Fall from grace and all, because of money—again
By Al S. Mendoza
WHAT’s it all about, Alfie?
I was asked that a million and one times already.
If you still don’t know it, “What’s it all about, Alfie?” is a line from that famous song, “Alfie,” popularized in the Sixties by Andy Williams.
Sad that Andy, who started singing professionally at age 8 in his native Wall Lake, Iowa, had passed on last week; he was 84. But was I glad I saw him perform live at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao only a while back.
I know that Jun Velasco above me, my chief padrino here (thanks, thanks), is also an Andy Williams fan like me and, for sure, Jun loves ”Alfie” so much that I won’t be surprised if, one day, he would have it as the ring tone of his cell phone. Right now, Frank Sinatra songs dominate his ring tones. Right, pare?
Anyways, my answer to the “Alfie” query is, it all boils down to one thing: Money.
That’s what it is in the sacking of the Younghusband brothers, Phil and James.
Not really that bad to have lots of money, as in the case now of Phil and James, who took the nation by storm by becoming original superstars of the Azkals, the football team that brought back to us the glory years of the sport.
What’s bad was when the Younghusband brothers started to put money their priority over their commitment to the Azkals.
But they are not saying that.
To be sure, nobody’s saying that, too.
But whispers are loudest in the football circles: The Younghusbands’ endorsements are all over, forcing them to skip practices and lose their usual fire to play hard for the Azkals.
Thus, in a most painful decision, the Azkals coaching staff had no choice but to drop the Younghusbands from the team.
Mike Weiss, the German coach of the Azkals, said it best: “I do not want a player who is only 60 percent when it’s game time. Always, I want every player to be 100 percent at game time. I, myself, sacrifice a lot, missing my family and other loved ones for the sake of the Azkals. In fairness, all the Azkals, too, must do the same. I don’t want unfairness here to reign.”
Thus, when the Azkals played in the Unity Cup last week, Phil and James weren’t with the Azkals, anymore.
The brothers took it in stride, saying, “We take the decision with an open mind.”
When the Unity Cup was over, the Azkals were champs—finally. They swept the opposition, beating Guam, Macau and Taiwan to win for the country its first international football crown in 99 years.
The last time we won was in the Far Eastern Games in 1913.
What a sorry ending for the Younghusbands, Fil-Brits both. They began as superstars, only to fall by the wayside.
Who was it who said that money is the root of all evils?
And, yes, by the way, some friends of mine also call me “Alfie,” my full name being, Alfonso.
Gonz Duque once called me, Don Alfonso.
Sounds nice, thanks, but that befits someone having lots of money.
Not me. So, let’s stick to Al, please?