The reason for such mockery is that the preposterous society we now live in, expects twenty-something millionaires, whose occupation involves kicking a ball on grass, to live lives of unimpeachable virtue. There's an illogical insistence, driven by the media, and happily swallowed by the sheeple, that men in possession of enough wealth and fame to make Solomon himself blush, and occupying what is traditionally an irresponsible age group, to serve as societal role models.
It's an ill-conceived ideal that is as Orwellian, as it is insidious. Yet it has become mainstream — according to etiquette, protocol or fashion — for this unecessary additional burden to be placed on those whose temptation must be the greatest. Here on ToffeeWeb, I've noticed this theme surface in recent weeks,on more than one occasion: Jose Baxter, Billy Kenny, Team Tweedy & Steven Pina-Colada.
Tim O'Connell's "Common sense & integrity in football," running in the Mailbag section right now, ties in. During this thread, Dave Lynch offered the unwavering thought: "Cretins who think they can act the way they like because they are footballers," but EJ Ruane countered it beautifully with: "We can't know 'it' all but fuck me we can do a little bit better than having our opinions formed by the Sun and the Echo."
In a nutshell, there's the rub. Today I've been in discussion with two regular and perceptive contributors, Messrs Entwistle & McGlone, and this wider theme of media came to the fore. My view is simple: If footballers happen to be nice guys as well as good players, then I like them all the more. But I don't expect them to demonstrate moral excellence. It's not factored in to the decision to renew my season ticket, or support my country, as their personal habits are simply none of my business.
Yet the voice of indignation bangs on about responsibility and setting a good example. Of a kind of filial duty, and of course, thinking of the children. On spec, there's nothing wrong with these values... except when they're forced down the throats of players, to the point where they almost prohibit personal freedom. They are expected to walk on eggshells. Parents demand that their efforts to raise their kids the right way get complimented by the behaviour of a gender and age group that unsuprisingly generates the highest car insurance prices, and are outraged when the young and the stupid act their age!
As a kid, I was aware of the England cricketers nocturnal activities wintering in Montego Bay, and Frank McAvennie's penchant for the nightlife. But I remember Beefy the swashbuckler; Hammers' fans recall the pair-up with Cottee that Frank enjoyed. After escaping communist Hungary, Barca fans regard the 131 goals in 186 games that Kubala hit for the Blaugrana,and the fact he represented Catalonia, as the stuff of "leyendas"... and fans of Internazionale will regale you of tales of the legendary Giacinto Facchetti — in whose honour, they retired the number 3 shirt.
This is what football is about. It's mortifying to see a grown man in Eamonn Holmes gossiping on national television about another man's inevitable divorce, as though it were the most natural thing in the world... Slaughtering Ashley Cole, who's getting stalked by the paps, and understandably told these vultures to "Fuck Off!" only to see his "vile," comments predictably splashed over the Red Tops, who profit from his misery. Like him or hate him (and I'm not a fan), it requires expert levels of counter-surveillance to shake off the commitment of the gutterpress's flash boys. Nobody could put up with it. Or deserves it. Unless they're murderers...
Charlie Brookers Newswipe summed it up perfectly when he demonstrated, during the John Terry saga, how ALL of the networks, in a symmetrically sinister fashion, ran with the EXACT same phrase to describe, independently, the situation: "Pressure is growing on England captain John Terry." — Yes, because you're the ones doing the pressurizing, you fucks!
The economic argument is also morally bankrupt... as it's predicated upon envy. Yes, they're earning blah blah blah... therefore they have to act with the humility of Trappist monks. Brian Reade slaughtered the Chelsea players for having the temerity to buy expensive champagne, even though the price of each bottle was proportionally equal to the equivalent of someone on minimum wage buying a pint of Fosters.
Every time a Rooney or a Rodwell comes through the Everton ranks, there's this rushed desire to protect them from the media. But it is the permissive nature of society that allows the media to socially engineer us, to the point where we are discovering things about people we have no business knowing, and formulating opinions based on what we read in print. This is both psychologically unhealthy, and much to our detriment.
Tacit consent for the media to fish around in footballers' lives, or expecting them to raise our kids for us, is not the reason the game, or our club, gripped us. We ought to focus on what happens on the pitch. Do you really expect 11 choirboys representing our club? If players are lairy,or even horrible off it, so be it. If they break the law, it's a matter for the judges.Why should we even hear about it? It should not be a concern of ours...
But let's hope Leighton Baines doesn't decide he's now too big for us!!
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1 Posted 04/03/2010 at 01:14:50
Hi Ho Silver Awaaaaaaay.
2 Posted 04/03/2010 at 02:40:00
There is an irregular verb which springs to mind:
I deserve mercy.
You deserve justice.
They deserve hanging.
Thus, truly, it ever was.
3 Posted 04/03/2010 at 03:22:26
I’m not for footballers being role models, except on the pitch with skills. There were footballers and famous people who inspired me when younger, but role models?
