Game over, a sort of valedictory
Your overstaying reporter here was told by the accomplished young sports editor he had been ordered to pull off the plug. This column should be off by month’s end at the latest.
– Time go, the game is over.
OK, no problem, you’ve been very patient and kind, bye.
– But I’m trying to have you retained, at least.
Not important, if my teammates are going, I’ve got to go, too, thank you again.
————————–To all of you dear friends who have kept me great company, my heartfelt gratitude.
To all those I have displeased and made uncomfortable, my honest apologies.
I did say goodbye 12 years ago, after I turned 65 and was automatically retired. This column, started here in 1986, was luckily resuscitated, via a special postretirement per-piece arrangement.
I played it on, wrestling with the deadlines through countless hangovers, punching past assorted ailments, countless joys and aches, in all kinds of weather.
Sixty-five plus 12 is indeed too many.
Time to go, don’t know if Bare Eye, who started out as a market vendor and factory worker, will ever be back again.
————————–It was indeed a long, long run, started at the tail end of Flash Elorde’s great career, and now cut off as the great Manny Pacquiao, who’s sure to join Elorde in the Hall of Fame, prepares for what could be his farewell performance.
It won’t be easy to count back and recall, the years through the Olympics—from Barcelona 1992 to Beijing 2008, which I had all attended—out in the world’s boundless playing field, scrambling, trying hard and tying down events and heroes. Count in the 1972 Munich Olympics, too, my first Olympic trip.
We did live and savor the great moments through the Age of Ali, the Prime of Air Jordan, the Soar and Loss of Kobe Bryant. I won’t swap with any other experience the pure supremacy created in noble sporting feats and duels.
Yes, the coronavirus pandemic did reduce this old reporter into a scavenger, covering games from the fringes, relying on quotes, hearsay, pushed into an empty corner, borrowing almost everything from the internet, hiding away.
The passport has all too willingly been allowed to expire, rot and get lost.
Let me do it quick. It was a great voyage. Goodbye.
Thank you for the invaluable company and friendship.
May you all be well and safe. Peace and love, God bless.
————————–FAREWELL, TOO: My fellow columnist, the smooth and well-equipped Percy Della, native of Cuyapo (Nueva Ecija), has requested that he be allowed to say goodbye thru this piece. Go. Take a bow, my great friend. His credentials: service as regular sports columnist and commentator; California correspondent for 20 years combined, while working as spokesperson for three California state departments.
Percy has decided to come home and settle down in his classy seaside cabin in Candon, with dear wife Lily, fair lady for all seasons.
Not bad for a “promdi” from Ilocoslovakia and Nueva Ecija, Percy quipped. Cheers! You deserve the best. You’ll be missed.