Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fair Play: Blue Haired Guy and the Azkals Bar

My latest column on Sun.Star Cebu.

IF YOU’VE followed the Azkals closely in their last three home matches, then the Blue-Haired Fanatic is not a stranger to you.

In Panaad against Mongolia, he was that dude who surprised everybody—and perhaps even himself—when he grabbed a Philippine flag, ran both sides of the grandstand to the fans’ amusement and somehow found himself on the tracks. (On an interesting note, the guy who owned the flag BHF borrowed was from Cebu.)

For hours prior the match, the dude was drinking his favorite Tanduay long neck and it was there at the parking lot that I passed by him and a poster who went by the handle “BobG.”
 “I gave one shot to Bob, about this much,” he said, holding his thumb and forefinger about an inch apart. “And I drank the rest.”

You may not know Bob but I think you’ve heard of his now iconic line, “Shrocky…a shot at goal….IT’S IN!!!!”

The cops, who haven’t seen anything like it—a Blue-Haired Dude with the flag’s colors painted on his face, carrying the Philippine flag—tentatively approached him but he still ran in both directions of the track, before stopping to plant the flag, kneel and bow his head as if to say, “I offer myself for the flag.”

At the Rizal Memorial Stadium against Sri Lanka and Kuwait, he was no longer the strange dude, he was the Blue-Haired Fanatic, the official Chief Cheerer of the Azkals, the leader of the Kaholeros.

And last Friday, he flew in to Cebu just to meet the local Kaholeros.
Yep, the Blue-Haired Fanatic was in town for a short meeting at the best place possible, the Azkals Sports Bar and Grill. The bar, which I believe will become the de facto headquarters of Azkals fans, is owned by couple Helga and John Michael Javier.

John said he and his wife were looking online for suitable names for their bar when he told his wife, a Philippine football nut, to just name the bar “Azkals” since she kept talking about them.

Though he was a bit concerned that there might be some copyright issues, I told John he shouldn’t be as it’s the fans who “owned” the name and based on the fans getting excited to step into the Azkal bar, well, they made the right move.

Aside from the couple, others who were there were Daniel Young Jr., Niña Kahlail Panares, Ivy Marie Gallego, Eric du, Irish and Lordie Grace, Norjannah Pacatue, Rhodora Gomonil, Edgardo Salvacion, Jinky Lesigues, Aldrin Divera, Ruby Amor Alipar and She Sison.

Being a Kaholero, BHF said is not an easy job and being the Chief Kaholero, the guy—who is a voice talent—risks his livelihood.

“Imagine banging away at a plastic drum for at least two hours,” he told his rapt audience.
The Cebu chapter was supposed to elect their officers but BHF would have none of it.

“Never ever hold an election when you’re drinking,” he said.

So the guy who flew all the way from Manila just for the meeting, and spent for everybody’s food and drinks before going to the UP Cookout for more fun, will be back in Cebu on Sept. 3 for the elections.

It will also give those Kaholeros who missed the evening meeting a chance to attend the lunch gathering.

And on an interesting note, it’s not only the football team Mr. Blue is interested in helping and he told me he’s also looking for another national team to support.

And guess what’s next for Cebu sports? The Davis Cup tie against Taiwan in Lapu-Lapu City.
Fan-cheering during the first day of the tie against Japan left much to be desired last March. I think I kept shouting “Drums!!!!” to the drum beaters since they didn’t know when to come in.

But Mr. Blue Hair leading a squad of fanatics? Oh my, Davis Cup will not know what hit them.



gem said...

Hi Sir Mike,

May I know the location of the Azkals Sports Bar and Grill? I would love to visit the place if I have a chance.

Thanks po!


Mike said...

It's at the Treeplace or Treehouse compound, near the STC Backgate. If you're coming from national bookstore, you turn right at the first eskina and you can see it.