Of Blues and Balls

Football

It was only six months ago when Chelsea FC was at the top of the world. They won the English Premier League (EPL) title with games to spare, and Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s Player of the Year was also the Premier League Player of the Season.

Chelsea players after their win over Crystal Palace. They were celebrating their first EPL title in 5 years. Photo from goal.com by Getty Images.

Chelsea players after their win over Crystal Palace. They were celebrating their first EPL title in 5 years. Photo from goal.com by Getty Images.

Now, they have 11 points in 12 games. 11 points means 3 wins, 2 draws and 7 losses. I love the number 7, in fact it is my favorite number, but 7 losses this early in the season for a team that won the league last season is just…foreboding. Let me put that in perspective, out of the 20 teams in the EPL, Chelsea is number 16. Just 3 points above relegation. Let me say that again, RELEGATION. Ugh, the word in all capital letters seems more ominous. The idea of Chelsea fighting for relegation was the farthest thing in my mind when the current season started. Chelsea has José Mourinho, the best manager in the world according to my blue-tinted glasses. I thought that they could continue winning the league and improve on their Champions League performance. But the string of losses happened. Despite the dismal showing of the boys, I still believe for a respectable finish in the league. I am crossing my fingers on my left hand as I am typing these words. I believe.

Chelsea FC manager José Mourinho. Photo from skysports.com.

Chelsea FC manager José Mourinho. Photo from skysports.com.

When I chose to cheer for Chelsea, I thought that the only blue thing in this team was their name (The Blues) and their home colors. I did not know that this Roman Abramovich-owned team would also give me the blues. Now, I am bluer than blue just thinking that José Mourinho might be sacked during this international break. I hope he will not. I believe.

Basketball    

On the bright side of being a fan of blue teams, the Ateneo Blue Eagles won over the DLSU Green Archers, 73-62, earlier today. The win gives the Blue Eagles a win-loss card of 9-4, two wins behind league leaders FEU Tamaraws (10-2), but just a win behind UST Growling Tigers (10-3). The Blue Eagles have to catch up with the Tigers to take a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four round.

I was not at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to pump my fist, jump up and down and spell the words “blue” and “eagle” for the penultimate game of the Blue Eagles, but I was there on their 12th game against UP Fighting Maroons.

Ateneo Blue Eagles vs UP Fighting Maroons, UAAP 78 second round elimination.

Ateneo Blue Eagles vs UP Fighting Maroons, UAAP 78 second round elimination.

The faces of the players are different, but their names are familiar. Ravena, Babilonia, Capacio and Black – these are the offspring of the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) stars I watched growing up. Thankfully, the cheers remain the same. The halftime performance was a replicate of the Blue Babble Battalion’s leg-strength exercises of more than a decade ago.

Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion at the Ateneo Blue Eagles vs UP Fighting Maroons game of UAAP 78.

The Blue Babble Battalion at the Ateneo Blue Eagles vs UP Fighting Maroons game of UAAP 78.

UP Pep Squad during the Ateneo Blue Eagles vs UP Fighting Maroons game.

UP Pep Squad during the Ateneo Blue Eagles vs UP Fighting Maroons game.

The win against the UP Fighting Maroons became predictable as early as the second period. At one point, the Blue Eagles had a 19-point advantage. The large deficit did not faze the Fighting Maroons as the iskolar ng bayan fought bravely. The final score of 74-65 in favor of the Blue Eagles did not do justice to the excitement that occurred in the court. I am now a fan of Jett Manuel. 🙂

Players, coaches and staff of Ateneo Blue Eagles and UP Fighting Maroons after the game.

Players, coaches and staff of Ateneo Blue Eagles and UP Fighting Maroons after the game.

Final score

Final score between Ateneo Blue Eagles and UP Fighting Maroons.

I saw Kiefer Ravena in person for the second time (the first time I saw him, he was a toddler). I was surprised that he was bulky. And boy, he moves well with or without the ball.

*I am writing this using my phone. The Wi-Fi of my laptop conked out. 🙁 OMG. I have never had any problem with my four-year old MacBook Pro until now. 🙁 🙁 🙁 It says “No hardware installed”. Wahhhhtttt??? I am the most technologically-inept person I know. 🙁 🙁 🙁 HELP!




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