Madrid

Most Heart-rending Moment – the aftermath of UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals
Game 3 for Ateneans everywhere
Runner-Up: Adam Morrisson on the floor after Gonzaga lost in the US NCAA title game (definitely not a good year for Jesuit schools in basketball finals)

Dubious Distinction Award* – (this award comes with an asterisk) Barry Bonds.
Runner-Up: Mark McGwire

Two Thumbs Down Award - (for sports dictatorship and being no fun at all):
David Stern for his Zero Tolerance Policy and his ramming the new Spalding Ball down the NBA players’ throats.
Runner-Up: the NFL for their outlawing end zone celebrations.

Most X-rated Scene in Sports – Maria Sharapova eating a banana

Toothless Aggression Awards – Efren “Bata” Reyes and Ronnie Alcano.

Un-Fair Play Award – FIFA for deceiving MasterCard their long-time major
sponsor whom they dumped for VISA (who they also mislead during negotiations for World Cups 2008 and 2012)

Che Guevara Award – Red Auerbach for being a revolutionary genius in the
game of basketball

As a parting shot, just like every awards show where some makes a political statement, here is mine… Malacañang should release a disaster relief fund for our Asian Games contingent. If they call for knee-jerk investigations into billboard suppliers (read: Milenyo), building safety violations (read: Ozone), overloading of ships (read: Doña Paz), then they should investigate our sports leaders for the outcome during the Asian Games. Just imagine, our boxers not even being outfitted properly! Somehow, the SEA Games of last year seem like a distant memory.

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