Saturday, August 25, 2012 – I started this day anticipating a great day of sports as AKTV was going to show the Clear Dream Football Match at 8:00 pm, followed by the Smart Gilas 2.0 versus Taiwan Team A Basketball game in the ongoing 2012 Jones Cup Tournament afterwards at 10:00 pm.
I have to admit, the Smart Gilas 2.0’s excellent run in the Jones Cup has rekindled my interest in the sport a bit. Its great to see the young guys like Gabe Norwood and Solomon Mercado mature and blossom in the team, leading it to successive victories due to their consistency and passion for the game.
‘Football Trolling in the AKTV Facebook Page’
Missed the first 15 minutes of the Clear Dream Match, but just got in time to watch the first goal of the game by Phil Younghusband off a breakaway. Watch the game until half time, and then finally checked my Facebook account.
I saw that the AKTV Facebook page was posting updates of the Clear Dream Match, and initially I was pleasantly surprised that the posts were getting a good number of comments. However, my initial positive mood moved to DISMAY and finally to ANGER when I found out that most of the posts were from Basketball Nuthugger fans asking AKTV to move on with the game so they can watch the Smart Gilas 2.0 game.
The usual Football Troll remarks were made, like how boring Football was, or how the Azkals were only popular because of their looks. Or how only women and gays watch them play. Or how the Azkals couldn’t even get a title in South East Asia.
It was incredibly INCONSIDERATE, to say the least. First of all, AKTV had shown the Smart Gilas games for the past seven days, and when Football was shown in this one single day in place of Basketball, these Basketball Nuthuggers end up trolling the Football fans. Second, the Jones Cup is NOT a major Basketball tournament in Asia. It has prestige, yes, because it has been around for so long, and the host Taiwan has deep pockets to play for a lot of these invited foreign teams.
But all teams consider it mainly as a “practice” tournament, one to try new players and combinations before the main prize, which is the FIBA-Asia tournaments. So its not really as if we are missing a major tournament here that is a must-watch game. And for that shallow reason, Football gets trolled.
‘Football vs. Basketball’
One might say that it was wrong to engage these people in arguments as they are shallow. I used to think that way, until I noticed that the constant sniping of these trolls against Football has resulted in a chipping away of the popularity of the sport over a period of time. Clearly, the Azkals and Football now are nowhere near as popular as it was, say, in the first half of 2011 after that victory over Vietnam.
While it is not the ONLY reason, Football Trolling is I feel one of the main reasons for that. As a result, I cannot anymore allow it to happen with impunity. If I am to choose between both sports, I definitely will choose Football over Basketball simply because it is true that we have better prospects internationally, at an INDIVIDUAL level to progress in this sport than Basketball.
Some point out how some countries like Argentina and Spain ended up patronizing both sports. That is true. However, both countries are different compared to ours in one, major point: Both Argentina and Spain have tall players, while we don’t. That means that they can excel individually in both sports, but not us, we cannot excel in Basketball because we are short.
They say that Argentina plays “Small Ball”, but that actually means 6’4″ Point Guards, something our BEST players are unable to do so. As someone in the Interbasket Forums point out, we don’t play “Small Ball”, we play “Midget Ball”.
The whole incident left a bad taste in my mouth for Basketball. I started the day intent on enjoying both sport, but ended up protecting one and bad-mouthing the other. I was going to blog about my impression of Smart Gilas 2.0’s game in the Jones Cup, but now I don’t feel like continuing it anymore.
Will Football and Basketball peacefully co-exist in the Philippines? Not until a way is found to keep the insecure Basketball fans at bay from trolling Football.