Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another chance for Matt Hartmann? For me, Yes!

WHEN I heard that U23 team captain Matt Hartmann left the team in the Southeast Asian Games I told myself, “this dude just kissed his international career goodbye.”

A few weeks back, when I learned how he went legalese with coach Michael Weiss, I thought he lost his marbles. When I learned how he justified his departure, by saying “that he wasn’t obliged to stay with the team and could leave anytime,” I thought this young dude deserved to be taught a lesson.

A ban from the national team should suffice.

But a lifetime ban, too, in club football?

That’s a bit harsh.  We are talking about a young man’s livelihood here, without a career, what is the guy going to do for a living? Stand in for Mr. Clean?

I hope Matt files an appeal, and I hope he gets his second chance in the UFL.

And even with the national team, too.

I’m a sucker for second, and even, third chances.

If not for a second chance, I wouldn’t be able to see the 1990s. If not for another chance, I wouldn’t be able to see the 2000s.  And if not for yet another chance, I wouldn’t have survived 2001.

Career-wise, a second chance got me to Sun.Star Cebu, writing about the Philippine team back in 2000 and a third got me covering the SEA Games in 2005.

So a second chance, for me, shouldn’t be denied for Matt Hartmann, the one-time captain. Everybody deserves a second chance.  A chance to make amends.

And yes, even with the national team.

But he has to earn it. He has to really earn it.

Matt’s stint with the national team was a privilege, not a right. And him saying that “he didn’t have to stay with the team because the PFF didn’t follow the protocol in informing his club of international duties” reeked of arrogance.

It’s a lame excuse that insults those who have worn the countries colors, and I’m not only talking about the football players.

But one thing that scares me though, is the power the Disciplinary Committee has shown. As a body independent of the PFF, I don’t think they realized what they have subjected Hartmann by barring him from club football.

But, as a law firm, don't they realize that the right to employment is fundamental?

What have they done?

They’ve just made the villain in the story, the victim.

They wanted to teach Matt a lesson, but this I ask, who will teach the Disciplinary Committee theirs?


Anonymous said...

i cound't agree more..

yes the sanction is too harsh! seriously, i don't understand their basis for imposing such!

and yes, matt has to earn that second chance! he has to show that he deserves the second chance..

and even a bigger yes to the disciplining committees "scary powers".. there should be like a guideline for their sanctions and there has to be a limit to their authority..

Anonymous said...

and oh, he does look like mr. clean.. haha

Arielle said...

What the guy did during the SEA Games was truly disappointing (to say the least); but I don't think it merits a lifetime ban.

Whatever sort of discipline the committee wanted to leave Hartmann is useless if they don't allow him to get back on the pitch and exercise precisely that sort of discipline.

Anonymous said...

...he made the disciplinary committee to decide so. A team captain is a TEAM CAPTAIN. If you leave your men, then it is also in equal weight of quitting your job permanently.
...remember, it is the country that he was fighting for but he turned his back and been so selfish... so why should he be given another chance to "GAIN" from this country?

pedro said...

the ban is a just decision.
if you fight for the country, first till the end!
unfortunately, this man just took things for granted. so selfish!

Mike Limpag said...

While I think Matt deserves another chance, it doesnt mean he should readily get it. He has to really earn it. Say, if he is in his best behavior in the next world cup cycle, and he shows his skills is needed in the team, and he eats a lot of humble pie, perhaps, then, the national team management can give him a second look.

Make no mistake, like most, if not all, I deplore his dastardly act, I just dont think slamming the door on the guy is warranted. He's only 21.

Wiking said...

Hang him Hang him!!!

Got your attention? Seriously though, I agree with an indefinite ban with the national team but for the UFL, maybe at most a year suspension for him to think of the dumb shit he has done and hopefully realize the awesome responsibility that he has so thoughtlessly shirked. Mike is right the kid IS a kid he deserves a second chance, at least with the UFL. But, he must show the Committee remorse or of learning from this unfortunate incident, don't make it automatic.

Anonymous said...

What team full of attitude and superstars gets first place? Just give it a thought for a moment. None, right? What team gets to first place by working hard alongside their team mates? Most, if not all. Am I not right?

Professional athletes are known for their natural abilities. Athletes generally train for years to be able to get a place in a team or represent their country. So it is the duty of the athlete to make sure his team is represented well and does not cause a slur on the reputation of the team in anyway. Athletes have a very important responsibility of bringing together nations in the spirit of healthy competition and sportsmanship. So, they must not let their emotions get the better of them. Tweeting things like "Not starting again! Someone get me on the next flight home #wasteoftime”. Do they really need a second chance? Being a Filipino and a football advocate, it hurts to know that a 19 year old - talented or not - thinks it's a waste of time playing for their own country because they did not make the starting eleven. What's disappointing is that the apology given by saying this was just a mere joke and because Filipinos love anyone who's good looking, he was forgiven expeditiously.

Being named a captain of any team is quite an honor but being named a captain representing your own country is a step beyond. As they said in Spiderman, "with great power comes great responsibility". Responsibility that means a captain must be accountable after a bad performance, as well as a good one. Captains are expected to perform in the clutch and lead the team to victory. It is also expected that captains will maintain control in the most pressurized situations and be the model of excellence for their teammates. Being named a captain is the greatest honor an athlete can receive. Yet, sad to say, a lot of athletes take this honor for granted and do not understand the significance of their role as captain. Now tell me if leaving your entire team amidst a tournament representing your country internationally is something to be taken lightly? Was that not enough an insult not only to the team but as well as the country?

These two prime examples have not done anything GREAT to be acting like the Filipino’s owe them anything – like they are entitled to all this crap. Mind you, if they were anything special, they would be signed with the top clubs in the world. But are they?

I strongly stand by the PFFs side on the sanction. I cannot believe people are even questioning it. As Filipinos, you should be embarrassed to let people represent our country knowing these attitudes! Why must you even condone it?

Mike Limpag said...

I'm not condoning Matt's action. I even agree that he deserves a ban. But not a lifetime, ban.

And certainly not a lifetime ban in domestic football, too.