08/12/12 - Farewell Tigerella
How ironic it is that when I watched this week's FTW episode that was entitled: "Goodbye Powerade", I started out with me feeling nostalgic and sad... yet a couple of minutes later, me grinning from ear to ear, and even feeling a little "kilig" at the last couple of seconds...
I felt honored and proud that my effort as a fan didn't go unnoticed, and that these sports analysts/ journalists appreciated the result. But after replaying that episode repeatedly until hearing my name said by Mico Halili and Charles Tiu didn't bring a silly smile to my face, i finally began to hear and understand the message that they were trying to tell me (and all other Powerade fans), and it broke my heart a little... ok, not a little, but alot.
But then I should have braced myself because it was obviously a loosing battle. When the biggest supporter and "father" of the team raises the white flag in surrender, it was just a matter of time before conquering entities split over the spoils. I was naive to think that there was still a battle to be fought, when the reality was, it was already over. This FTW episode, where I was singled out, seemed to tell me that it was time to LET GO and MOVE ON.
I was originally an Alaska fan in the 90s, during the era of Jojo Lastimoso, Johnny Abbarientos, Jeffrey Cariaso... and Sean Chambers, the Grandslam team... and when i saw the core of that team move to Coke, I decided to move too. So I became a fan of the Coca Cola Tigers around 2002.
I became dormant from 2004-2010 (due to college, masteral, and the NBA), and I just came back this season (due to the influx of Smart Gilas). But just like before, watching on TV was enough for me. Nothing really made me want to watch the games live in Araneta.
But I was a passive fan, silently rooting for my favorite team, not interacting on forums, or social media, much less, make fan videos to show my support. I had fun watching basketball and it was exciting to have a team to root for.
The only part of the game that I've seen is the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter and the additional 5 minutes of overtime, and it was via a 14min videoclip on youtube. It was because I couldn't find a full replay of the Epic game that I resorted to reading all the articles that I could find about it, and it was through those write-ups that I realized how special and rare that game was.
This was alot MORE than #8 Powerade beating the #1 Bmeg (giants)... its signficance and impact was so immense that it created a different atmosphere in the league.
The mindset of "WE BELIEVE". To have the WHOLE team BELIEVE that victory is within grasp, despite not having a loaded line-up, was the factoring element to the PARITY the PBA now enjoys.
But after that All Filipino Cup's magical Cinderella run to the finals, all hell broke loose, and the young team that stood united and strong, together achieving incredible feats, was now being rumored that they would soon to be disbanded and sold.
And this was the catalyst that transformed me and many others from passive fans into passionate defenders. Because we couldn't wrap our minds around the idea that the these special team that managed to beat incredible odds whose existence was only a span of 6 months, was now being disbanded and being sold to one of the Giants in the league. We thought surely there must be a mistake. Surely if the owners knew what a rare treasure this team was, they would want to keep it. The fans and other league officials protested and whatever was rumored to take place didn't happen. We heaved a sigh of relief believing that we had averted the disaster. But then Sir JB Baylon, the team's heart and source of inspiration resigned, and somehow we knew that no matter what his replacement said, it was just a matter of time before everything crumbles.
But despite these obvious signs, I was clinging on to the belief that the Team was still healthy and whole. Surely this was not how this amazing story was suppose to end. But when the protested trade finally happened, it was then I knew that the Cinderella story was not going have a happily ever after. It was during that time that I decided to try and preserve the important highlights of this incredible story by making the Powerade Tigers "TIGERELLA" Story, a video compilation of video clips, pictures, and podcasts that gave the best impression of what happened during that specific time, and posted it on youtube.
And so here we are. At the last page of the Powerade/Coca Cola Tigers' Cinderella "TIGERELLA" story in the PBA, and though I'm reluctant to put the last period on the last sentence of the last page of the book, (or in my case, compile the last video clips, pictures, and articles to make the CONCLUSION of the whole Tigerella Story in youtube) Mico Halili, Magoo Marjon, Doug Kramer, & Charles Tiu, through that FTW episode have convinced me to do so. I've finally realized that its OK not to have an happily ever after (aka happy ending)... this is real life after all, not a fairy tale.
POST SCRIPT: But I'm still kind of hoping and praying that I could somehow put a positive spin to the last video, so I'm waiting until after the Grand Reunion/Farewell of the Powerade Tigers on August 30, 2012 to do it.