BLEACHERS BREW EST. MAY 2006

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, March 15, 2013

Global Force: Supporters Above All


Fellow Atenean Mark Malcampo manning the bass drum while Julian Isleta leads the cheers. Evan Mercado in the back wearing black beats on the snare.

Global Force: Supporters Above All
by rick olivares

There was an air of desperation.

It was close to full time and Global had not yet scored against Air Force. The two great rivals had battled to a stalemate. Well, it wasn’t exactly a stalemate as Air Force, now a wholly different club as the mainstays of yesteryear that had led them to many a championship were gone, had stayed mostly on the defensive.

Global’s frustrations were out in the open. Desperation breeds such. Teammates were arguing. Plays were botched. And on the few occasions that Air Force had a shot on goal, hearts and blood pressure palpitated and shoot up.

Yet the Global faithful, Global Force as they have come to call themselves, never let up in their cheering, haranguing, and applauding every step of the way.

Mark Malcampo, who leads Global Force, says that he started out as an Azkals fan. “They were my introduction to football,” he admits. “Because of that, I followed the players in their respective clubs. Most of the national players are on Global so that makes it easier for me to root for them.”

They live by their club’s creed of “Above All” that translates into “country first, club second.”

“We know that Boss Dan (Palami, owner of the club and national team manager) has spent a lot just to keep our national players in the Philippines so that it is easier for them to train with the national team,” explained Malcampo. “We know it’s expensive but he does it for the country. So we support him all the way.”

To the collective members of the booster group gathered for the Thursday match between Air Force and Global, they make no bones about being newcomers to the sport. They do not feel slighted one bit when they hear of accusations of being fangirls first and football fans second.

Mia Narvas believes there is nothing wrong with that. “We have grown to love the sport. Hindi ba ganun ang dapat mangyari – to create new fans?”

Claudine Ulita was first a basketball fan. And she remains one. But there is room for her interests when it comes to football. She recounted how officemates would wonder about her new beau that is football. “Kung hindi sila basketball fan mga walang hilig sa kahit anong sport,” she tells with a tinge of pride. “Now sila sila na rin nanonood at fan din ng football.”

Global Force was never organized from the beginning. Mark Malcampo says that the fans of the club simply gravitated towards one another. “We noticed that we shared a common passion for Global then we began to sit next to one another. The cheers just started out as natural lang. We came up with cheers and chants as we went along.”

Jaycee de Guzman admits to being torn. He roots for both Air Force and for Global. On occasion, he also cheers for Kaya. “Football fan kasi,” he sheepishly admits despite my jokes about him being ‘balimbing’. “Agree din ako kay Mark (Malcampo). Fan ako ng national team at maraming Azkals sa Global.”

Air Force or Global, I press at the match gets heated between the two sides.

De Guzman gulps. “Global.” As if on cue, he joins the rest of his brethren in cheering as they go on the attack.

Their devotion is fanatical. On the rare occasion the club loses such as the recent elimination at the hands of Ceres in the PFF Smart Club National Championship, they feel – “heartbroken” throws in Julian Isleta who leads Global Force in their cheers. “But we know that the team will bounce back. They always do.”

The Global supporters to date have about 10 different cheers. Time was they would cheer their lungs out but now with their official recognition by the club, have been given a pair of snare drums and one bass drum that they lug to every game. “Kahit Rizal Memorial Stadium, UMak, Nuvali o dito sa Emperador, nandito kami,” emphasized Kay Jenkins who lives in far off Bulacan but always make the long trek to the games.

“Yung club (Global),” emphasized Evan Mercado who pounds the skins for the supporters during games. “it’s in our blood.”

Global Force has become one of the more louder and forceful support groups in the United Football League. They currently number about 30 with some 20 regularly going to all the games.

“Marami naman fans na sumasama,” clarifies Malcampo. “Siguro kapag na prove na loyal sa siya club at lagi siya nandyan then talagang kasama na siya sa Global Force.”

In the 85th minute, an errant Air Force pass finds Global on the quick counter. Midfielder Jeffrey Christiaens who has been zigging and zagging from one side to another to confuse the Air Force defense sends a diagonal pass from the middle to a streaking Misagh Bahadoran on the left flank.

Before an Air Force defender can close him down, he unleashed a cross to the center of the box. Christiaens timed his run and when Bahadoran’s well-placed cross dropped in the middle of the box, the Fil-Belgian headed the ball past Kenneth Dolloso for a 1-0 lead.

The fog of uncertainty had been lifted. Global Force went ballistic as the Global players saluted them for their faith.

Six minutes later, left back Delon Patrick Yao, who nearly gave up a bad pass that could have led to an Air Force goal, lofted a shot to the far post from the left edge of the box. The ball evaded the outstretched arms of backup Louie Sobrevega who had come in for Dolloso who was sent off for incurring a second yellow card. Two-nil, Global.

The game was in the bag. The winning and undefeated streak preserved. Yao ran over to Global Force to salute them.

“Another day. Another game. Another win. Good day for us,” smiled Malcampo at the final whistle that declared full time.

Declared De Guzman: “Masarap ang kain nito.”




Next up: The supporters of the Loyola Meralco Sparks. Followed by the AIr Force supporters!

29 comments:

  1. GLOBAL FC, good club, sh*t supporters.

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    1. haters gotta hate. nice article sir rick.

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    2. excuse me no!we are the best kaya nga #aboveall hello?!

