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.

Friday, December 18, 2009

On Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7

I only watched the Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7 today. Like the previous HBO four-part series with Pacman and Oscar de la Hoya and Ricky Hatton, I immensely enjoyed the reality mini-series. I am not one to read fora for comments and opinions by those without the balls to use their real names but I did see the comments of some who thought that it didn’t do a good job of hyping the fight or that it was all bad acting.

If one equates hype with pre-fight trash talking then they probably never realized that it’s best to do your talking in fields of play.

The 24/7 series offers a unique and revealing look into both fighters and their motivations without taking sides. And if there is name calling and taunting, you realize at the end of the series that they are not much different save they have more money than most of us.

I knew that Manny being up in Baguio during Typhoon Ondoy would tell on his training but what really transpired including the disagreements between Pacman and Freddie Roach were telling. I hated the cameos of PGMA and that doofus Manny Villar who should have known better than to interrupt training. The cameras were able to catch Pacquiao with that I’m-in-a-world-of-my-own-so-I-can-do-what-I-want look. And if only for the adversity in Manny’s camp, this was the most interesting portrayal to date (and Jinky was conspicuously absent in the feature; not even a mention).

And Manny is getting better at expressing himself in English. He seems more sure now of his way outside the rings as he is inside of it. While some may chalk that up to arrogance, I say it depends on how people perceive it.

Years ago, when tasked to write a piece about Manny for a Hong Kong newspaper, I was asked by my editor to sift through the disenchantment: whether he was difficult to talk to, whether he was a womanizer, and whether people liked him or not among others. I hotly contested the direction: what does that have to do with boxing? If I were Manny, why would I want to talk to people when everyone only wanted the money? Where were all these people when he was down on his luck? I decided not to take the assignment. It was a pointless and moronic direction. One need not go through that personal stuff to make a story interesting.

Cotto on the other hand, I felt for. I thought the inside story was just as fascinating maybe because I knew so little about him. The footage said more about him than any printed piece will all ever do for him.

But that’s why these documentaries are welcome and top notch. I previously said that of all the sports documentaries I’ve watched, the most compelling ones I’ve seen was that of the 1998 Chicago Bulls, the 2008 Redeem Team, and the 2003 film on Liverpool FC No Heart As Big. The 24/7 series works better on boxers because it allows for greater exploration and depth. And having said that, I’d love to see them do a 24/7 series on the UFC. But only something on the MMA’s biggest stars like Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn, Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva, or Randy Couture to name a few.

Back to Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7, the DVD is out locally for PhP 450 and it features the four-part HBO series and the fight itself. The running time of the series is just under two hours and it’s better than many movies out in theaters today. This would just look so cool in IMAX.

No comments:

Post a Comment