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.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

It's time. A message to the Ateneo community about cheering & the need for change

I think it’s time.

It’s time to update, change, and come up with new cheers for Ateneo sports. 

The time has passed when they were massively effective. Yes, that was when it was a time was no one else cheered. When the other schools had nothing but a brass band that could have played a rhythm section for Glenn Miller because of their choice of pop and classical tunes that we all mocked and ridiculed. Now everyone else has their own cheers and drums. Their cheers are shorter, punchier, and get going right away. And they are massively effective.

The old cheers from Fabilioh, Halikinu, and the Artillery Yell take too long in their wind-up that by the time it gets going it has been drowned out by the other school’s cheers. They have learned to drown them out with their line of bass drums. And we have retaliated by doing the same. 

The only time “One Big Fight” is effective is when we are in the midst of a huge rally or are creaming the opposition like there is no tomorrow.

it doesn’t help that the Ateneo crowd doesn’t cheer anymore. Well, that has been the case for a long time now. They cheer when the spirit moves them and when the going is great. Or when it is early in the game when they have the throat for it. 

I think people forget that cheering came to be because - one, it was to intimidate the opponent with that huge gallery cheering in unison, and two, to rally the team when they are down. Repeat. When they are down. We do not cheer when we are leading but when the team needs a massive lift. That was what being the Sixth Man was all about.

Calling out to the University Athletics Office and the management of the Blue Babble Battalion, it’s time to give serious thought to coming up with new cheers. Ones that suit the times and are punchier, rousing in their verse, and will have foes quaking at their power. I am not suggesting we ditch the old ones. From time to time, bring them out. Or even update them to suit the times. In my talks with my good friend Ralph Aligada, we share the same wavelength. 

This isn’t spitting in the face of tradition. Hell, if we stuck with tradition the campus would still be in Padre Faura. If we stuck with tradition we would not be co-ed. 

Open up your minds and your hearts. It’s time. As the late Fr. John Candelaria, S.J. once said, “Change is frightening this move from the familiar to unfamiliar. But that is what life is all about."

I am not going to say, “change is coming.” Screw that. 

I’ll just say, “Go — do this -- Ateneo!"


  1. I agree with new and punchy cheers. But the original cheers must be retained regardless if it is drowned out or too long.

  2. Sure new ones are overdue. Definitely keep the old, but not just 'from time to time.' Or else the copy cat schools will take them as if they were originally theirs and the signature Ateneo cheers will be forgotten as originally ours