This is a guest post from Raymond.
Why is football a long shot in generating significant fan interest and sparking a sporting revolution in the country to overtake basketball in the hearts of gullible Filipino masses?
- As it is right now, nothing much can be expected from our various National Sports Associations in terms of funding, support and initiative in promoting their various fields. With athletes’ cries of delayed and entirely lacking and/or undelivered allowances, what more can we expect when it comes to solid provision for local and international exposures, gears, coaches and trainers, etc.
With this, much of the needed funds and publicity will and should obviously come from corporate sponsors and sporting godfathers. Of course, nothing comes free. In exchange for sponsorships, athletes, teams, meets and leagues serve as marketing tools and vehicles of these interested sponsors.
If one is a marketing manager with funds at his disposal, it is a no brainer to sponsor someone and something which will be gaining media mileage and publicity, say for example a basketball team participating in tournament complete with prominent coverage in the tri-media, over a grassroots football program at the heart of an almost empty, unkept football field doubling as shelter of carabaos with nary any media attention.
- We have enormous successes from the RP Blue boys of youth softball, jungolfers and tennis players, note even chess wizard Wesley So. But without much fallback in the form of commercial and professional leagues, athletes are left to fend for themselves with limited opportunities in sporting fields other than basketball.
A man has got to eat. And without a promising long term horizon in other sports, not much interest is generated and sustained in the hearts and minds of our young athletes to pursue their passion. Government pension for athletes won’t take anyone anywhere.
- Come up with an improvised hoop and a ball and you’re ready to go. Roads in our country can double as basketball courts easier than converting them into football fields.
- I don’t know if this is entirely accurate. Or I may just be hating to admit it if it is indeed the awful truth, but we Filipinos have a penchant for the “bara bara“, lack of a system, free wheeling, anything goes, “bahala na si Batman” kind of an attitude. Football being the Beautiful game, may be something that is not ready to be appreciated by our masa. For a country thriving with one upmanship, “kanya kanya“, counterflows and cutting corners, the purity of Football will surely lull the masa to a deep slumber even before the first tagay of Ginebra.
With the international success of Pacman, Bata Reyes, Django Bustamante et al, again with the private sponsors and managers funding all their stints, awareness and interest in football will remain so so in the national scale.
So, what keeps a nation of vertically challenged citizens with not much success in the international scene in the significant past still addicted to hoops? Apart from ending, point shaving and the like which adds even more spice to the game, maybe it’s because of the immediate gratification in terms of points and fastbreaks, much the same as jabs and KO punches in boxing, that fans get to experience.
I personally believe that the excitement from basketball is something that Filipinos can relate to more than the excitement and appreciation to be derived from football. We absolutely don’t have a chance winning big in basketball globally. But it doesn’t matter to the fans. James Yap’s jumpers are enough for them to get their fix of adrenaline rush. They wouldn’t care less if James Yap won’t be able to convert those same shots over foreign behemoths in various international meets.
Basketball caters to Filipinos’ impatience more than football. Are you still wondering then why lines in lotto outlets as well as lines for showbiz auditions and gameshow contestants are eternally long?
Filipinos want a quick fix to everything; and they simply won’t last 120mins. with the score reflecting 0-0.