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.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reactions on my rant vs. the (PFF) Pera For Football

I wrote this early in 2008 after having obtained a confidential document from FIFA. It came out in the Business Mirror. You should all read this. I have an updated version in the works.

And a friend from the Asian Football Confederation sent this some 20 minutes ago. Read it and weep:

From Ria Tanjangco, captain of the former RP Women's Futsal Team:

I know that you are all sad and disappointed with the turn of events. As am I. Not because the move to oust Mari Martinez was foiled but that it showed the character of the football leaders of our country.

I just want you all to know that this doesn't change anything. Yes, Mari Martinez is still PFF President, but our mass resignation was never an attempt to compel his ouster. It wasn't an attempt to get Coach Manny and Coach Paul reinstated. And it certainly wasn't an attempt to dictate to PFF how it should deal with its affairs. We will look back to this day in the future and remember it as the day when we stood up for something we believed to be an injustice. We will remember it as the day when we, as a team, were not for sale when everyone else was. We did not stand by the side of a leader who has no respect for the institution, the sport, its players and its coaches.

Yes, we are all frustrated and disillusioned. It is just normal after people you believed to be honorable turned out to be after their own interests. We were counting on the wrong people to do the right thing. That was never going to happen.

But what does this mean to US? Nothing. All it means is that once again, like it always has been, we are on our own. We did not need them then, we don't need them now.

Do you all realize that we have made history? WE were the first Philippine National Women's Futsal Team. WE participated in the first ever Asian Indoor games. WE were the first to compete for the Philippines in the SEA games for futsal. WE are the first to win a medal for PFF in the SEA games and certainly in recent history.

We made history...US...against all odds, we did that. All that with no financial support from PFF. Mari's ouster wouldn't have changed that and his continued hold on power doesn't change it. He can never take that from us. P10 million pesos doesn't take that from us.

Enough of history...CHINS UP! Be thankful that we are all still together as a team, just the way we started. Wherever we go from here, wherever we choose to compete, we are still A Philippine Team. We are no longer the NATIONAL team but we are still a team of Filipinos playing for the pride of our country. We will always be a team from the Philippines.

Look forward to the future and know that things can only look up from here. It can't possibly get worse than when we had to deal with PFF. At least now, we don't have them holding us back.

Thank you Rick for your support.
Thank you Senor Cutillas for giving us the time of day.
Thank you to the PSC Commissioners and staff for making us feel like you were actually proud to call us a National Team.

From my good friend Coach John Flores:
I followed your article on the PFF and found it very interesting. In the past, I was really bothered by the comments of coaches and players of other sports, particularly football on the type of support basketball has been enjoying all these years.

I started my coaching career in La Salle Bacolod, a place where basketball and of course football reign supreme. I always felt guilty about the tag they had on basketball, because I knew they were right. I would always tell the football coaches and players that no one is stopping them from taking action and make a difference in the sport scene.

That "embarrassed" attitude stayed with me when I went to Ateneo. I took the time to watch other sports when my schedule permitted. My attitude towards the most popular game in the world changed after reading your series.

These people would often blame basketball for all their short comings. They would say things like: "We should concentrate in football because we are short, quick and properly built for the game." "Basketball is for tall people." And "we don't have enough support and funds like the PBA teams."

Well, now I understand better. Philippine football deserves to be where it is right now in the National and International scene. I never knew that they were getting money from FIFA. Imagine what the women's national basketball team could do with that money!

They even have their own building!!! I see that place on my way to work, I thought that they were just renting space in the building. What lack of funds are they talking about?

Fucking moochers.

In Europe, football is the number one sport; same with South America and Latin America, but that didn't stop Greece from humiliating the US in basketball. We all know what Spain and Argentina did the last couple of years. So what is the PFF's excuse???

Take it easy.

From me:
Oh, by the way, when I was with Solar Sports, we entered into a deal with the PFF where we paid them Php 1 million (why we did I will never understand and for the record, I was against it) for tagging along with PFF activities in exchange for exposure for our World Cup telecasts. As if naman they brought it here. Geez! Way I look at it, we were doing them a favor. We did not need them.

What I did was shoot the entire Ateneo and La Salle men's football teams and use them for a plug to promote the World Cup. That was a fun shoot. If I could do it all over again I will! Thanks to Coaches Ompong and Hans.

PFF never paid us for the Bacolod telecast and the Php 1 million never showed up on their inflows for 2006 or 2007. Ca-ching!

No, I am not mad. I am disgusted. Sell out. Sell out. Sell out. Hey remember that song by Reel Big Fish?

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