Friday, October 7, 2011

A War Without Deaths -- yup, Competitive Sports!

 Man has always carried a violent nature inside of him.Whether you are a muscled freak prone to 'roid rage, or a pacifist who can't kill a fly,  make no mistake about it -- there's a primal beast stored inside your DNA. And it wants blood. Or at least the thrill of defeating someone worthy. Now, you can't just go about slapping people in the face, looking for a fight. That kind of behavior gets people in jail. Usually.

But of course, there are exceptions.
  Humans, being the pioneering species that it is, had the brilliant idea of creating competition. Also, killing people for shits and giggles in front of a live audience kind of went out of fashion after the Roman Empire collapsed. So now, we get our fix of loud, animalistic, roaring frenzy from professional sports. And grown massively this movement has.

 The Olympics have been one of humanity's most obscenely expensive displays of athletic superiority for decades, and for good reasons. Nothing brings out the animal in us like the tribal allegiances we display when our teams are competing. But since we've always sucked at the Olympics, we settle with what we can get. And we have it pretty good. Nothing like a deadly, but beautiful sport like boxing to get everyone's heartbeat racing and our throats sore.  Oh, and yeah, just having the greatest fighter alive today as our countryman is pretty swell.

Even though the awful singing and political play is getting exasperating.

   If you've ever seen Manny fight, (wait, of course you have, duh.) you will be familiar with the indescribable rush of blood it sends throughout your body. There's is nothing quite like seeing an eternally smiling man beating up his opponents face into a bloody pulp. And the ecstasy of seeing an opponent down and out? Absolutely incredible.You are left inspired, wanting to just go out and smack somebody around.

 But for what? Unlike you, he is being paid to fight. Its almost disgusting how much the guy makes, if only it weren't so well-deserved. And unlike him, you are probably a wuss who'd fold under a grazing jab. So like most sane people wishing to feel the rush of victory, you'd probably settle for a less brutally punishing sport.

 Enter our national sport. No you idiot, it's not sepak takraw like our textbooks say. It is basketball. One of the American's greatest legacies we have kept alive. Filipinos are addicted to it, also because the NBA has done a great job marketing it as a wonderful game filled with grace, skills and drama. For the most part, that is.
When you can change the NBA's rules just from the number of technical fouls you've committed, you are definitely a legend.

  Locally, the fanatical mobs are virtually only a few steps away from England's infamous soccer hooligans. Forget professional basketball; in this country, college hoops is the major attraction. Nothing inspires fanatical devotions quite like academic institutions, especially for the "privileged" ones. How many local PBA games fetch up to Php30,000 per ticket for court-side seats? You'd be lucky selling out Araneta's upper A section for season games in the pro league. On the collegiate level, you'd be lucky to score GA tix for an Ateneo-La Salle, or Final Four game. And when you're really lucky, the teams would even drop the ball and go at each others throats. Now that's entertainment!

 Personally, I've always enjoyed competition involving myself. Be it basketball, debates or video games, I really hate losing. And like the psychotically passionate Michael Jordan himself, I love a close, hard-fought, play-til-you-bleed-or-drop game. It ups the stakes. Never mind if there is no money involved. I hate gambling anyway. I love it for the rush, stress, fatigue, everything. There is nothing quite like winning a hard-fought match, when you're down on the scoreboard, and clawing your way back. Snatching a win from behind is one of life's greatest legal pleasures. Losing such a game though, is honestly quite devastating. So just imagine how the Miami Heat must feel.

Oh wait, it wasn't even close. My bad. Suck it Lebron! Hahaha!
Aside from being a great fitness regimen, sports also apparently boost willingness to succeed, as well as coordination, balance, intelligence, and the common side-effect of having the ability to behave like a douche-bag. Yes, no great athlete is without pride. No, Manny Pacquiao, despite not saying it, is definitely not as humble as he seems. Greatness demands a high sense of confidence in one's self, not to mention their abilities. So let them brag, as long as it's in good taste and not comically exaggerated like Money Mayweather.

Cause at the end of the day, these kings of their sport are the modern age Lords of war. And we are all just fans or haters.

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