EVER since the new mayor took over Cebu City Hall, I’ve gotten to like reading

headlines about him—whether negative or positive.

“Mike gags heads” comes to mind.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

But this, so far, is my favorite. “Mike picks Hayco.” That’s the one about Mike Rama naming Ed Hayco as the new chairman of the Cebu City Sports Commission.

I admit, we already knew about this news for quite some time and we were just waiting—as per Sir Ed’s request—for Mike’s official announcement before breaking it.

(Fact is, I wrote this on July 22, eight days before the “Mike picks Hayco” headline.

How’s that for foresight?)

To be honest, before the news of Ed Hayco getting appointed got to me, I totally forgot about the Cebu City Sports Commission.

It got so inactive that it has become irrelevant in the local sports scene.

It never even occurred to me to assign somebody to chase Mike on who he will appoint as the new head. That’s how irrelevant the Sports Commission has become. (But of course, once we got wind of the new appointee, the chase became how to break the story without breaking the source’s trust.)

I covered the Commission in the time of Jonathan Guardo and you can accuse me of being biased but I am going to say it out loud, the CCSC was relevant then. It wasn’t, after him.

I think all of the sports reporters share that sentiment—but none will admit it, of course. You can’t be biased in your stories, but you’re supposed to be in your column.

So here lies Ed Hayco’s challenge, a guy so dedicated to sports that he spent countless sleepless nights pondering whether to accept Mike’s appointment or not. (If he didn’t, this column would have gone down the drain).

Just like in the past, when Dancesport Team Cebu City got the bulk of the finances from Cebu City, questions will be raised. I know some people are asking, why him?

But dancesport is what it is right now because of Sir Ed. Nobody has heard of dancesport before, heck I didn’t even know it was a sport. But Sir Ed made it relevant.

Sports leaders talk of grassroots development, of spreading the sport to the masses. Sir Ed and his dancesport program raised that bar.

Let’s all give him a chance to raise the bar in the other sports.

One of the many things I like about Sir Ed is that we share the same belief when it comes to sports. For me, the gold medal isn’t everything, that first prize isn’t everything.

It’s how you get there—be it first, second, third or last—that really matters.

You may say that it’s a strange way for a Sports Commission chairman to operate, but is it really?

I’ve met a lot of coaches, champion coaches and those whose teams are in the bottom of the standings.

But those who stand out are not those with the most trophies, it’s the coach who makes sure his players excel off the field, the coach who made sure his team could get a scholarship because they got the skills and the grades, it’s the coach who benched his star players who were getting too big-headed.

Ed Hayco is that kind of coach.

So let’s give him a chance to face the challenge.

And what’s best for Cebu sports? It’s not a challenge that the local stakeholders of sports set out for him.

It’s a challenge Ed Hayco set out for himself.

(mikelimpag@gmail.com)