Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Uno, Dos, Tres! Allez, allez, allez!

Howie Severino bats for football. Who wouldve thunk that a Pinoy still holds the FC Barcelona club record for most goals scored?

Alas, the only way the Pinoys are ever going to embrace the beautiful game is if the Americans embrace it. And the Americans will embrace it if they do well in this World Cup (prospects right now: between slim and subatomic). If only for the fact that Pinoys are frustrated Yanks (much to our detriment), I am praying that the Yanks make it past the group stage, because it'll give such a big boost to American football, and inevitably because of kuya worship, to its 'little brown brother,' Philippine football.

We need a grassroots-level introduction of the game to the kids. It's not as hard as it looks. In almost every remote barangay is a basketball court. Place a goal on each end of that court, you already roughly have a five-on-five futsal court. You can also get football back in the public school curriculum via futsal and sipa (sepak takraw), which is supposed to be our national sport; a national sport that probably nobody has ever seen played, ever.

Philippine basketball is a joke. The fact that corporations still pay megabucks to put up leagues and pay megabuck salaries baffles me no end, what with a better product easily available on TV (the NBA). Pour that kind of corporate support for football, and maybe... Nah, forget the World Cup for now, pour that kind of support for football, and maybe we can beat Vietnam. Really, it isnt corporate sponsorship that can get us qualified for the World Cup, but a genuine love of the game. Cultivate that and we've taken the first step.

1 comment:

carlosceldran said...

We used to be a football (soccer) country too until the 70's. I guess football just became too associated with the conyo kids or corporations figured that basketball was easier to market.

Still not sure why football died among the masses here. There truly was a point where it had a chance...