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 17, 2013

Launching 11 Days in August

After we (the group Arben Santos, Philip Sison, Franco Sevilla, Addie Sullivan and Joey San Juan) finished producing FIVE, the story of the Ateneo Blue Eagles' fifth straight championship, we wondered what we could do for an encore. Gilas was the only one we agreed on. Not soon after that we met with Chot Reyes to discuss working with him on the book. I prepared an outline with all the topics. The title was already something that was cooked up as early as July. There was a second title but we collectively felt that "11 Days in August" was more compelling. 

Aside from the fact that the FIBA event was to last for 11 days, for me personally, this was a nod -- and I am revealing this for the first time here that not even the group knows about this -- to Buzz Bissinger's Three Nights in August (about St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa) and Thirteen Days (the Cuban Missile Crisis). 

While coach thought the idea a marvelous one, the biggest concern was making it to the World Cup. If we didn't qualify a book was obviously out of the question. But that didn't stop us. We were determined to prep for it. We were not going to wait for qualification before putting everything together. We essentially wanted to avoid what happened with FIVE that was written about seven months after the championship. Peoples' memories tend to fade after time.

It was after the post-match presscon of the RP-Korea game where I finally got the go signal to put things in official motion. As Chot stood up from the podium, he looked at me and whispered, "Better get that book ready, Rick." I was already walking on sunshine with the historic and momentous win over Korea and the go signal magnified whatever feelings enveloped me. I quickly looked for Philip Sison, my Ateneo batchmate and classmate to give him the good news (he was outside the media room taking photos). I was a little worried because as Chot uttered those words there were two other journos within earshot. You never give away plans or ideas. I am sure you get the drift.

With Matthew who bought FIVE copies of 11 Days in August. Holy cow. Super thanks. Hope you like it.
Gary David signing a copy of the book for one of the fans who purchased a copy at the Big Dome yesterday as Gabe Norwood looks on.

And so we began putting everything together. Jimmy Alapag, Gabe Norwood, Larry Fonacier, and Gary David were super helpful in retracing all the steps. Ditto with the coaching staff led by Coach Chot (totally invaluable help). That means everyone from Jong Uichico, Norman Black, Nash Racela, Josh Reyes, and Tab Baldwin to name a few. Everyone we needed to thank is in the credits on the last page of the book. 

We also brought in Sev Sarmenta (editor) and Andy Jao (he did the post-match analysis) to complete the team. We spent roughly six weeks before finishing everything. There was a two week delay that caused many a concern but at the end, it all worked out just fine. 

It was only today where I actually held a copy in my hands (I still don't have my copies). Ad I was genuinely excited. For someone who has followed the national team since I was a kid, it was a way of giving back. There are a lot of things that ended up in the cutting table due to page constraints. But at the end, it isn't so bad at all. Mico Halili asked me during the Tv5 interview if this is the best I've written so far. I'd have to say yes until the next one. All I know is I am going to bed tonight with a huge smile on my lips. This one is for everyone.

The book is a VERY LIMITED SPECIAL EDITION coffeetable book that sells for P3,500 at the PBA venues and at the TV5 offices at the Marajo Tower in BGC (near the Mini Cooper Store or Wild Flour and Daude). There is a small limited run for this. I know you hear about that all the time but I assure you that there aren't too many copies of this. I don't think TV5 (the publisher) will be printing more after the initial run. However, we are looking into coming out with a much cheaper version for everyone early next year. Will keep you apprised about this as it develops.

ABOVE: The team behind 11 Days in August --  Joey San Juan, Andy Jao, Franco Sevilla, Arben Santos, Sev Sarmenta, me, Philip Sison, and Addie Sullivan.

What's next? We're not telling.

1 comment:

  1. Good day Sir. I'm from Cebu and my fifteen year old nephew just told me about your Eleven Days in August book and how eager he is to get his own copy since December pa. I know I may be a little too late but are there still copies of this limited ed coffee table book of yours somewhere? :) Thanks..