When I was in formative years, bad behaviour abounded. Maradona on coke and whores, Gazza drunkedly beating Cheryl, Adams wrapping a Sierra round a lamppost, Hillier at Heathrow airport, Merson with the holy trinity of drink, drugs and gambling, Waddle with his haircut... but were they role models?
The way those words are used today it seems to be a substitute or an excuse for bad parents to expect their children to grow themselves up. Sorry, my parents taught me right from wrong, manners, and a healthy dose of cynicism from my dad haha.
Terry’s situation is one that actually cuts through newspaper bullshit and for once showed a PR move that was instigated for all the right reasons. Footballers can do a lot outside of the game and still be cheered on, and I really don't have a problem with that, though I do have a right to not like someone. I don’t like Rooney as a person... not met him but I don’t like him.
I despise Brand Beckham though sure he’s a nice chap to meet. Terry though brought his behaviour away from the pitch and into the dressing room, and despite how much fans do not like many England players, but are prepared to cheer them on, Terry lifting the World Cup is not something fans want to see, he is not wished to be England captain. We didn’t need weeks of tabloid press to make us think that.
And Capello’s action was the right one. Cantona was sold to Utd so the theory goes for sleeping with... won’t cause TW a headache by naming names.
I guess it comes down to people you like, people you don’t and the people who you’d want representing your team.
4 Posted 04/03/2010 at 04:35:04
5 Posted 04/03/2010 at 04:39:39
When I’ve been asked about the Terry affair I’ve said it’s none of our business, its between him and his missus - I’ve also stated on these pages that I also think it’s none of Wayne Bridges business either seeing as she was his ex. The same applies to all the other "misdemeanors" that are splashed across the papers and tele.
I’m also not in a position to judge people, as Terry said of Bellamy "people in glass houses" etc. and I doubt any on this site are.
Taking that all into account though I have to confess I Sky+’ed the start of the Chelsea v Man City game just to see what would happen in the "shake off", pissed myself laughing so much over what happened I had to call the missus in, rewind and watch it all over again.
Guilty as charged. I’m not proud of it, I hate myself for it but fuck me it can be entertaining and unfortunately thats why it sells papers which is why the papers just give us more and more and more of the same.
6 Posted 04/03/2010 at 04:47:33
However, the argument for protection of private lives should in no way be extended to protecting those who well and truly deserve our contempt for their actions...
7 Posted 04/03/2010 at 06:01:46
8 Posted 04/03/2010 at 05:58:32
Most premiership players are happy to accept plaudits and riches bestowed upon them by an adoring public.To increase their vastly inflated wages they are not averse to using the media to advantage.
Viz a viz the media publicity of interest from other clubs whenever contracts are being negotiated. Terry’s case was prime example in that regard.
There is but a very important difference between Terry and others of his ilk. He is or was the captain of England and personified whatever honour that title still holds. To captain your country is to be an ambassador for your sport and all that is good about it. Quite separate from sporting ability is hold the position with honour and integrity.
Shudder! Only a few months ago our new captain was on trial for GBH.
It is wrong to suggest that because standards have slipped there is no approbation in a married man and captain of your country to have a bit of jig a jig with whomever he pleases including partners of fellow players.
Where along the path of decadence should we pause to say enough is enough or should we turn a blind eye as acceptable standards slip a little further down the plug hole. Kevin suggests that Terry’s cuckolding of Bridges was a private affair. If that was the case how did the world find out?
9 Posted 04/03/2010 at 06:22:52
That’s the point being made.
Going by statistics..a fair few of those twats booing Terry last night - have actually cheated themselves!
So where does that leave your moral indignation at the antics of John Terry?
The man is on the pitch for his footballing capacity - not the integrity of his private life.
10 Posted 04/03/2010 at 05:56:38
It is even said in this thread that it was none of Bridge’s concern as she was his ex. Really? Bridge is the father of their son. They were trying to resolve their relationship and Terry was the counsellor to both parties during the break up. Furthermore, Terry was supposed to be his best mate and tried to hide it by getting court injunctions. How could he do that without footballer’s wealth and having something distasteful he wished to hide?
I have been in Bridge’s situation and it ain’t a great place to be. In spite of all that and my blatant allegiance, Terry was on the pitch to represent our nation in a sporting event. So, however grudging I may have been, I felt duty bound to support him. Every Englishman should be able to do likewise since, as others have stated here already, you don’t have to like him as a person so the whole role model for our kids malarkey is just a kop out for poor parenting ourselves.
11 Posted 04/03/2010 at 07:00:40
Do you attend the same swingers clubs as them? Only joking.... But yeah you're completely right.
12 Posted 04/03/2010 at 07:03:34
If I am right, JT most vertainly lost at least some of the camp in this debacle, whereas SG (pains me to say it as I believe it was a miscarriage of justice) was found not guitly for starters and, far more importantly, did not affect the morale of his teamates.
