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.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Peace Be the Journey, The Football Odyssey of Ayi Aryee

It is incredible how the hopes and dreams of many lie in a spheroid that measures 28 inches in diameter and weighs 14-16 ounces. The ball is an object of affection that defines many a nation and is a source of genuine pride. In fact, El Salvador and Honduras have gone to war over it. And most recently, Germany used the game to showcase its vibrant economy. For many people, football isn’t just a mere game. It’s the great equalizer in the game of life.

Ayi Nii Aryee made a conscious decision to pursue a football career after high school in Accra, Ghana. He knew that if he dedicated himself to the game and worked hard at it, he could make a living out of playing the sport he loves the most.

The success of his countrymen Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah, Shilla Illiasu, Gerald Asamoah, and David Odonkor in Europe only steeled his ambition. The fourth child of a brood of six, Ayi took a United Arab Emirates flight to Singapore last April where a countryman agent of his took him to play for Sporting Afrique, a team of Africans playing in the S-League, the premier football league of the former British colony.

Ayi was both nervous and excited about the prospect of playing overseas. Singapore was a long ways from Europe, but he figured that it was a step closer in following his idol, Stephen Appiah, the captain of Ghana’s Black Stars and who also starred for one of the top football clubs in the world, Fenerbehce of Turkey. But instead of being quartered with his fellow Africans, he was billeted at a hotel where he had to pay for his board and lodging. The problem with that was the pay that was promised him was an empty one. Ayi was to receive far less than what was initially offered. Dismayed and out of money, Ayi rescinded the contract and left for the Philippines where he sought the help of an uncle, Wisdom Obi Tanko, who resided in Cavite. The Philippines intrigued Ayi and he wondered if there was a club that he could hook up with. Tanko put his hand on his nephew’s shoulder and said, “The passion of the nation is in basketball, not football. It is going to be hard.” Undaunted, Ayi returned to Singapore to retrieve his belongings but he wasn’t allowed to enter. Immigration officials said that since he no longer had a work-permit in the island nation, he wasn’t allowed to enter more so collect his belongings that he had inadvertently left behind. Upon his immediate return to the Philippines last July 13, 2006, he was likewise not allowed to leave the terminal of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport at the Clark Special Economic Zone since his passport had expired.

He sought the help of his country’s embassy in Singapore only to be passed around by the local consulate as well as the Ghanaian missions to Japan and Malaysia as if he had the plague. The young footballer was confined to the terminal for 47 days where his hope and health greatly waned. One time, he gave a security guard the last of his money to buy him food since he couldn’t leave the terminal’s premises. But the guard never returned and that evening, weakened by the lack of food, Ayi collapsed and hurt himself. The airport’s Executive Vice President Alexander Cauguiran, has been a steadfast pillar of support. Cauguiran not only shelled out his own money to help the stranded Ghanaian but transferred him to the more comfortable Fire Department that was outside the main terminal. The seldom used conference room has become Ayi’s living quarters where he passes time by devouring books and magazines while listening to reggae music.

The 49-man strong Emergency Services Department of the airport have “adopted” Ayi as one of their own. They not only share with him their food but they keep him company as well. Says Virgilio Gatdula, a fire fighter for 10 years now, “Gusto namin dalhin sa bahay kahit ilang araw lang kaso hindi pwede gawa ng expired passport niya.” Everyday, Ayi volunteers to help wash the cars or fire engines. “It’s the only way I can repay them for their help,” he smiles. “If this were another country, I would be in a jail cell.”

The rest of the Emergency Services Department watches Ayi’s odyssey with great interest. For many of them, it’s their first look up close with a footballer. Football doesn’t even excite them. But during the recent ASEAN Cup Qualifiers in Bacolod where the Philippine National Team made it to the Finals after a stirring three-game win skein, everyone shared in the 19 year-old’s enthusiasm for the sport.

Despite the period of inactivity, Ayi looks at this temporary setback as “one of life’s challenges,” as he likes to say. “I treat it like I just suffered an injury.”

He trains twice a day – one in the early morning and one in mid-afternoon. The firemen are amazed. “We train hard,” says one fireman. “But when we see Ayi – he runs from 3pm until it gets dark – umiiling kami. Hindi namin kaya yung ginagawa niya na takbo ng takbo.”

