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, March 22, 2008

The Thin Red Line

It might have been a quiet Manila since it was Good Friday, but in the world of international sports it wasn't. The Boston Celtics survived the Texas Triangle whupped them Western powers down a notch. The Boston Red Sox started a 66-hour strike against an insensitive MLB. Tiger Woods is being Tiger Woods. But what really grabbed me Milorad Cavic.

Milo who?

Cavic is the current European 50 meter breast stroke champion. After claiming another gold in the Euro Swimming Championships, the Serbian wore a red shirt to the medal ceremony. Nothing wrong with that as we don't want him to catch a cold. Except he wore a shirt with the words "Kosovo is Serbia."

Cavic was suspended for the remainder of the tournament with the Serb swimming federation fined. Technically Cavic may have a point when he says that the breakaway republic isn't recognized yet by the UN or the IOC.

"Cavic did not wear a T-shirt with portraits of war crime suspects, he was not calling for violence or breach of international conventions," said Serbian Sports Minister Snezana Samardzic-Markovic. "I have to remind everyone that Kosovo is not recognized by most of world's countries, or the United Nations, nor by the International Olympic Committee."

That may be true and I'm not going to debate whether it was illegal for Kosovo to declare independence or not. A sporting event is not the venue for such rhetoric. Sports have time and again been used for political gain whether by Hitler, Tommie Smith, the Palestinian Liberation Organization and many others.

Just like the upcoming PBA Blue and Green game on Easter Sunday (the symbolism is not lost on me). Prior to this, much was made about this being a fund-raiser of sorts for Jun Lozada or something to that matter. Fortunately no one on both sides liked the idea. One of Lozada's relatives even called Ateneo asking for tickets and saying that the game was a great idea. During a Mass for Truth at the Church of the Gesu, Lozada was quoted as saying that this was the first time that La Sallians and Ateneans saved a Thomasian. Get your head of the gutter, man. School affiliations has nothing to do with it. In fact, didn't he leave one of those La Sallians out in the cold? Keep politics out of sports and those color lines limited to sports because that is totally out of line and not kosher.

I'll bet he's even using that line (and adapting them to every new school) as he barnstorms the country seeking audiences and sympathies.

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