Do you take a leave from work just to watch the NBA Finals? Do you endure the hellish traffic just to watch UAAP games at the MOA Arena? Do you stay up in the wee hours of the morning just to follow the World Cup? Can you name all the 53 players of the New England Patriots? Do you know who last won the F1 Championship? Do you enjoy watching two guys pummel each other? Are you obsessed with Rachel Anne Daquis?
Yes? Then congratulations, you’re a sports fan! You win a George Foreman Grill! Speaking of which, is there another ex-athlete who ventured to an unlikelier field other than Foreman? From boxing heavyweight champion to indoor grill magnate? Maybe Brock Lesnar should become a Zumba instructor when he retires.
Insert Mike Tyson-related joke here
But being a sports fan isn’t just about applauding or re-tweeting your idol’s latest Twitter rant. There are etiquettes to be followed. GMRC isn’t only confined to grade school students.
So to make the vast world of sports a better place this 2016, here’s FHM’s list of New Year’s resolutions for sports fans. Those who refuse to abide will get a charming tongue-lashing from Yeng Guiao.
Reality > Fantasy
Fantasy Sports has become more popular than ever with easy Internet access in almost every crevice of the world. It’s a worthwhile pastime if you’re a real sports junkie. It’s highly informative and useful with all the game statistics, analyses, strategies, etc. Besides, who doesn’t like being a team manager?
But while it really is a fun hobby, don’t let it consume your real life. It’s called Fantasy for Pete Rose’s sake! An hour or two poring over your teams per day should be enough. Like every other addiction, Fantasy Sports obsession has ill effects, especially on your girlfriend’s patience.
Don’t lie to your wife about your Fantasy Baseball Draft Night
Make better bets
Like Efren "Bata" Reyes’ trick shots, bets make sports more fun. But you know what’s not fun? Not paying when you lose. So to avoid monetary mishaps or getting punched in the face, don’t make impossible wagers. Instead of money, think of more creative bets. The zanier, the better. Need suggestions? The loser must shave his eyebrows or eat a literal can of worms or wear a silk panty for an entire month or listen to Adele’s "Hello" for 36 hours straight. Puwede ring ice tubig. Pero ‘yung tubig galing sa kanal. The possibilities are endless, guys. Money is so 2015.
Attend live games
Nothing beats witnessing a live sporting event. Well, okay, watching Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova in a mud fight beats that. But you get our drift. There’s nothing like being in an arena filled with fellow sports fans. The energy and electricity are unparalleled. So this year, try to catch more games in person. Be it a Philippine Azkals match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, the Olympics in Rio (hey, you’ll never know), or a cockfight in your barangay (it’s a sport, right?). Bring your friends along, too. The more, the merrier. Just make sure you don’t pay for everyone.
Just listening to the crowd still gives us goosebumps
Simply put, avoid unnecessary bashing. It’s okay to jeer the opposing team or player. It’s part of the competitive culture. But come on, know when to draw the line and at least be more civilized. Heckling LeBron James for his hairline? Fine. Calling his mom a slut for reportedly sleeping with Delonte West (it’s absurd, BTW)? Not fine.
Become more accepting when others don’t cheer for your team. Don’t just spew personal jabs. Also, make sure you don’t bash the PBA when Commissioner Chito Narvasa is around. He’ll get you banned from Earth. See, that’s the acceptable way to bash.
How can you bash Mark Barroca’s looks when he
has killer ninja moves (fast forward to 2:27)?
No death threats
In connection with the previous item, this is when you should really draw the line. Use a giant red marker while you’re at it. No matter how disappointed or angry you are with the outcome, an opposing player, or a referee, never issue death threats. It’s simply uncalled for.
Case in point: Veteran referee Edward Aquino allegedly received death threats from fuming Brgy. Ginebra fans after botching a crucial five-second violation call in the Kings’ recent loss to Globalport in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs. Don’t put "die" in die-hard. Remember, you are a sports fan, not Rodrigo Duterte.
"Pupulutin ka sa—wait for it—kangkungan"
—Death threat by Brgy. Ginebra fans
Avoid the bandwagon
We understand why some fans switch loyalties every now and then. It’s okay if you just jumped on the Holly Holm Express. We get it. It’s difficult not to cheer for her because of her humility. Oh yeah, she also beat the crap out of Ronda Rousey. But don’t change loyalties as fast as Derek Jeter changes girlfriends. Don’t be that guy who cheered for the Miami Heat in 2013 then became a San Antonio Spurs fan two years ago, and now has a closet full of Golden State Warriors merchandise. Stop being a fair-weathered fan. Don’t be a Drake.
Huge Wang for Coach of the Year!
What’s worse than bandwagon fans? Poseur fans. In this epoch of social media, pretending is as easy as a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick. Don’t be a seasonal sports fan. Huwag ‘yung pa-cool lang. Y’all know what we mean. Facebook is the Mecca of May-Masabi-Lang Fans (their unfailing comprehensive analysis: "Luto!" or "Benta!").
They conveniently attack when there’s a Manny Pacquiao match or a crucial Gilas Pilipinas game. Please, just don’t pretend. Don’t act like you’ve been a fan of ice skating for the longest time when you haven’t heard of Michael Martinez prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics. Not cool.
Don’t be that guy at No. 6
Study the game
Do you know what an offside is? A pit stop? Can you name another volleyball player aside from Alyssa Valdez and Daquis? Who was the last winner of the Cy Young Award? It’s okay not to know everything about sports. Besides, a know-it-all is as lovely as Floyd Mayweather Jr. If you enjoy watching a certain sport, try studying it, too.
Read as much as you can. Listen to experts (Hubie Brown forever!). Learn from your more knowledgeable friends. Your sports viewing experience will be loads better when you really understand what you’re watching. Unless you’re watching curling. No one understands that.
Go beyond the 3Bs
Wake up and smell the Salonpas! Don’t just get stuck with basketball, boxing, and billiards. Support other sports, especially ones that Filipinos excel in. There are a slew of talented Pinoy athletes who are under-appreciated like BMX rider Daniel Caluag, taekwondo beauty Pauline Lopez, and tennis stunner Katharine Lehnert.
Hurdler Eric Shauwn Cray and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz have already qualified for the Rio Olympics. Send them words of encouragement and watch them compete. If barbells and hurdles aren’t thrilling enough for you, no problem! There’s a gamut of sports out there. Try following sepak takraw. Or equestrian. Or Chinese Garter.
Emulate the right athletes
Don’t just support athletes, make them your inspiration. Just make sure you emulate the proper ones and not the likes of OJ Simspon and Aaron Hernandez (don’t kill people!). Have a good work ethic like Kobe Bryant. Admire Nonito Donaire’s doggedness. Get as motivated as Serena Williams. Be a beast like Marshawn Lynch. Be as charitable as David Beckham. Dye your hair blonde like Terrence Romeo. Okay, maybe not that last one.
Athletes are now more available to everyone thanks to social media. Learn about their advocacies and positions on various issues. Be a role model yourself. Be the real MVP!
Stay in basketball, Terrence