Ayi’s training is confined to the tarmac behind the fire station with the majestic Mt. Arayat in the background. Every time he steps out of the fire station, there is a security guard nearby – a grim reminder of his confinement. It is also here in the tarmac where he sometimes gets to play pick-up football games with visiting well-wishers particularly Manila-based club Union F.C. which has championed the Ghanaian’s plight. People have brought him books one of which is a Filipino-English dictionary to help him understand the language better. Ateneo De Manila has likewise considered giving the young footballer a scholarship and chance to play for the Blue Booters.

Last November 18, Ayi celebrated his 19th birthday in the company of a few well-wishers. For his first Noche Buena, he shared a simple meal with the firemen on duty. But his long-delayed birthday and Christmas gift has come in the form of a plane ticket via United Arab Emirates (that was paid for by Union FC) that will take him back to Accra this coming December 30.

“This is a wonderful wonderful country,” beams the young African who heaved a huge sigh of relief at the sudden turn of fortunes. “Everyone has been so helpful and friendly from the start. In that Tom Hanks’ movie, he (Hanks’ character) doesn’t want to leave the Terminal because he knows he will be arrested. But in my case, I know I will be free. Now it’s getting back my life again. I will finally get to play football again. And I know I will be back because this is truly a great nation and I will never forget what the people here have done for me.”

Monday, December 25, 2006

The terminal: A football story


Remember Tom Hanks’ character of Viktor Navorski in the Terminal? It was about an Eastern European traveler who was stuck in the terminal of JFK International Airport as a result of the political upheavals in his fictional country of Krakozhia. Well, we have a similar situation right in our very own backyard only it’s not something crafted out of Hollywood.

Here is the odyssey of Ayi Nii Aryee.

Ghana in Western Africa has a population of 22 million people. Although it is one of the progressive countries in the region, they are heavily dependent on international aid through trading of its rich gold, timber, and cocoa. The former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan is perhaps the best known Ghanaian but of late, this English-speaking country has also been relying on its footballing exports like Chelsea’s Michael Essien, Fenerbahce’s Stephen Appiah and Saturn FC’s (from the Russian Premier League) Shilla Illiasu to bring Ghana to international prominence. .

The Black Stars of Ghana are ranked #28 in the world by FIFA and recently competed in the World Cup in Germany. “The pride of Africa” entered the round of 16 after beating the much more ballyhooed Czech Republic 2-0 and the USA 2-1. There they eventually fell to Brasil 0-3, but left Europe giving their country and their continent plenty to cheer about. Ghanaians also have kinsmen Gerald Asamoah and David Odonkor who played for the German side in the World Cup Finals.

Ayi Nii Aryee is from Ghana’s capital city of Accra. He grew up dreaming of following Ghana National Team Captain Stephen Appiah’s footsteps while playing for Istanbul FC in his country’s First Division. Early this year before the World Cup in Germany Singapore, a sports agent contracted Ayi to play professional football for Sporting Afrique (a team that features players mostly from Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana) in Singapore’s S-League. However, the agent duped Ayi leaving him with no club and no money until he was forced to go to the Philippines where he sought the help of an uncle living in Cavite.

Ayi tried to go back to Singapore but he was deported since he had no work permit. He arrived back at Clark International Airport last July 13, 2006 and has been confined to the airport grounds ever since. The terminal was home for 47 days before airport officials moved him to the quarters of the fire department.

He’s been there for over five months now and celebrated his 19th birthday last November 18 with a few airport staff and well-wishers. Ayi, who has learned pidgin Filipino, mostly gets by through the kindness of strangers. Local football club, Union FC which just won the first Terry Razon Copa earlier this month has been helping out Ayi by providing food, water, and material support. A few airport officials have likewise shelled out their own money to help tide over the young African with dreams of greatness on the football pitch. “Salamat,” he says his voice dripping with sincerity to the people who help out. ”Mabuhay ka.”

