Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Fair Play: Be the 12th man for the Azkals

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 3 edition)
Hey, let me tell you something obvious.  A homecourt advantage only becomes an advantage if it is actually a homecourt.  No, I'm not talking about the physical aspect of playing at home; I am talking about the advantage of playing in front of home fans who are so biased that they'd heckle the referee for daring to say, call a handball on a home player even if he dunks the ball.

I'm exaggerating but yes, that's what we need against dangerous Thailand in the first leg of the Suzuki Cup semifinal round.  We haven't beaten Thailand, in 40 years they say, and the last time we met we went home whimpering, 3-0.

So, how about you help the team and show up in the home game. Make your presence felt. 

And I'm talking about you, you and you!  Drop that beer and go lineup for a ticket! The next bottle is on me.

And YOU, I didn't forget. Why don't YOU help the home fans make the atmosphere really become a home court edge for the Azkals.

Forget that “no-flags, no-poles, no-standing” regulations.  This is football and this is our home match!

Here's a little secret. Pinoy fans are behaved and when, I ask you, did we ever have an incident of crowd trouble in an international football game? 

Or any international game held in the Philippines for that matter? We only have crowd problem when kids are involved and parents decide to show they know better than the coach or the referee.

It's one of the advantages of being late to the football party, we don't have the hooligans problem and our version of the Ultras are not those who go to matches to seek fights.

Their flag poles won't be for beating opposing fans but for their flags and speaking of flags, why in the name of all football gods would Pinoy fans be only allowed to unfurl that giant flag in foreign stadium and not at home?

Have a little faith in the fans.

If one of them decides to streak behind our goal to distract the opposing team striker, let them!

Let them loose against the Thais, it's what the team needs.

I guarantee you, you won't regret it.

So, let's let the dogs out against the Thais, shall we?

SUPPORT NEEDED. On Dec. 2, two 18-man teams in Cebu will start playing football. They will not stop until this Saturday, 101 hours after the whistle.

They are trying to raise funds for Let it Echo foundation, an NGO that helps families deal with congenital heart disease.  You can support them by showing up and buying the baller IDs and shirts.

You can also help them by offering a prayer or two, that the players, referees and coaches will be safe and sound when the record-attempt ends.

1 comment:

Rising Son said...

Mike, me and my son heeded the Azkals for support during the home game. Now, for future games may the Azkals management heed the fans voice. Last Saturday, RMS is continually degrading. We sat at the bleachers section thinking that it would be fun. It was but the facilities are not.About 5000 fans were made to contend with six unlighted portalets. Worse, I asked the ushers if there was any CR available an usher answered that the walls can be used. i said that I wont do it because only animals do it and what kind of example would be to my son. Though there was ample food especially done by family mart, the compound is dirty. Attendance was not full and I am of the opinion that if Manila can not fill it up then Panaad or Cebu should host the Azkals' next important games. Why reward Manila when it is not cooperative? Reward Panaad and Cebu. I am from Manila but I hope Panaad and Cebu gets to host the next games