I was convinced it was no coincidence – whenever I watched my team’s basketball games during the UAAP (University Athletic Association of the Philippines) season, my team would always lose. I was in college, an angsty teenager who believed that everything in the universe had something to do with her, even varsity basketball game scores. It didn’t matter if I watched live or on TV; we always lost as long as I was watching.
So, because I loved my alma mater, I skipped all the games from my sophomore year until last month. I just relied on text messages from friends, or the Internet, for updates. It killed me to support my team like that – it felt like trying to eat air. But I had no choice. My superstition had me tied up, good little Catholic girl that I am. The ache, though, faded in time.
And then I married a guy from the enemy court. During the first year of marriage, he came home one day wearing a hat that bore an eagle with an arrow through it. (My college team is the Blue Eagles. His is the Green Archers.) Silly hat, really, but it revealed to me a basic tenet in marriage: all vows are suspended in the fight for UAAP supremacy. I reasoned with myself: it’s moronic to assume that my mere presence – live or via TV – makes us lose games. Still, it took me years to get over that superstition.
I got over it just in time. In the just-concluded UAAP season, The Hub and I trooped to the Big Dome for Game 1 of the championship between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the FEU Tamaraws. I felt like a giddy teenager again, blending into a sea of blue shirts. Team support this time was enormous compared to when I was in college – probably because we lost all the time then. The lower box seats were sold out by the time The Hub and I got to the ticket booth, so to the very top section it was, bad news for my myopic eyes.
It was a dream game from beginning to end. (Of course, FEU would probably beg to differ.) And everything was exactly the same as when I watched our team years and years ago, apart from the fact that we actually won this time: the drums were still loud enough to get even your kidneys to quiver, the cheers were the same even if I still didn’t understand half of them, the sea of blue shirts was still there. I felt so high I could smell sweet smoke.
I had to keep from crowing and crowing about the game afterwards lest The Hub wear his hat again. But the next day, I got the kids to wear blue.
I didn’t make it to Game 2 (where, incidentally, the Blue Eagles won our third consecutive championship) but I did manage to see the last five minutes on TV. A sweet, sweet victory. Blue Eagle the King!