Interestingly, today too I went to a family dinner with my relatives who are all rabid Ateneans. We go back generations and generations at the Ateneo, after all. Well, the talk was nothing but about the basketball game tomorrow between Ateneo and FEU – possibly the deciding match in this year’s UAAP championship. If Ateneo wins tomorrow – assuming it’ll not be Signal no. 3 and there’ll actually be a game – then we win the UAAP championships for the fourth year in a row.
Everyone had their Blackberries and schedules out and were comparing notes on the UAAP. Everyone except me, of course. I'll happily go to an Ateneo-La Salle game to watch my school win, but not really to other games.
ATENEO BONFIRE ON OCT 2?
“If Ateneo wins tomorrow, then the bonfire will be on Oct. 2,” said my cousin who never misses a game. She’d in fact just bought about 15 tickets for tomorrow’s game for my assorted cousins and uncles who were watching the game. The Ateneo bonfire, for the uninitiated, is the big outdoor celebration on campus that takes place whenever Ateneo wins the UAAP championship. Everyone participates in it, including current students and alumni going back generations.
“What if the game’s canceled?” I asked.
THE DAYS BEFORE NORMAN BLACK
“It better not be,” another cousin said, perhaps my most rabid Atenean relation. He and M would certainly have a most interesting chat if they sat at the same table. “That’s bad luck. I really hope not, as that’s a jinx. Historically we’ve lost the momentum and the game’s been jinxed when the we’ve had to postpone the game. Of course, in those days, we didn’t have Norman Black.”
My other cousin, more in tune with the schedules of the UAAP, piped in: “Then we probably will have the game on Saturday and the bonfire on Oct 8.”
My rabid Ateneo cousin corrected her: “Of course we’ll have to win the game first. If the game's tomorrow, I'm sure we'll win. If it's canceled, then historically it's jinxed and it's free for all.”
M AGAINST MY WORLD
Then I showed them the text that M had sent me earlier that evening, about why La Salle had to give way to Ateneo this year because their trophy room is already full and they need to make way for more. There were expletives all around the table. "Tell him to do the math, please," said my cousin seated next to me. "He obviously has a lousy memory and he needs a calculator."
I burst out laughing, wondering if I should actually tell M this. But it was pretty late and I know he usually sleeps early so I didn't bother.
The rest of the evening was devoted to basketball talk and to why Ateneo is better than La Salle. So sorry to my La Sallite friends, but that’s what happens when Ateneo loyalists get together, and especially on the eve of an event that fosters school spirit like the UAAP championships.
THE ULTIMATE THREAT
Most of the stuff discussed is actually unprintable if I still want to keep my La Salle friends. So I’m going to stop here and say that I spent the rest of the evening happily sending BBM messages to some people while my cousins bashed the rival school – and one cousin in particular, the rabid Atenean one.
I looked up from my Blackberry finally, just in time to hear the following threat – the ultimate threat for a rabid Atenean -- hurled at him by someone across the table: “Sige, you’ll get karma if you keep talking that way. All your in-laws will end up being La Sallites. Or else your daughter's going to end up studying in La Salle”