THEY say Christmas is for children, and since Spin.ph is still in its infancy stage we feel we're entitled to have a few wishes of our own granted by dear, ol' Santa this year.
So here now is our Christmas wish list, which may not exactly be what you have in mind on this occasion. But make no mistake about it. Granting these wishes would make Santa an MVP in the eyes of the men and women making up the Spin.ph staff, as well as genuine sports fans like us.
MORE of the insightful and refreshing running commentary from Jason Webb on television during PBA games. More of the frank and sharp halftime and post-game inputs from Jojo Lastimosa and Frankie Lim.
LESS of the comedy, or should we say the poor attempts at comedy, during the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows of the PBA's television coverage. Sorry to say, they're not funny. Not even amusing.
MORE fights for 'The Pacman.' Come on, guys, give us a break. Spin.ph has been 0-2 (win-loss) since its inception on Manny Pacquiao fights, and we need to break the spell before we start to hear whispers that we're bad omen for the country's biggest sports hero.
LESS of the pleas for 'The Pacman's' retirement. Give us all a break, guys. Of all the activities the eight-division world champion busies himself with these days, boxing is the only thing he does very well. So why stop?
MORE of the cracking monikers like 'The Beast,' which according to our beat writers was bestowed on Calvin Abueva by UAAP and NCAA coliseum barker Rolly Manlapaz. Just for this one, this guy deserves to get monster yearend bonuses from all headline writers in the sportswriting profession.
LESS of the what's-that-again monikers like 'The Kraken,' which June Mar Fajardo had the misfortune of having. Whoever gave that moniker to this poor fellow should be re-christened with a nickname so repulsive and condemned to live with it for the rest of his life.
MORE power for the Commissioner's Office of the UAAP and NCAA. It's a wonder that to this day, officials from supposedly the best schools in the country haven't figured out that letting people with their own interests to protect, decide on even the smallest of league matters is recipe for disaster. The UAAP and NCAA boards, at the most, should be no more than policy-making bodies. Get a good commissioner and let him run the show. It's what they taught us in school: trust.
LESS restrictions on ticket sales for Ateneo vs De La Salle games. Restricting the sale of all but a handful of tickets to students of the two schools is not only elitist but also a selfish act. The league must realize that this one game has become an event - in fact one of the biggest in the Philippine sports calendar. Why deprive someone willing to stand in line for hours for tickets the opportunity to watch it? If the purpose of this rule was to clamp down on scalping, the hundreds of tickets which ended up in the hands of scalpers during Ateneo-La Salle matches this season showed it didn't work.
MORE referees to officiate each PBA game. The way the men in gray have been bungling calls and missing glaring fouls these days, the pro league may need two, three, or perhaps five extra pairs of eyes to finally get the calls right.
LESS of the blank, lost stares we see from PBA refs each time they miss a call. Look, fellows. Well-remembered former league refs like Igmidio Cahanding, Genaro 'Bay' Ledesma, and Ernie de Leon didn't always get the calls right. But when they did make a mistake, they at least still looked confident enough to 'sell' the call. It helps to get those snarling coaches off your backs.
MORE players like 'The Beast.' Say what you want to say about this Alaska rookie, but his gung-ho, full-speed-ahead brand of play, cocky demeanor, and competitive nature have been like a breath of fresh air for a league which for so long had been stuck on first gear because its laid-back, overpaid superstars were always on neutral.
LESS 'knockdowns' from Abueva. Sure, the super rookie has been a recepient of several cheap shots this season. But Meralco coach Ryan Gregorio is right. 'The Beast' flops a lot, too.
MORE fresh ideas from Philippine Olympic Committee president Peping Cojuangco, who has squeezed the last remaining mineral from his 'sports nutrition program' during his campaign for a new term. Besides, espousing a nutrition program for Philippine sports at this time is much like trying to cure cancer with a headache tablet.
LESS ideas from Mr. Cojuangco. On second thoughts, we won't mind.
MORE coaches like Yeng Guiao, Luigi Trillo, Tim Cone, Ryan Gregorio, Chot Reyes, and Pido Jarencio who at least talk before and after each game like they really mean what they say.
LESS blabber from this D-League coach who does nothing but 'give my players credit' after every victory. We got the message long ago, coach: players win games, coaches lose 'em. Now can we all move on, please.
MORE fights for the 'Filipino Flash.' The guy, for one, is good, and secondly he's on a roll right now. We also need Nonito Donaire Jr. to stay busy in the ring before he gets bored out of it and, heaven forbid, follow 'The Pacman's' lead. The last thing we want to see is Donaire dipping his hands into side careers he has no business being in.
LESS fights for Mercito Gesta. Have mercy on us. The fellow simply forgot that boxing is all about throwing a punch. So why bother?