In spite of his predicament he hasn’t given up hope. He trains twice a day – in the morning and at night -- to keep in shape. He jogs and works out. In a scene eerily reminiscent of another Tom Hanks movie, Castaway, where Hanks’ character Chuck Noland’s constant companion and sounding board is a volleyball named Wilson (after the brand), Ayi’s belief and dreams are encapsulated by a well-used football.

“I believe that football has the power to unite people,” says Ayi his voice unperturbed by months of isolation and dashed hopes. “The sport has brought me places I never thought I would go see. And even if things did not turn out the way I want them, it has brought me new friends and that has made me want to pursue my dreams all the more.”

“I’d love to play for Union FC,” he adds. “I know that football is becoming even more popular in the Philippines. It would be good if I could become a part of that.”

It’s Christmas Eve and Ayi Nii Aryee has a couple of wishes. “Peace for mankind,” he laughs. “Yes, that’s good. But I’d love to get out of here and play. Just to play.”


Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks for reading Bleachers’ Brew and Business Mirror!

Monday, December 18, 2006

(Controversial) Sportsman of the year

There’s a line that former WWE General Manager Eric Bischoff swears by: “Controversy creates cash.” That may be very well true. It sure jump-started the Eraserheads’ career when public officials decried the tame cuss words in their first hit single “Pare Ko.” In the case of Sports Illustrated’s choice of Miami Heat super guard Dwyane Wade as the Sportsman of the Year, it’s nuclear fallout over a perceived wrong selection. Many quarters vociferously claim that Swiss tennis god Roger Federer should have won after a splendid year.

The august bodies that pass themselves off as the authority in their field tend to make mistakes or even the unpopular vote Of course, the popular vote doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right one as in the case of Christelle Roelandts, more popularly known as Ms. Belgium of 1994 in the Ms. Universe Beauty Pageant that was won by India’s Sushmita Sen. Most Pinoys and their brother would have handed the tiara to her but alas, methinks I along with most everyone else would have voted so owing to raging hormones.

Awards bodies have their reasons but as history has shown us, it’s not always the proper choice who wins. To wit: in 1993, the NBA MVP Award was given to Charles Barkley after a successful first season in Phoenix. But really? All Michael Jeffrey Jordan did was win his third straight title while sandwiching a pair of gold medals in the Tournament of the Americas and the Barcelona Olympics in between. Then the NBA feted Shaquille ‘Neal as one of its 50 Greatest Players when he was a mere babe in the league having played only five years and then had zero titles to his name. And they left out Dominique Wilkins, Adrian Dantley, and quite a few more.

Boxing has oft seen all sorts of controversial decisions mucking up some really great fights. There’s that Sugar Ray Leonard match against Tommy Hearns in which the Hitman was robbed after a draw was called! There was the draw between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis (that Lewis clearly won) and our own Manny Pacquiao who “lost” to Juan Miguel Marquez. Pugilists Winky Wright and Ike Quartey alone have been in so many that their record should read: wins-draws-losses-controversial matches.

Hoop Dreams, the 1994 documentary that follows the lives of two basketball players who dream of becoming professional basketball players was conspicuously left out of the Best Documentary category of 1994 Oscar Awards. And this despite the movie documentary making almost every critic’s list at the end of the year (more than Forrest Gump even). The omission forced judges to change their policy on categorizing documentaries.



What defines a “sportsman?” Very simply put, Mr. Webster defines the word as as “A person who is interested or participates in sports. A person who can take a defeat and a loss without complaint or a victory without gloating; and who treats his opponents with fairness, generosity, courtesy etc.” Astute as ever, Mr. Webster, but allow me to throw in my two centavos worth… the Sportsman of the Year is also someone who helps the sport grow, is an ambassador for the game, and isn’t besotted with controversy that offends people along the way.

If sporting competitions always demand one winner where is it written that an award cannot be shared by two players? If the MVP Award can go to a player on a losing team such as Julius Erving when his Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1980 then surely an award can be shared by two. And so, my Sportsmen of the Year are… Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. Both have been lauded so many times in the past that perhaps a thesaurus should be have pictures of these two athletes alongside its entries for greatness and humility.

