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.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thanks, Ford!

(This is the intro I wrote for Ford's goodbye letter to the Ateneo community.)

It's hard to believe that it's all over. Claiford Arao ruminated such thoughts over some celebratory bottled water in the aftermath of the Ateneo Blue Eagles' Collegiate Champions League victory. As always, he had this big grin on his face. He was once more that young boy who left Pangasinan in his early high school years for Manila, first to play ball for San Beda, then for Ateneo. Big dreams by a big man.

In his first year as an Atenean, his team went to the UAAP Finals in 2003 where they were upset by a hungry FEU team. It was both a high and low. In the space of a year, he won a championship with San Beda before nearly winning it again with Ateneo.

The space between is one of highs and lows with his ACL injury curtailing his blossoming into a go-to player. But history has a habit of going full circle.

In his final year, he went from seeing his team bomb out of the Final Four where his season-long brilliance should have merited him at the very least a Mythical Five selection to closing out his years in blue with a championship.

He's got a wide smile that breaks out even now as a new chapter in his life is beginning.

Read Ford Arao's thank you letter to the Ateneo community at or paste the link in your browser.

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