I’m sure I’m being blasphemous just sayin that, but I’ve got a point here, trust me.
Tickets for the last elimination games as we all know now were sold at 300% to 400% higher than regular rates. In other words, P200 tickets were sold at P6,000 or (if I were to believe rumours), even P8,000 or more.
Let me just say it out right now, that I think that is absolutely horrible, and that such a thing might possibly lead to the demise of the UAAP, or even Collegiate / Amateur sports as we know it. Please let me explain, in three points:
First: Obviously, the ‘profit margin’ earned from the price disparity is not going to UP, this season’s host, or the UAAP. It is going to scalpers. In fact ‘scalpers’ isn’t the right term anymore, as it alludes to some type of low level operator hawking tickets by the sidewalk. No, granted the large amounts of money involved, I’d rather call them the ‘mafia’. Hell just for this example, why not we call them after my fave mafioso of all, Tony Soprano.
Second: Anyway, it’s obvious Tony is going to make a killing everytime these two teams meet. Now I don’t claim to be a genius, but I think it’s safe to assume Tony has become a diehard ADMU – DLSU fan because he stands to have an early Christmas if and when they make the Finals. Imagine, he not only earns from the two regular season games, Tony’ll make a bundle leading into the Final Four, and not to mention up to 3 games when they meet in the Finals. Again, I’m not a genius, but I’m talking millions of pesos here, easy.
Third: And now my final point, which again does not require high levels of IQ: Money talks. I’ve been around long enough to know that the larger the amounts of money, the more people are willing to do things to get it. And the combination of a ‘mafia’ like organization + the chance to earn millions of pesos overnight makes for a lethal combination.
So what’s my point here? I am genuinely afraid that games aren’t gonna turn out the way they’re supposed to be.
For me, nothing is more exciting, more beautiful, more inspiring and thrilling than watching two basketball teams duke it out for a Championship. Events like those move writers to write, songwriters to sing, painters to paint and poets whip out pens to try and capture the incredible spirit of the moment when two teams collide in battle. Watching a great sports event, honestly, makes me feel lucky to be alive. It is a thrill like no other.
The scary part is when it also motivates criminals to influence a win.
I know that writing this makes me look like a downer and I might (in fact I pray) that I’m making mountains out of molehills, and that all this worry is for nothing. But the unresolved situation that lead to Baracael’s shooting a few weeks ago has shown there are other forces at work out there, plus the fact that people are so willing to pay so much for these tickets makes for a series of details that lead to a conlusion we don’t wanna look at but is still hard to ignore.
So because I don’t want to just rant on without thinking of a solution and leave things open – ended, I will suggest that maybe the Finals should just be free of charge. I dunno how they’d go about it – I’m not gonna make a study or research on its feasibility or anything – and the last thing I wanna do is tell the UAAP Board, all of whom are far more qualified and smarter than me, how to do their job.
The only thing I know is, that way, we don’t get Tony interested in it so much since there’s no money to be made, and paranoid idiots like me wouldn’t worry so much. Hope that makes sense.