OMG! David Beckham has arrived in the Philippines! A legendary player that has become a household name. If you are going to ask a name of a football superstar in a game show, the first answer will surely be David Beckham. It is quite a once in a lifetime opportunity that a great football superstar like him will play in the Philippine soil against our national team Azkals on Dec 3 Sat. Also tagging along with him are the members of the LA Galaxy like the other superstars Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane. And please. I would not want to overemphasize that LA Galaxy is a top team, a truly world class club. Every football enthusiast would really want to see this team. That is the good news. But there is a bad news. Guess what. We have to pay a significant amount for that! When they have posted the ticket prices last November 9, not a few people expressed their disappointments. The prices are P2k, 5K, 9.5K 10.5K, 12.5K, 15.5K. Whew! What a huge amount.
When the Azkals ignited the interest of Filipinos in football, it seems like everybody wants to be part of the fad, particularly the media. Television networks like AKTV and Studio 23 capitalized on this fad thinking that this might be the beginning of glorious days of Philippine football. Studio 23 showed all the games of the Azkals while AKTV sponsored UFL, a Philippine football league. Their strategy seems to be feeding and exposing the people with information about football and eventually they will learn to LOVE it. Despite that, many people’s interest in the sport was short-lived. When the Azkals bagan to lose their games against better teams, people turned their back to football. And now, a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a football icon, even though it is still significantly cheaper to see them live here in the flesh, will not be taken by most people. Just a few days ago, the organizers have announced that the tickets are being discounted by 30%. Why? Almost no one bites it.
Aha! I think I just found the answer. Filipinos did not have the interest in football per se when the Azkals won against stronger teams in the Suzuki Cup. They supported the Azkals because they are our national team. In effect, what Filipinos did have was a sense of pride that is why almost everybody celebrated. I think that we are still far, far away before Filipinos interest in football will be at par with their interest in basketball.
Adrian Francis S. Bustos, Entry #1