Thursday, October 12, 2006

Shooter's Bounce: Complete and Unabridged

due to insistent "public" demand, ipopost na ni ninong ang first offering ng shooter's bounce. pero medyo may catch. kasi malamang hindi ito yung lalabas sa dyaryo... ewan ko. medyo di nila ata nagustuhan e...pero para sa akin ok na ito e. ewan ko ba. nahihirapan na ako, actually. but still...

Commending the Effort

When nobody around you seems to measure up, it’s time to check your yardstick.
- Bell Lemley

I guess I have no outright talent in naming things to christen my column with names like Coffee Scented Keyboard or even Soda Brew. I have been wringing my head dry to find an apt name for this column ever since I found out that I was the new sports editor. I know I could have used anything from Onomatopoeia to Ninong’s Special Grill and people would not even care. But since this is my first column, I just wanted it to sound like something special.

But alas, I do not have the luxury of time in my hands. I do not have forever to think of some magical name to put beside my picture and have you all mesmerized by the sheer creativity of it. Like any ordinary Mapúan, I have hundreds of things to do and thousands of alibis not to do it. Fortunately, I can cook up some profound and insightful reason to explain why you are reading a column named Shooter’s Bounce instead of some other witty column name. My reason may even leave you believing that my column name is no accident.

In basketball, not every shot attempt will make the ball hit nothing but the net. There are times when the shot will miss and hit nothing but air. And there are times when the ball will dance above the rim, bouncing its jig, before sinking through the hoop. The last bounce that knocks the ball in the basket is what they call the shooter’s bounce. It is the bounce that makes all the difference, and I hope my column can do the same. There you have it, a reflective introduction before the main event.

A lot of power goes with writing for the public, that is, if people read what you write. Otherwise, I might as well type nonsense trash here for all the good that it might do. I know a good lot of people do not read the Sports section of The New Builder. A lot of people just do not care nowadays. I’m just gambling that since you see a different picture up there, you might care to read a few paragraphs and hear what I have to say.

One reason why people do not read the Sports news is because our varsity teams had not won any NCAA Championships lately. Not all Mapúans are interested in second, third or even fourth placers. They will commend champions not runner-ups. But I believe this is a crooked way to view reality. Because in reality, not everyone are leaders nor are everyone topnotchers.

Let us say Mapúa has around 15 courses. Simple mathematics tells us that there are 15 top 1 students for every batch. Five batches bring a total of 75 top 1 students in their respective courses and batches in Mapúa. If Mapúa has a 10,000 student population, what do you called the other 9,925 students?

Well, you call them runner-ups.

What does being a runner-up mean? Does it mean that we lost? I do not think so. Losing happens when people give up. Being a runner-up just means there are people above us that we have to beat. It means there is still room for us to get better. But in order for us to get to the top, we need to improve not only our habits but also our perspectives.

Since all of us here are runner-ups in our own ways, we should learn to appreciate the effort that our varsity teams have poured in their respective sports disciplines. They gave us something to be proud of. The least we can do is give them some credit for what they did. You can start by caring for their achievements and reading the news that concern them. If they did not fulfill your expectations, stop berating them. They deserve some respect. And they deserve to have it from you.

The first half of the NCAA is over and I salute our athletes for what they had achieved so far. It is not an easy task to maintain last year’s performance despite the pressures and the indifference of the student community. Thus, I commend your efforts. And if I can convince one or two Mapuans to commend you as well, then my privilege of writing here is not in vain.

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