For the past three years I have been a loyal UAAP basketball fan. I’ve woken up after two hours of sleep just so I could line up in the hopes of a decent seat; I’ve played naughty and nice, exhausting all my connections; I’ve spent thousands just for an Upper B ticket; I’ve even cut class just to watch the games–that’s how obsessed I’ve become.
I started watching UAAP basketball–supporting Ateneo–as a high school freshman whose only connection to the school were three siblings who go there and an aspiration to follow in their footsteps. I was in the province then, so my support only went as far as cheering in front of the television. I think I yelled loudly enough for them to hear me because that first year proved to be a success. Ateneo won over spurned rival, defending champions, La Salle.
I started watching live during my sophomore year (I only watched once as a freshman partly because I had no idea how to get tickets). It was addictive. Nothing beats the raw passion coming from the hyperactive Blue Babble Battalion, crowd cheers and jeers, and the ear-splitting drums. Even the most depressed, stoic person who somehow found his way in the stadium can be induced to cheers by the contagious manic crowd.From that point on, I literally begged, borrowed, and… begged for tickets. Even classes took a backseat (and when I choose something over school, it’s definitely big). Even in times when I couldn’t afford to skip class, I’d constantly be checking my phone, badgering lucky friends who were fortunate enough to have gotten a ticket or have a TV nearby.
This year though, it’s no longer my lack of money, connections, or school that gets in the way of this much-loved basketball season. Sadly, my awkward work schedule (yes, including the weekends) prevents me from watching the games. Even our numerous TV sets, strategically positioned in different areas in the office for maximum viewing pleasure, are dead set on various news channels. So highlights are the most I get to see. It’s almost like being in high school again, only worse, since I’ve had a taste of the actual thing. As of today, I’ve only seen one full game live, the first match between Ateneo and FEU.
Right now, I missed a very important game in the season (it’s importance only due to the fact that it’s La Salle we’re up against). I had to content myself with twitter/SMS updates. I thought that my entire fanaticism would cease, or at the very least, go down a couple of notches. While I realized the futility of waking up before dawn lining for tickets before class, the support hasn’t wavered. Every game, I still frantically text my UAAP-loving friends for scores and updates.
Today, despite being blind and deaf to Kirk Long scoring over 20 points and the frenzied Battalion screaming words of encouragement, I found myself whooping and booing to the amusement of my diligent, working office-mates.If my bosses weren’t around, I’d probably cheer louder and more shamelessly (especially since my La Salle work buddy has his day off today). The passion’s still there, the support is stronger than ever. It’s minus the sickening scent of buttery popcorn and the pushing crowd.
It’s not about the number of games you watch, live or not, it’s about the boundless support you give to your school no matter what. Basketball UAAP or not.
*Photos were last year’s, taken from my old extinguished blog. I was with Anne Silva and Miggy Barreto. I was wearing a fancy dress and stilettos because I came from an important lunch. Hahaha.