Yes, Roger Federer is on his way to break Pete Sampras’ modern record of Grand Slams won (14) and he won nearly everything in sight this year. And the man is like only what – 26 years old? The numbers that back up Federer are solid and staggering. A 92-5 match record for the year. 12 titles making it the third straight year he’s won at least 10 including three Grand Slam events. And he has shown that he can win on any surface something that stymied even some great players. It all added up to $8.3 million in prize money – the best ever by any tennis player in any year of any era. But Federer’s accomplishments don’t just end there. I noticed several times during the year that Federer spoke quite a number of times that he spoke on behalf of UNICEF. He gives back to his countrymen and to the game. Even the ballboys are in for a pizza treat after a victory.

And there’s Woods. 2006 by far isn’t his best year. That distinction belongs to 2001 when he was simply a cut above everyone else. But 2006 is remarkable and brilliant for all that transpired. In a year of tragedy and failure, he rallied and put on an incredible and clinical display of golf that left everyone shaking their heads in amazement. And considering that Woods has done that once too often and makes his accomplishments look pedestrian without being full of himself makes 2006 all the more incredible. To paraphrase former Phoenix Sun guard Frank Johnson’s assessment of MJ’s 1993 Finals performance… Tiger Woods played like Tiger Woods. Woods crosses cultural borders like no other player since Michael Jordan. He plays the game with raw emotion and has a PDA for his folks including his late father Earl whom Tiger shed tears after winning the British Open in Royal Liverpool.


I’ve seen a lot of great athletes perform both live or on TV. Perhaps one of the best compliments that I can give is to tell my children that I saw both Roger Federer and Tiger Woods play. I am so lucky.

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
scandal

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.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Talking Smack

As a kid, I was enthralled each time I’d catch ABC’s The Wide World of Sports.. Hearing Jim McKay’s stentorian voice, “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition," is forever imprinted in my mind.

Perhaps, the only similar opening line that carries more weight isn’t even spoken (I’ll give you a hint; it goes like this: “da-da-dat. da-da-dat”).

As much as I love sports telecasts for giving me a ringside seat to all the action, sports movies have a special place in my heart. I watch them for their ability to inspire and make me laugh. They send me to the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They don’t match the actual drama of the 1998 NBA Finals or the 2001 World Series, but for sheer entertainment value, it’s not bad. These movies follow that time-honored plot of beginning, rising action, climax, descending action, and denouement. They may be formulaic, but they make for great storytelling. Let me explain by using some of the best sports movie lines ever.

Six Degrees of Separation (The Plot)
Ernie: I'm a baseball scout. I saw you playing today. Not bad, not bad. You ever heard of Walter Harvey, makes Harvey bars - you know, the candy?Dottie: Yeah. We feed them to the cows when they're constipated.Ernie: That's the guy. He's starting a girls' baseball league, so he can make a buck while the boys are overseas. Wanna play?Dottie: Huh?Ernie: Nice retort. Tryouts are in Chicago. It's a real league. Professional.Kit: Professional baseball?Ernie: Mmm-hmm. They'll pay you 75 dollars a week.Kit: We only make 30 at the dairy.Ernie: Well then, this would be more, wouldn't it?

Jerry: "I will not rest until I have you holding a Coke, wearing your own shoe, playing a Sega game - featuring you - while singing your own song in a new commercial - starring you - broadcast during the Superbowl, in a game that you are winning, and I will not sleep until that happens. I'll give you fifteen minutes to call me back."

John: Is this heaven?
Ray: It's - it's Iowa.
John: I could have sworn it was heaven.
Ray: Is there a heaven?
John: Oh, yeah. It's the place where dreams come true.
Ray: Maybe this is heaven.
Jergens: What exactly are you looking for Apollo? Apollo: This is who I'm looking for. The Italian Stallion. Jergens: Rocky Balboa? Never heard of him. Apollo: Look, it's the name man. The I-talian Stallion. The media will eat it up. Now who discovered America? An Italian, right? What better way to get it on than with one of his descendants? Trainer: He's a southpaw. I don't want you messing with southpaws. They do everything backwards. Apollo: Southpaw nothing. I'll drop him in three. Apollo Creed meets the Italian Stallion. Now that sounds like a damn monster movie.

