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 1, 2015

Dear Kobe: A Journalist's Reply to Black Mamba's goodbye letter

This appears in the Wednesday, December 2, 2015 edition of Business Mirror.

Dear Kobe,

From the moment you got to the NBA, you got me to buy a Lakers jersey.
Something I have never done before because I didn’t root for the Lakers.
When Michael Jordan featured you, the only player outside his Bulls teammates in his book 
For the Love of the Game, I knew you were special. 
It was like His Airness knew whom to pass the torch.
And boy was he right.

I became a fan.

I became a such a fan that all my Bulls friends began to question my loyalties.
I got your #8, #24, and #10 jerseys
and watched your games at the Staples Center, the Garden, Continental Airlines Arena, and a few other arenas along the East Coast where I lived.

As a thirtysomething journalist who forgot he was supposed to be objective,
I covered you in the United States and in Manila.
I was thinking that at the light at the end of the tunnel, 
I can tell people that I saw the great Kobe Bryant play.

And so I ran.
Covered your visits to Manila as much as I could.
You asked for no quarter and gave none.
We gave our hearts
Because you came to play every night and more.

I watched through the trying years to the championship ones.
With every challenge from the West and the East.
You did it. 
And carried the Lakers longer than anyone ever did.

You gave a thirtysomething journalist something of a dream job.
And I will always be grateful.
This season is all we have left.
And for sure, I along with millions of others will watch
Hoping that with all the pounding and the grind
You’ll go out with a few more magical moments before you say goodbye.

And that’s okay.
We’re ready to let go.
But I want you to know that I savored every game
Including the good and the bad
That you have given us.
And all that we have.

And we both know, no matter what happens from hereon,
You’ll always be on of the best
To line up those jumpers, dunks and acrobatic moves,
and those game winners
with :05 second on the clock and the ball in your hands.


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