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.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jerseys, forfeits, and checklists

I was in a meeting yesterday in San Beda College involving several schools - SBC, UST, ADMU, and La Consolacion College -- when one faculty adviser walked in with the grim news. The Red Lions, playing one of their ugliest games were upset by the JRU Heavy Bombers; and perhaps even worse, their match to the College of Saint Benilde was forfeited because of a case of another wrong jersey. Two losses in one day! Incredible. Well, CSB, the wrath of the Bedan crowd will descend upon you in your next game.

I remember LA Tenorio telling me about how the Red Cubs would sometimes play two games in one day sometimes with only an hour or two separating both matches. I asked if there was an instance when they lost both games and he said no. One game but not both.

The mood in the meeting quickly turned from upbeat to sour. The Bedans in the meeting (five of them) noticeably bothered. The UST contingent -- 11 strong -- segued into their team's misfortunes in the UAAP. Well, the Ateneans kept quiet but offered sympathies. Ah, you can tell what these games mean to all of us.

But these rules whether right or wrong have had one school at the receiving end of it at one time or another. On a similar note, I remember Michael Jordan wearing #12 and another number that I can't remember at the moment during a Chicago Bulls game (no not #45). His jersey was stolen from his hotel in each instance (had to be room service I tell you). The Bulls informed the League about the number switch before the game and if I'm not mistaken were fined though I'm not sure about both instances though). Johnny "Red" Kerr joked about it being a sales strat to sell more merchandise. But anyways, to prevent this from happening again, the jerseys were all put in the hands of equipment man John Ligmanowski after that. Plus they always had at least two jerseys on hand in case a player wanted to change during the half or in the case of Dennis Rodman, a whole lot more since he would toss his game kit into the crowd after a Bulls win.

Speaking of forfeiture, in 1961, the Ateneo Blue Eagles had their first three wins overturned when SBC protested senior's guard Dodie Agcaoili's presence on the team. I think rules changed that time forbidding a player to play on another school squad. Agcaoili was a literal last minute addition to the Ateneo track team during the athletics championships. Literally on the day itself as the Blue Tracksters were lacking one man. Agcaoili incredibly won a bronze. This SBC protested and both schools and the League had to go to the courts to settle this matter, but in the end, Ateneo went from 3-0 to 0-3. That enabled Mapua to win the first round flag. Ateneo proceeded to win all their remaining matches and clobber the Cardinals in the finals. The championship set off an ugly rumble that suspended the games for the next three years. Everyone instead played in a Home and Away League.

Well, some might point out that it is a matter of eligibility (I'm sure I'm missing some facts about the rule but it was really more of an interpretation rule) as compared to jerseys. But if you want to talk about apparel, I do know there was a time when two teams (one of which was Ateneo) both brought the same light uniforms to a game so one team ended up (using a coin toss to settle it) who would change the color of their trunks. The Blue Eagles won that game incidentally.

Sure rules are rules and maybe it's time to revisit a lot of them. Personally I wonder why there are always changes or innovations every year. Some of them meant to target a team or two maybe even to suit certain ones.

But for the record, here are the UAAP's Rules on Uniforms:

D. Uniforms

1. In all events except swimming, athletics, judo, table tennis, lawn tennis, and badminton, the surnames of the athletes shall be indicated at the back of their shirts with the lettering at least two (2) inches wide but not more than two (2) inches high.

2. UAAP logo may be required or not per sport.

3. If required, the UAAP logo must be bigger than that of the corporate sponsor. Manufacturer’s trademark is not considered/counted as corporate logo.

4. As for the school, it can be a logo or the school name.

5. Within each team, the athletes should wear the same uniform.

6. In the event of any violation not attributable to the school, they should be given a grace period of fourteen (14) calendar days within which to rectify the error. After this period, non-compliant athletes cannot be fielded, the team loses by default.

Check out these rules. If these are really in effect and unless I missed out on something such as sanctions, then there are only corrective measures; nothing punitive.

Before taking an incident as a precedent, it should be established first that rule or law was correctly applied. Otherwise, a wrong precedent will be set and could be grounds for not following the same. Hmm. Lest you think, I'm a lawyer, I consulted a good friend of mine on this. Thanks, buddy!

One thing is for sure, when going to the games this year, there's a checklist:
- IDs
- jerseys
- proper bench decorum

So what's next?

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