Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sport: In ruins? Ha!

So on the very day that the Daily Mail announces, in its typical self congratulatory and ‘content with mediocrity’ style, that Chief Sports Writer Martin Samuel has rather unbelievably been nominated for another award the man himself chooses to offer another precise reason as to why it is so bizarre that he is seen as a respected scribe.

The piece in question appeared under the headline “Boo Boys should lay off Terry” and proceeded to lay out the reasons as to why John Terry should be given a break following the recent revelations about his private life. Now unless you’ve been on the toilet for the past month or so you will know the ins and outs of the story and I for one cannot be bothered to recount them here.

There was however one comment made by Mr Samuel that deserves some further scrutiny away from the cosy confines of the ‘Sunday Supplement’ studio.

The comment? “John Terry’s career is in ruins”. Re-read that for a second because I don’t think it was meant as a joke. “..career in ruins”. Hmmmm.

Now I’m not sure if it’s his ridiculous hair or the effects of the rather effeminate way he continually flicks it from his eyes as if the ghost of Beckham’s golden locks possesses him but this is clearly the opinion of a brain not in full working order.

John Terry’s career is in ruins? Despite the frankly unacceptable penchant for sleeping with women involved with a friend (any bloke will tell you that this is right up there with slapping the Queen in the treachery stakes) Terry has not had his career ruined. Not even in the slightest. Let’s look at the facts shall we?

- He was stripped of the England captaincy but is still the national team’s first choice centre back and in a few months has the chance of going to a World Cup playing under one of the most successful coaches the game has ever known.

- He is still the captain of one of the richest football clubs on the planet.

- He has not been dropped by his sponsors.

- His wife has not left him but rather publically stood by him. (Jealous Ashley?)
- He is still paid £150,000+ every week of the year.

A career in ruins? Desperately crawling around the breadline searching for professional credibility? I think not!!

All this for a man who, according to Mr Samuel's employers, thought so much of being England captain that he and his management team illegally tried to hire out the captain’s box at Wembley. And a man who arranged cash-in-hand tours of Chelsea’s facilities without the knowledge of the club... Make no mistake, this man is no saint and his calls for sympathy are as preposterous as the pleas for leniency on the part of the Boo Boys made by Martin Samuel.

If certain members of the English footballing fraternity wish to express their displeasure at John Terry’s undeniable contempt for his vast good fortune then what sane individual can possibly question their right? I won’t be so naive as to say that they feel ‘let down’ but I can confidently say that they feel bloody annoyed. And rightly so.

Claims that the boos could affect his performances for England should be met by the answer that if they do then he cannot possess the mental strength necessary to cope with all the other undoubted challenges of being an international footballer.

In recent years Mr Samuel has been quick to criticise those in the financial and political worlds who have not conducted themselves with the personal and professional responsibility expected of their position and so I wonder where this belief in honesty and integrity has now gone.

It has certainly not been passed on to his friend JT. Only this weekend we were subjected to the overtly aggressive but somewhat pathetic pointing to the captain’s armband in response to his FA Cup goal for Chelsea against Stoke. This unpleasant display of chest beating is reminiscent of a hormonal teenager and not exactly the actions of a truly remorseful individual whose “career is in ruins”.

Perhaps that is everyone’s problem. It is certainly mine. Have we actually heard Lord Terry apologise? Have we heard him ask for forgiveness for his stupid behaviour from the football loving world? No, we haven’t.

We heard it from Tiger. A man whose indiscretions were harder to own up to, a man who is facing a media backlash a million time worse and a man with a public fan-base and celebrity profile the likes of which Terry could only ever (and probably regularly does) dream of. We heard it from him but we didn’t hear it from Terry.

I have a feeling too that that is all it would’ve taken to preserve his respect, not just within the game but within society as a whole.

Now say what you like about Tiger’s performance, I know I have, but at least he made the effort. And as any English footballer should damn well know, effort is what it takes to wins fans. The Bulldog spirit of rolling up your sleeves, taking responsibility and getting the job done. (Just think Beckham vs Greece, Johnny Wilkinson vs Australia in 03 and 07, and Andrew Flintoff vs just about everyone and you’ll get the idea). And not just on the field of play.

It seems that in a hypothetical but highly enthralling boxing match it would be billed as Tiger the Man Vs Terry the Boy.

So my rather insignificant point to John Terry is; show an ounce of meekness and remorse and you will be fine. In fact, man up and win the world cup this summer and you’ll be a bloody hero.

My message to the boo boys is; you paid for your ticket and if you want to let JT know that he has been a bit of a prick then fill your boots.

And my message to Martin Samuel is; perhaps it would be beneficial to give a millisecond’s rational thought to an opinion before claiming that someone’s career is in ruins. It is a frankly ridiculous comment, one that is insulting to a large number of recently unemployed people throughout Britain, and as such fully representative of your column as a whole and one which I pray could someday be applied to yourself. Oh yea...and get a haircut.
(And don’t get on your high horse...You write for the Daily Mail. ‘Nuff said).

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