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, October 25, 2012

Mick Denison resigns as Nomads’ head coach

This appears in

Mick Denison resigns as Nomads’ head coach
by rick olivares

Michael Denison is never one to mince his words. You know when he is pulling your leg or when something is eating at him. Of the latter, he throws out all the English charm and accent that every word is enunciated very clearly.

The email letter today most of all.

It is close to a Jerry Maguire moment. A moment of supreme clarity when one damns the torpedoes and as Cameron Crowe wrote: “Leave your balls out to dry.” Denison pressed the “reply to all” and tendered his fiery resignation as Nomads head coach.

Wrote Denison: “I have been involved with football for over 40 years. Most of that time at a reasonable level. So I think I know what I am talking about. There is no doubt that Loyola are a fantastic team and play wonderful football. They deserved to win and congratulations. It’s not just the penalty decision but it’s all kinds of small things that the (game) officials are repeatedly letting go. It’s like we are playing different rules to the rest of the world.

I shout and get angry because it’s the same mistakes EVERY week. No one is doing anything about it. What is the point in having a fourth official and a referees assessor if the three officials make mistakes every game.

Why can’t someone say, ‘Ah, okay, Mick. You are correct and WE ARE WRONG’ instead of me being the stupid bad boy every week. I am ashamed of screaming abuse at Jerry (Andres) and the others but they do NOTHING about it. Seriously this is ridiculous now and someone has to take control, listen to coaches, make changes and let coaches know that something is being done about it.

I have resigned as coach of Nomads FC today. The above is the main reason. I have had enough and I have not taken the decision lightly.”

Denison was clearly incensed when referee Rey Ritaga whistled Nomads midfielder Sam Fogg for a foul on Loyola forward Phil Younghusband inside the former’s box. That led to a Younghusband penalty shot that leveled the score at 1-1.

Nomads claims that the spotty call unnerved them and it told heavily on their morale after they had taken an early lead following a strike by Mickael Cardoso. Loyola went on to whitewash Nomads 8-1 to send the latter from first in Group C of the 2012 UFL Cup to third place on goal difference.

Long after the lights around the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium pitch were shut down, the Nomads players sat on the track in front of their bench still in a state of disbelief and muted anger.

In a conversation with Denison after the match, he lamented that his team is already at a disadvantage because they are all working professionals who only play for the love of the game. “All we ask is for the match to be called fairly.”


Responding to my protestations over his decision to call it quits, Denison wrote back: “Yeah, well Rick, I feel so bad after every game. Bad because Jerry (Andres) is a nice guy but just doesn’t get it. He’s not up to the job obviously but I like the guy. The referees are nice guys and have known me for years but for whatever reason we never get the rub of the green. I will be watching the games but not involved on the touchline. I think I will enjoy my football again. At the moment I just don’t enjoy it anymore.”

I had become friends with Denison last year when I began to cover the UFL for the first time as a journalist and not as a fan. I recall how one time he coached a match in flip-flops and teased him mercilessly about that. One of my favorite Bleachers’ Brew podcasts is with Nomads (that included Denison, Jeff Blake, Phil Connolly, and Randy Musters). Most recently, I wrote about Nomads’ ongoing problem in their home pitch at Merville, Parañaque. It is something that the rest of the media later picked up.


  1. why was he looking for someone to point his fingers at?
    let's just say that the refs' calls were bad but to throw them the blame for quitting is just lame. if you're not enjoying your job anymore, then you're not enjoying your job anymore. understandable. it happens to everyone at some point in their lives.
    his team showed the lack of winner's character. they don't deserve anyone's respect for breaking down that easily. heart - they don't have it. went down but never swinging.

    1. I told coach that I thought it was wrong to go out this way. Sure it might have been a bad call but that was like the 29th minute. This was a long time coming. I think Nomads has gotten some terrible calls. But they aren't the only one. Ironically, the other club that gets the worst calls is Loyola. Yep, IMHO, they win in spite of bad calls. They win because of the talent they have. I also told coach I respect his position but he should have gone out on a high note and not like this.

  2. Refs make bad or missed calls all the time on both sides almost every game and that happens everywhere even in World Cups. Yes, there is no argument that officiating must improve but the much publicized resignation of Mr. Denison is perceived to be unsportsmanship conduct to say the least. Nomads was obviously outclassed and outplayed by Loyola – they were by far the better team. On the other hand Nomads match was just so loose that night.

    Putting all the blame on the refs as if their loss was undeserved and then quitting is truly such a lame excuse. Even if the calls went against Nomads as they perceived it- it wouldn’t have altered the results. I think the decision of Denison to step down was the decent thing to do, the players deserve better. Would Mr. Denison consider being a ref instead?

    1. That's what I am saying. It might have been one bad call but that shouldn't change the outcome unless it came in the final minute. Reminds me of a UAAP school that points to the officiating all the time.