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    3. Hoy! Huwag mo kaming mamaliitin! GLOBAL FORCE FOREEEVAAAH <3 <3 <3

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    4. Kahit anong gawin nila, di ako papatinag sa mga sinasabi ninyo! My dead body over Misagh's!

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    5. Hahahahaha hindi Global fans yan Misagh supporters yan, saka nung nawala si Demit sa Global nabawasan sila ahahahaha

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  2. Global are kaholeros right? Pati loyola din diba?

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    1. not all.. global force root for Global while kaholeros root for the NT.

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    2. but most of the KAHOLEROS are made up of GLOBAL FORCE members. and they are not really rooting for the team collectively. kung sinusuportahan nila buong NT sana nung Suzuki Cup nanotice nyo p din si EdSa nung march around the stadium na. e yung mga POGI lang pinansin nyu e, parang hindi sya nageexist nung march nila. players come and go but the club stays. e pano kung umalis lahat ng pogi sa global at lumipat sa ibang club. global force pa din kaya kayo?

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  3. aminado syang glory hunter sya?

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  4. Nice article Rick. Agree 100%, football is not just for the purists, the old guards, or those who play the sport. There should also be a place for the new fans (and people should stop calling them fan gays or fan girls, it's sexist and homophobic, sadly a trait a lot of Filipinos share). If the domestic league is to survive, indeed if football is to survive in the Philippines, we should welcome all fans, regardless of gender, s. orientation, or teams they support. DM

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    1. I have to admit that writing this is some form of catharsis for me as I can get snooty about bandwagoners and johnny-come-latelys. I am happy to see more football fans though. Good job to these guys at Global Force.

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  5. I'm often torn in some matches, but nonetheless, I watch games because I love seeing football. And with the recent transfers, buy outs and all, I remain faithful to the game.

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  6. Thanks for the feature, Sir Ricky. Proud to be a Global Force! :)

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  7. Hey sitting support. The best.

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  8. Thanks Sir for the article.. :)

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  9. I suggest you show more Passion. Just like the guys from Ultras Kaya. Sitting while singing 2 chants will not do it.You guys gotta learn the Ultras way more. From my observations,
    yung Ultras Kaya pang Copa Libertadores ang mga kanta. talagang nakakaapekto sila sa outcome ng laro. Pang football talaga ang atmosphere kapag kaya ang naglalaro. Global Force not so much. You guys need to study their antics and make one of your own. Having more fans is fantastic for Philippine Football.

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    1. To each his own, I'd suppose. Global force doesn't have to copy anyone. They have their own identity and if that means singing two songs in a match then good for them. Passion for ones club is not always shown through scarves or chants or drums. Sometimes, that quiet guy in the corner, biting his nails off after a missed chance, can love his club more (and have more passion for) than any other fan. Yes it's cool to show the world how passionate and ultra you are, but it's what inside that counts. I say, if you love your club, then that's more than enough. DM

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    2. well, last I check, we're talking about football here. It's what you show that counts. How will you push and help you're team win if you're just resort to biting nails after missed chances? Great football atmosphere will attract more fans, ultimately that's what we all want. Support should be shown.

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  10. nahihiya akong sumali sa mga ganito, mayayaman, bourgeois silang lahat eh :(

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    1. You shouldn't be intimidated. Football supporters come from all walks of life. I'm sure you'll fit in just fine.

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  11. IMO Global Force need to step it up when Chanting. Not by heckling but by chanting more passionately it's no use if you love football but you won't show 100% of your passion. I heard you guys last time, drumbeats are more louder than voices and mocking the ref too much.. What i dream of is two big clubs clashing w/ Two groups of passionate Ultras collide, singing different chants and creating the greatest atmosphere in a match.

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    1. They don't want a charged atmosphere! They're easily being butthurt by those lads! Tossers

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    2. ULTRAS? The global force are ultras? Oh lord, please tell me your comment is a joke.

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    3. I didn't say about Global being ultras they are nowhere near it. If you read carefully i state that two big clubs and two ultras.. What i want is more passionate fans in Philippine football that's why i'm asking them to be more passionate to get Ultras, eh? Take for example, Stallion SL is a big club who currently sits in 2nd place, but they have the least of fans who are cheering for them, if only those fans try to recruit or make a group, much to be said for the other clubs. Now please tell me, you didn't read carefully before you reply to my comment, do you?

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    4. global force are not ultras. they don't toss around words like tossers, C*nt, butthurt, nuthugger as if they're English and use these words in real life; they don't intimidate other fans and call them fangays or fangirls; and they're not out to proclaim they are the best ultras group in the Philippines every single time. It's getting tiresome. Nobody cares.

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  12. Pansin ko lang buti pa tong grupong to nagbigay ng condolences sa pagpanaw ni Wool Reyes sa twitter. Ultras Kaya hindi. Halos buong Philippine football nagbigay respeto sa pagpanaw niya sa internet. Kung ganyan mga prinsipyo nyo wala kayong kwenta.

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    1. Matt Daniel Real GarciaMarch 20, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      So ito gagawan mo ng issue? Nasaan ang respeto niyan sa taong yumao na. Nanahimik na po yung tao, gagawan mo pa ng issue. Pwede namang ipagdasal na lang ang taong nawala na.

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  13. an article about global force and yet a lot of ultras are commenting? they really that ksp? can't wait for the loyola sparklers rick. comments section would make for a fun read.

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