(photo by Izwan)
Be strong, have faith and bring back the cup! ( my wonderful experience with the players)
That was the message from the die hard fans, numbering less than 10, who showed up on a cool Sunday morning yesterday, at Changi Airport Terminal 2.
Their flight was scheduled at 9.50am but the die hard fans turned up as early as 7.30 am to send off their heroes as they embark on another journey to claim back the title they lost to Vietnam, 2 years ago. It was an experience I will never forget as I talked and mingled with some of the players whom I have began to respect, admire and idolize.
Forget the superstars from Real Madrid, Liverpool or Man Utd. These guys are the ones that are flying the flag for our country and I believe that it is my duty to provide them with as much support as I possibly can. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars on merchandises to show your support for these guys. By just being there, you will feel that they honestly appreciate your support as they smiled, posed for pictures and made you feel like you are the star instead of them!
The Rooneys and the Torres and the Gerrards to me are no match to the impact made by the Duric, the Rosmans and the Jumaat Jantans that were there at the airport. The best thing about them is that they continuously thanked us for our support and asking us how we are and that they felt that us being there were just disrupting our regular Sunday routine. That to me is a sign of humility even though they are the people that we regard as heroes and superstars. It also showed that they are, after all, normal Singaporeans like you and me!
Sometimes I wonder, what we have become when we judge our athletes by the medals and the money they win when the true goal of sports is about sportsmanship, improving oneself and making friends.
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well" - Pierre de Coubertin
If that is truly what sports is all about, then I feel we have failed. Why?
When our athletes are on their way to games and competitions, we fail to show our support. When they come back empty handed, we criticise instead of acknowledging their efforts. But when they win, everyone wants to have a piece of their glory.
So, on the 28th of November 2010, it truly was an important day in the lives of the Lions. But not many were there. It would be interesting if the Lions come back on the 29th of December with the AFF Suzuki Cup trophy. Will the crowd be there?