I was channel surfing last friday evening (Yes, I do watch TV every once in a while) when I found out that they were showing some live telecast of the S League Cup match between Tampines Rovers and Woodlands Wellington. Since there is nothing to watch on other channel, I decided to stay on that channel for a while to check out how our S League is doing. I must say it is quite bad.
I’m not a soccer fan. I don’t usually watch the English Premier League like my friends. But I do watch the matches once in a while when I’m in pub or coffeeshop. And like most people of my age, I do watch the Malaysia Cup when Singapore back in the early 90s. Those were the best days of Singapore soccer. Everyone knew who is Fandi Ahmad, Malek Awab, V. Sundramoorthy, Abbas Saad, Nazri Nasir, Jang Jung, Steven Tan etc etc. I can still remember the cheer I heard from my house whenever the Lions scored. It is louder than the cheers I heard from the English Premier League. Everyone is watching the matches, be it live at the stadium or TV.
But things are completely different now. If I didn’t blog about this, I guess most of you won’t know that there is a League Cup going on now. And I can bet most of you can’t name any players currently in the S League. In fact, I guess most of you can’t name all the teams. Singaporeans aren’t watching S League anymore. When it comes to Soccer, Singapore becomes a British colony like what what we used to be back in the 1800s. We support English clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal more than we support local Football Club. And I can totally understand why just by watching the League Cup for a couple of minutes. The S League is in a pathetic state.
I was wondering. What are the 22 men doing in the field? Are they there to put the ball in the opponent’s goal and prevent their opponent from putting the ball into their goal? Or are they in the field for the sake of being there? I can’t help but feel that it’s the latter. I feel like they are there because it’s their job. There is no passion. No eagerness to create opportunities to score a goal. I think watching the school kids play soccer is more exciting than watching the S League.
But the whole entire S League’s pathetic state is not just because of the Football Clubs. There is no support for the teams. The match was being played in a small stadium. And even so, the stadium is still very empty. Luckily there are more spectators than players in the stadium. But I would credit that to Singapore Pools. If there is no betting, I don’t know, maybe there might be more players than spectators. Who watches S League nowadays other than the betters?
And the live telecast was pretty badly done. OK, it’s good that Channel 5 decides to support the S League by showing live telecast of selected matches. But the commentary was horrible. I almost fell asleep watching the commentary. I can’t help but wonder if the commenter are there because it’s his job just like the players. And yes, I know that is the League Cup and there must be a winner for the night. He keep repeating that. Or maybe perhaps there is nothing he could say. Afterall, it’s not like the English Premier League where there are action happening every seconds.
The cameraman is also doing a bad job. I was watching the highlights of the first half when I notice that the cameraman have difficulties chasing the ball. There are several times when the player tries to shoot at the goal or do a fast pass and the camera loses sight of the ball for a while. And I wonder how many cameras are there in the Stadium. Most of the time, we are watching from one camera. There is no close up of the action or views from other angle. I don’t even see the face of the players.
That is how pathetic state the whole S League, together with the spectators, commenters and cameraman, is. Luckily for me, I managed to stay awake to switch channel. Well, I rather watch the chinese drama which tell us that gambling is bad. Perhaps they should do one on soccer too.
There is a saying that you can easily gather 11 men from any neighborhood soccer field, pit them against the S League all star team and still win. I think it would be a great challenge. I wonder if the folks at S League would accept this. We can do this friendly match during the off season. I’m sure it would be able to fill the entire National Stadium (if they still haven’t found enough money to tear it down).