Commending the Effort Term Paper

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When nobody around you seems to measure up, it’s time to check your yardstick.

- Bell Lemley

A lot of power goes with writing for the public, that is, if people read what you write. Otherwise, I might as well type nonsense trash here for all the good that it will do. I know some people do not read the Sports section of The New Builder anymore. I guess some people have given up on our athletes. But I think that since you see a different picture up there, you will read a few paragraphs and ponder upon what I have to say.

Aside from the chess final we mated four years ago and a track and field championship last year, our varsity teams have not won any NCAA Championships lately. To give you a rundown, it has been 15 years since we last won a basketball championship, 14 years from the time we held the football crown, 11 years since we grabbed a tennis cup and nine years since we last splashed a swimming trophy. It has also been 12 years since we last held a General Championship trophy in our hands.

The dry spell has taken a lot of years. For others, that is reason enough to give up. It may be hard to admit, but not all Mapúans applaud second, third or fourth placers. They will commend champions but not runner-ups. But I believe this is a crooked way to view reality. Because in reality, not everyone are leaders; not everyone are topnotchers.

Let us say Mapúa has around 15 programs. Simple mathematics tells us that there are 15 topnotchers for every batch and a total of 75 topnotchers for five batches. If Mapúa has a 10,000 student population, what do you called the other 9,925 students?

Well, you call them runner-ups.

What does being a runner-up mean? Does it mean that we lost? I do not think so. Losing happens when people give up. Being a runner-up just means there are people above us that we have to beat. It means there is still room for us to get better. But in order for us to get to the top, we need to improve not only our habits but also our perspectives.

Since all of us here are runner-ups in our own ways, we should learn to appreciate the effort that our varsity teams have poured in their respective sports disciplines. They gave us something to be proud of. The least we can do is give them some credit for what they did. You can start by giving a hoot for their achievements and reading the news that concern them. If they did not fulfill your expectations, stop berating them. They deserve some respect. And they deserve to have it from you.

I am not telling anyone to be content with what our varsities had achieved. Anyone who stops getting better stops being good. I am just telling you that if you cannot do any better than them, stop criticizing them. And if you think you can do better, by all means, sign up for the varsity teams and give us a championship crown. Everyone knows we need it that much.

The first half of the NCAA is over and I applaud our athletes for what they had achieved so far. It is not an easy task to maintain last year’s performance despite the pressures and the indifference of the student community. Thus, I commend your efforts. And if I can convince one or two Mapúans to commend you as well, despite the results, then my privilege of writing here will not be in vain.

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