Fair Play: Yearend review: A lookback in 2015

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Dec. 29 edition)
YEP, you read that right. That’s not a typo. Boy , did I have quite a night last night. It must have been one quirky bug--or one hell of a wine--but I found myself chatting with 36-year-old me on Dec. 29, 2015.

I kid you not. April 1 is four months away and Innocents’ Day was two days ago, so this is not a prank. I mean, do I ever waste your time writing nonsense here?

So, after asking about some lottery numbers from my 2015 self, I asked him how the year went for sports.

“Oh, you can’t believe the year we just had,” he said. “Until now, the PBA is dealing with the consequences of giving Pacquiao the Rookie of the Year award, and that’s after they revised the list of 40 greatest players of all time!”

Manny, the ROY?

Some smart dude in the PBA decided to let fans determine the ROY and Manny zoomed to the top in half the time he spent with the ball in his debut. Now, the PBA has added restrictions for wannabe rookies who are politicians (must have zero absence in congress) and celebrities (must be able to score a lay-up two out of three attempts against June Mar Fajardo.

“But what about Pacquiao vs. Mayweather? Who won?”

My 2015 self sent a series of smileys and curses. “You bought that! Seriously? Until now they are still negotiating but at least Manny silenced Marquez with a sweet second-round knockout in their fifth fight.”

How about the Azkals? How did they fare?

Aside from telling me to tell Dan Palami to tell the Azkals that posing for an underwear ad was a bad idea, he said we had a mixed year.

“No. 17 is back, and so is No. 1 and I can still hear Bob scream ‘Schrockkyyyy!!!!!’ after that wicked goal against Japan in the World Cup qualifiers. We lost, obviously,
but it was one of the best goals in the qualifiers,” he said.

Apparently, the international retirement of our favorite former Azkal ended when him and the coach got to talk and a mature Neil Etheridge, with a solid stint as Charlton No. 1, was what limited the 2015 Asian Cup champion to only four goals against us.

We made it to the second round and was a draw away from the third round, and a spot in the AFC Cup in 2019. Dan got a red card in a home game, while a Caucasian fan proposed marriage to a kaholero at half-time and got turned down.

And of course, we missed the SEA Games again when the PSC refused to send a team
after realizing Schrock and Neil wouldn’t be eligible to play.

We sent another lean and mean team in the SEA Games—those who passed the stringent “must-be-a-medal-contender criteria of the PSC—but finished second from last and, as expected, the PSC blamed the host for that. Per PSC rationale, some events were scrapped and it was held in June, not late in the year as usual, and half the national teams was still busy looking for players two weeks before the SEA Games.

“It’s six months after the SEA Games fiasco and folks are still asking for the heads of the PSC and POC leaders but you know Philippine sports, this failure will be forgotten once the next failure arrives,” he said.

How about Cesafi? And the Cebu sports?

“UV won again, over USC and coach Yayoy got the scare of his life when, after scolding his player, he got carried off the Cebu Coliseum by the incensed player!

And the Ironman? Bye-bye Ironman! The roads in Mandaue were so bad that even organizers of Xterra changed their mind and decided to hold the off-road triathlon in Mandaue City!”

And on a good note, he said, the football pitch in the Cebu City Sports Center will finally get an uplift.

“The CCSC will make it to CNN after a vacationing former Premier League player took a selfie sunbathing at the pitch, forcing an embarrassed Mayor Mike Rama to personally lead the planting of grass and in the...holy crap! I have to end this, I think I’m chatting with my 2017 self and I’m too stumped to come up with a prediction for 2017

I’ll let him write what happened...”


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