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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reflections on a championship



Reflections on a Championship
by Simon Mossesgeld

I watched the first game of the championship live right behind the bench and marveled, as I have many times throughout this season, at how this team is a team in the best tradition: unselfish, hard working, with great respect for one another, friends on and off the court. The players are largely unassuming. They do not strut about to let the world know how good they are or their team is. They just do their part and play their best together. This is what strikes me most about this team and I think it explains best its championship character. I could not watch the second game because I was teaching in a seminar but resolved to immediately proceed to the Gesu. I had texted Paolo Trillo that morning saying I would see the team in the Gesu. That is how confident I was.

Someone asked me while we were waiting for the team to arrive at the Gesu after the championship, “Sir, do you miss being team manager?” I realized that I did miss it a bit but much, much more than anything I was very happy for the team. I was happy about how the coaching staff and management (and the school) formed the players into men we could all be proud of. I did not taste a championship during my two-year tenure but it did not matter because Ateneo basketball is more than championships. It is about giving it your best. It is about forming men with the right principles and values. It is about gratitude for all that we have received. It is about community. It is about God and this team, like many teams before them, is all these. But I sense there is more in this team.

A friend texted me the next day that she saw me at the Gesu that evening looking as if I was in a trance. I guess I was in a trance-like state. I was deeply thankful for God’s love for his players, his team and his Ateneo. I was very quietly happy for the team, for my fellow Ateneans and for the school and was simply content to bask quietly in the happiness and the gratitude that filled the church that evening. This is the Ateneo I grew up in and have grown to love.

Tonight we will celebrate four champion teams—three in basketball and one in swimming. I once again thank God for his blessings.


Note:
To the Ateneo Blue Eagles, Mr. Simon Mossesgeld is affectionately known as, "Mr. M." He was the former team manager of the Blue Eagles and in the pros, the Purefoods Hotdogs. We worked together for the LEAD INSTITUTE OF SPORT and while helping out with Ateneo Team B several years ago. Thanks, sir.

AMDG

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