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, December 28, 2010

My Top 10 Sports stories of the Year

My Top 10 Sports stories of the Year
(Events that I covered)

  1. The 2010 Suzuki Cup – I firs began to cover the national football team in 2006 but I have been on and off since then. Last November, in a story unto itself, I was named the media officer for the squad and it was like a dream come true. I had a good vibe about this tournament and would tell a few players and the coaches about it no end. Even before the Vietnam match, I remember telling Dan Palami and Simon McMenemy that we were going to shock the world. Coach said, “You’ve got that much belief?” Well, you’ve seen my accounts and recaps. One hell of a story, right?

  1. Ateneo Blue Eagles win three-peat – I’ve been embedded with my home team since 2005 and have seen the ups and downs. Sure was fun proving all the naysayers wrong. Got the final four cast right and was the only writer/analyst in the country who got that right. As for the finals result? OBF!

  1. NBA Asia Challenge – The stars aligned for the second staging of this event. What made it work was getting media friendly NBA legends instead of ones who were tasked to go to Manila like a few in the first time it was held. The format of mixing the American contingent with the local PBA players was a stroke of genius. And the night was made more special when the Triggerman evoked memories of old.

  1. Ironman Triathlon – This would have rated higher except that I was somewhat disconnected with the competitors who I only saw at the start and the end. There was no access once the race proper began (and maybe rightfully so). Maybe because it was my first time and I wasn’t sure how to go about it. But hobnobbing with the pros before the competition was the icing on the cake. It still is a fascinating race. Next year, I’ll know how to pace myself better and adjust to the triathlon.

  1. PFF 7th Ordinary Congress – I’ve been writing about the Philippine Football Federation through two presidents (Johnny Romualdez and Mari Martinez). There’s been good and bad and after “the Bribe” I got off the board. This year, I couldn’t avoid the shit that was going on. When I found a bunch of paperwork and audio recordings in the mail then I knew I was in. To see the removal and replacement of Martinez was something I will not forget. The video I took doesn’t do the incident justice. You had to be there.

  1. World Series trophy in Hong Kong – Before the past Major League Baseball season began, the New York Yankees brass took their 27th World Series trophy on a tour of Asia to meet the fans. I’ve seen hundreds of games and watched a World Series but have never come close to the trophy. And I got to interview the Yankee brass. I’ve been to the old Yankee Stadium, Monument Park, the clubhouse, met a bunch of players and now I’ve touched the trophy and had my pic taken next to it. Fan boy dream come true.

  1. Brian Viloria vs Carlos Tamara – this was under the radar since it’s no Manny Pacquiao fight. I’ve covered Brian and while working at Solar Sports was sort of a yayo during his first time in Manila. I’ve seen him win and lose. I’ve been in Nonito Donaire’s corner for a fight and that was something else. But this one by Brian as he ran out of gas and lost was memorable for many things. There was trainer Robert Garcia (who also trained Antonio Margarito for his fight with Pacman) in his corner pleading for Brian to dig in deep. There was his fiancée squirming in her seat as the erstwhile champ was dead on his legs. And there was the Cuneta Astrodome crowd trying to cheer and will him on to victory. Brian lost and has since come back to win again but that was a highly memorable fight.

  1. Season 72 UAAP Football Tournament – The UP Maroons were the favorite but they had all sorts of problems that led them to fall close to the bottom. UST and FEU squared off and though the former was tabbed to win it, the Tamaraws took them in two straight in the finals. It was a great football tournament complete with on and off field drama.

  1. UAAP Cheerdance Competition – I always watched the cheerdance competition on television and this was the first time I actually was at the Big Dome for the event. Great performances and what an electric crowd.

  1.  The Great Lapu Lapu Run – I both ran and covered the event. Madness, I tell you. It’s hard to run even at close to a leisurely pace when you’re carrying a SLR, digicam and videocam. It was my first and only for the year and I hope to join more next year. This time as a participant.

Honorable mention:
-       BJ Armstrong in Manila
-       Erik Spoletsra in Manila
-       NCAA Season 86
-       PBA Season 36 Philippine Cup


  1. Congrats to another year full of sports stories, Rick! Great to follow your blog from January until this time. Ibang klase din yung football coverage since you started writing about the anomalies in PFF in Feb 09.

    Here's hoping for a Best of Brew 2010 book :p

  2. Hats of to you for being there for the Azkals for the most part that they were down. I guess you could say it paid off in the end.

    Also, what do coach mcmenemy and coach norman have in common? They were able to effectively make use the of "inferior" -for lack of a better term- resources (i.e players) they have, against all odds. Coach Norman's players however, was only marginally inferior, skill-wise, against their finals opponents, which is why they won.

  3. Football beats Basketball in 2010. :D