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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Unpopular Opinion 5: UAAP Men's Basketball is overhyped

All views and opinion expressed by this blogger does not in any way reflect that of or the whole blogosphere for that matter. Whatever bold statement read here should not be taken as the omnipotent truth. This blogger only wishes to share his opinions of the way things are in this universe, of which he is entitled to. If you don't share his opinion, you are very much welcome to share yours. But don't in any way hate this blogger for whatever opinion he has that is opposed to yours, for he does not in any way imply that he alone is right and that everyone else is wrong. Respect is valued here, as much as your opinion is, whatever it maybe.

Okay fine, the Fighting Maroons suck -- big time most of the time. But so what if UP has a 0-13 record in Men's Basketball? Life goes on for us UP students. It's not like we're counting on divine intervention or something, haha!

I don't want to proceed in basketball discussions because frankly, I am not a regular follower of the sport and the side issues attached to it. Neither am I an ardent Maroon fan (with the exception of the UP Pep Squad probably). If the Maroons win any game, "Yey!" If not, "Oh, well.." Certain victories are sweeter than the rest, but frankly, despite being an Isko myself, I have resigned to the fact that sports is not one of UP's strength as an education institution.

That's why I hate the way UAAP's Men's Basketball is overhyped.

It is televised via Studio 23. TV and newspaper news crews cover it more than the other sports. Thus, its players (especially the exceptional ones) are far more popular than other UAAP athletes. There are many factors why so -- sponsors, sponsors and sponsors. It's a chicken-and-egg case for me -- more people follow the competition so naturally, the news people cover it extensively. But since more news media cover it, the people have more opportunities to follow it.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against basketball. In fact, back in my elementary years, despite my personal knack for it, I was quite the avid fan of the Alaska Milkmen, especially in 1996, their grand slam year. I never was able to watch a game live for economic and geographic reasons. But that didn't stop me from making a bond paper size cardboard sign that shouted, "Go Alaska!" and waving it in front the television. I was also a huge fan of the Pampanga Dragons when they won the first ever MBA Championships.

What I hate though is the way Men's Basketball sort of represents the rest of the UAAP because of the lack of media coverage in the other sports. I am fully aware that UAAP Basketball's fans are not only limited to the students of the 8 participating universities. I am sure high school students and college students from other colleges or universities who share a similar passion for basketball are fans too. But do all of them know that there actually other sports competitions in the UAAP other than basketball?

When UST won the title at the expense of Ateneo in the 69th Season, that game hogged the evening headlines. Together with the rest of the country, we all heard that UST bravely won the basketball title. But did we ever learn that UST not only won last season's basketball title but also the Overall Title in the Seniors and Juniors Division? Last year's overall title is UST's 19th in the past 20 seasons (the other one was UP's, back in Season 1997-1998). Which bring their total to 34 Overall Championships. Very impressive right? More impressive than a basketball championship, if you ask me, for the latter just contributes 15 points to the university's total score in the league standings (UST had 331 points VS UP's 254 points).

How about my alma mater UP? We were actually 2nd overall last year and the other year (Wiki has no information on the older seasons). In fact, in the last season, we were the Champions in Girls' Swimming, Men's Swimming and Women's Judo. UP was the 1st runner-up in 10 other competitions. For the current season, while the men's are the bottom-dwellers with 0-13, the Lady Maroons actually share the lead with Ateneo with an 11-1 record. Do you think, UP sports (as a whole) would still get a lot of flak if its success in other competitions were also publicized and had more exposure? I don't think so.

Just the other week, I learned something about the relation between perception and substance from an alumna of my org in UP. And I can't help but relate the lessons I learned in UP's pathetic basketball campaign (at least in the men's division). Just because we suck big time in the highly televised games, it undermines the rest of our athletes in terms of perception. Ateneo and La Salle however, just because they are 'rich' universities, they are stereotyped to be well-trained players (a generalization I am guilty of myself).

So what's my point then? Haha! Well, I just want other sports to be televised as well, not only for the welfare of the winning teams in those competitions but also of the sports themselves. I think that in its own little way, a bigger awareness of the other sports helps in promoting that sports to us Filipinos. I feel we are too obsessed with winning an Olympic gold in basketball even if we actually have higher chances in other sports.

This year's Cheerdance Competition will be on September 16, 2007! Go UP! Haha! *cough* bitter sa UST!

U-nibersidad ng Pilipinas!
Matatapang, matatalino
Walang takot, kahit kanino
Hinding-hindi magpapahuli
Ganyan kaming mga taga-UP
U-nibersidad ng Pilipinas! U!

Well, except in men's basketball. Haha!

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