C: Why is your column and blog titled “Bleachers’ Brew?”
Rick: Well, once upon a time I went around using Bleachers King alternick as a moderator for atenista.net. “Bleachers” because that’s where everyone sat before. At least up to the early 90’s before people decided they’d rather be close to the action and not cheer. “Brew” because it’s a homage to one of my favorite albums, Miles Davis’ “Bitches' Brew."
C: You write professionally?
Rick: Yes and no. I cut my eyeteeth in advertising and marketing. I had some ads nominated for awards but I did win the Golden Dove Award for Best Anti-Drug commercial which was all about a classmate of mine. While in school I was already a contributor to the Philippine Daily Inquirer where I wrote about music, young entrepreneurs, and the comic book industry. I later wrote for a Filipino expat newspaper to the
C: Why did you get into it?
Rick: Some people pushed me to consider it. When I was in the
From there, while working as Marketing Manager of Solar Sports, I wrangled an ex-deal with Business Mirror which was brand new. They proposed the deal that I signed off on. A column was one such stipulation. Hahaha. I had to try and balance it with Solar stuff early on but I guess it was good to deviate and digress. But I have to admit I was worried that I was writing too much non-Solar stuff.
From there I’ve contributed to Men’s Health, Tower Sports NBA, Homestyle, Blueblood, Transit, and some Ateneo publications like The Hill and Loyola School Bulletin. I’ve just agreed to do work for
C: Who are your writing influences?
Rick: David Halberstam, Rick Reilly, Rick Telander, (my old classmate) Vanni De Sequera, Mark Millar, Peter David, Mark Spitz, Nick Hornby, Mike Wise, CS Lewis, Frank Deford, and Bob Guccione Jr.’s Gear magazine which is probably the best pop culture ever mag. Radical, dude. Oh, my creative directors in advertising too.
C: Wow. What accounts did you work on?
Rick: I worked on PLDT, Magnolia, BPI, Rustan's, the Philippine Basketball Association, DPC Yellow Pages, DZRH, Uniwide, Philippine Airlines, Mazda, and Suzuki.
Rick: The New York Times! Time magazine. Sports Illustrated. Rogue magazine. Those guys are tops. I wish I was as good as them. But I also hope to break into television and film. I did some broadcast work for Solar and that was a blast. I wrote a two-hour history of boxing special titled
I’m currently working with Stephen Lu (former Xavier and UP footballer and lead singer of Rizal Underground) on a football project that’s a real high. I also have a number of unpublished stuff including a bunch of kids’ stories.
C: It seems that football is your favorite sport?
Rick: Well, in the
But... football is king.
Rick: I started out as a New York Cosmos fan. That’s Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, and Giorgio Chinaglia. They were the original los galacticos. Then after that it was Liverpool FC. There’s a funny story there because I am a huge Beatles fan and since they were from Merseyside I began to root for
Then I like Real Madrid. But I have to admit I became a
C: Any other prized sports memorabilia?
Rick: I have a boxing glove signed by Manny Pacquiao, Ray “Boom Boom” Bautista, and Brian Viloria. I have signed baseball cards by Jason Giambi and Bernie Williams that I got them to sign while working at New York's
I also have some 40 different football jerseys, 60 different basketball jerseys (I have every Michael Jordan jersey from Laney to Washington and every Kobe Bryant jersey including his rookie year Champions jersey that I still have and wear), the three different Yankees jerseys, and a couple of hockey ones.
Does going to
And there’s chatting with Norman Black in his home last Christmas. Robert Jaworski sending me a Christmas card and a Ginebra San Miguel jersey for Christmas.
C: How did that happen?
Rick: They were playing Manila Beer for the title and this was when Ginebra had Billy Ray Bates and Michael Hackett. They lost one game – I think it was game two and I wrote the Big J a letter of encouragement. A classmate of mine Philip Coronel was his neighbor at
C: How about your best live sports experience/s?
Rick: The 1987 & 88 and ’02 Blue Eagle championships, the Blue Booters’ three-peat, watching the New York Giants play
C: You’ve got quite an interesting sports history. Anything you’d like to do that’s sports related?
Rick: Yup. Quite a few. Throw an octopus on the ice at the Joe Louis Arena. Watch the World Cup finals. Work as an assistant to Norman Black with the Blue Eagles. That’s Norman Black! Mr. 100%! Work as an assistant to Ompong Merida with the Blue Booters. Ompong’s a freaking genius and a nice guy. He should be coaching the national team. Watch a Liverpool game at the Kop. I've sat in Yankee Stadium's bleachers with their Bleachers Creatures and that was way fun! So I imagine the Kop must be even crazier.
C: Who are your Top 10 athletes of all time regardless of sport?
Rick: Hmm. That’s tough. Let me put it this way, those I saw play and not in order, but ten, ha?
Danny Francisco, Ateneo Blue Eagles
Louie Espinosa (I dedicated
C: What can we look forward to -- any new stuff?
Rick: Well. More travel stuff. My cousin Christine Cunanan has a travel magazine and I'd really want to contribute to that. I'll be going to Shanghai and Beijing supposedly in May and back to Singapore in October. There's probably a trip to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong in between. I actually want to do less sports writing and move into the film-oriented ones I previously mentioned. I'm also finishing an AVP for the Ateneo dorm and of course that long-delayed Ateneo Lady Eagles book. Sorry, John Flores leaving depressed me a bit coz the story starts with him and unfortunately, a championship season has a sucky ending.
Rick: Well, I'll keep my column in Business Mirror, but I'm going on record (AGAIN! hahaha) to say after Season 71 of the UAAP, it's time to hear a different voice. Zion (Laterre) is gone. Ditto with Ford Arao. Pat Ozaeta is done as is Charo Soriano. And so is Noj Baltao. Hey, Noj! Hahaha. But my nephew is still with the baseball team. And I think another of them will join soon. But I'd really want to write about other stuff. Maybe go to Afghanistan. Or write about our soldiers in Mindanao. Mark Bowden wrote such a great war book in Blackhawk Down. That's an inspiration.