The Golden Child (Enter the Hero)
Coach Herman: Now wait a minute, I am not the answer to your prayers. I’m not a savior, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King or the Easter Bunny. I’m a football coach, that’s all.
Charles: Just a football coach? You are our coach!

Mike: Mike Eruzione! Winthrop, Massachusetts! I play for the United States of America!

Reporter: Awful lotta hoopla for such a little horse.Red: Though he be but little, he is fierce.Reporter: What's that?Red: That's Shakespeare, boys, Shakespeare.

Why can’t we all just get along here? (Conflict)
Coach Norman: First of all, let's be real friendly here, okay? My name is Norm. Secondly, your coaching days are over. George: Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with. Coach Norman: Translate. That some sort of threat? George: I don't know why Cletus dragged your tired old bones in here. He musta owed you somethin' fierce. Fact is, mister, you start screwin' up this team, I'll personally hide-strap your ass to a pine rail and send you up the Monon Line! [George angrily turns and storms out of the gym] Coach Norman: Leave the ball, will you, George?

Kate: If you're so bored, why don't you read?Doug: You mean like a book?Kate: That is the generally accepted format, yes. What was the last book you read? You were in college?Doug: The last thing I read in college was a letter canceling my scholarship when I couldn't play anymore.Kate: Okay, high school.Doug: I was a hockey player. The only thing I had to read was a scoreboard.Kate: And they graduated you?Doug: They revered me. I was a God.Kate: What a tragic commentary on our times.

Mickey: Ah, Rocky Marciano. Ya know, ya kinda remind me of the Rock, ya know that?
Rocky: You really think so?
Mickey: Ya move like him. Ya got heart like he did.
Rocky: I got heart but I ain’t got no locker, do I, Mick?

Gonna Fly Now (Getting his act together)
Hatch: Where do I stand for a corner kick?

Herman: Petey how many feet are in a mile? How many?Petey: I dunno.Herman: 5,280! And you will take this ball and run every single one of them! You’re killing me Petey! You’re killing me!

Jimmy: Baseball is what lights you up. What gets you excited. You can’t deny that.
Dottie: It just got too hard.
Jimmy: It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t too hard, everyone would do it. That’s what makes it great.

The Divine Gipper (Waxing poetic)
Irv: Now a lot of coaches would be giving you one of these one of these “one for the Gipper” speeches. I’m not good at that stuff. Instead, I thought I’d lead you in a psalm of inspiration.
Sanka: Who’s the Gipper?
Irv: Our Father, who art in Calgary, Bobsled be thy name. Thy kingdom come, gold medals won, on Earth as it is in Turn Seven. With Liberty and Justice for Jamaica and Haile Selassie. Amen.

Jimmy: Uh, Lord, hallowed be Thy name. May our feet be swift; may our bats be mighty; may our balls be plentiful. Lord, I'd just like to thank You for that waitress in South Bend. You know who she is - she kept calling Your name. And God, these are good girls, and they work hard. Just help them see it all the way through. Okay, that's it.

Tony: You’ll find out life's this game of inches, so is football. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every break of the game, every minute, every second. On this team we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when add up all those inches, that's gonna make the difference between winning and losing! Between living and dying!


Victory (The moment of truth)
(After hitting a homerun) Roger: Curveball?

Mickey: Yeah, but it didn't curve.

Jesus: Basketball is like poetry in motion, cross the guy to the left, take him back to the right, he's fallin’ back, then just J right in his face. Then you look at him and say, "What?"

Jack: C'mon, it ain't over till the fat lady sings! Toshi: [translating to the team] When the game is over, a fat lady will sing to us!

Tony: On any given Sunday you're gonna win or you're gonna lose. The point is - can you win or lose like a man?

When the Lights Go Down (The aftermath)
Tom: Hey, we're sorry about all that stuff we said before you hit that homer...Stan: Yeah, you wouldn't be anywhere if it wasn't for Roseanne.

Lou: Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.

Roy: I coulda been better. I coulda broke every record in the book. Iris::And then? Roy: And then when I walked down the street people would've looked and they would've said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game.

William: People always say to me, "When you get to the NBA, don't forget about me." Well, I should've said back, "If I don't make it to the NBA, don't you forget about me."