That said, I think SG is a much better captain for the RS than he proved to be for his country last night. Got some work to do Stevie!
13 Posted 04/03/2010 at 07:06:36
If I had kids I would want them to question the status quo. Therefore a good role model would be a player who constantly argues with the ref.
Otherwise kids will be brought up to beileve the non football rulebook is fair, it isn’t and therefore must be challenged.
14 Posted 04/03/2010 at 07:14:25
Why is the story valid?
Because of some fabricated and abstract notion that footballers are role models?
The court used this rational in the Jamie Theakston case...it was a load of bollocks then and it’s a load of bollocks now...
The European court of Human Rights has consistently rules that sexual activity is a matter of private life...yet the press are allowed to run rings around an increasingly scared juridiciary and an even more frightened Westminister...
If you can give me one cogent reason that the story is valid then I will concede to your viewpoint...
It is none of your or my business.
15 Posted 04/03/2010 at 07:32:09
You clearly read a minor element to one of my posts and took umbrage to my belief in one sentence rather than reading either of my posts in full. Why ignore the part where I say "...you don’t have to like him as a person so the whole role model for our kids malarkey is just a kop out for poor parenting ourselves." and misrepresent me in such a fashion as to question my implication as the exact opposite of this view?
So much for me being 100% agreement with you! At least I had the decency to include the initials IMHO in my comment that you even quote containing those initials. If it helps at all, that stands for ’in my humble opinion’. My opinion is something you have a right to disagree with but do not presume to dictate to me what is or is not my business simply because we have a differing viewpoint.
I may agree that sexual activity is private but when it impacts on a team the matter becomes less than private. This was the business of those involved and them until such time as the press declared it lawfully (as wrong as we can agree that may be) and forced a situation whereby it caused a judgement or morals, ethics and decency of our national football team’s captain. Therefore, subject to that disclosure creating an undisputed rift in the team I BELIEVE I have a right to know about it and to judge accordingly. That does not mean I believe the press should have opened this particular can of worms with the greater public in the first place so it appears we are not so far apart as you so assertively imply.
16 Posted 04/03/2010 at 07:48:28
When a player is captain of my country I expect, nay, demand, that he behaves in a honourable manner.I know loose morals abound but that does not make it right.
The point I was trying to make was, for those who make money from the media circus where do we draw the line? What kind of transgression is acceptable and what is not. When do we stop shrugging our shoulders. The enormous range of views on this topic clearly shows that the media does not dictate what people accept.
I am far more concerned about press freedom than I am for the sordid peccadillos an England captain.
Anything put in the public domain can be discussed, acted upon or ignored but most of all we are not kept in ignorance. That begs the question, where do we draw the line on what we are kept ignorant of?
17 Posted 04/03/2010 at 08:15:30
What you mean is that people don’t want to read about my shennanigans - but they do want to read about Ashley Cole’s...
That’s all your tired reference to the ’public eye’ means...It is simply a euphemism for ’interesting to the public’ and a poor excuse for defeating apparent rights to privacy....it’s also a term which appropriately enough seems to be constantly confused with the well defined legal principle of ’public interest’..
As for the suggestion that it split the England camp, and therefore there was a right to know....interestingly if you were so concerned about the moral of the England camp [which I think is a tenuous reason for breaching someones privacy before we get to the regression of this position] - then surely you would be in favour of protecting that morale by having the story supressed - thereby avoiding any splitting of the England camp. No?
18 Posted 04/03/2010 at 08:27:04
Your point about it being a valid story...goes to the heart of the article...and this issue.
Now, you’ve suggested that there was a right to know because it created division - but on the face of it, that’s incorrect..because it was ultimately the reporting that created the rift, not JT’s actions - so is it not safe to conclude that your reasoning for it being a valid story is rather self-defeating?
I have no problem with freedom of expression whenever it is required...moralising politicians having affairs, misfeasance, conflicts of interests...etc...they can all be dult determined by a intelligent and proper application of the public interest test..the Mosley case being the standard.
The kind of crap that this story relates to..does not in any way relate to public interest..in fact, i’d argue that it stifles proper freedom of expression by taking up room that should really be reserved for proper journalism...
Now, the counter-argument to that is that the people want it...is that a convincing enough argument to allow it?
Not in my mind. It’s about as convincing as some tattoo’ed fuckwit claiming that the England captain should be of the highest moral calibre...
19 Posted 04/03/2010 at 08:36:22
However, are you saying the captain of England football team is not a role model ? Surely, you must realise that of course, he is. And it follows he should act in a proper manner and have a higher code of conduct and Joe Public.
20 Posted 04/03/2010 at 08:33:07
I believe if somebody is aware of such a situation they should inform the party involved and them alone. However, we then refer to Dick’s position on where do we draw the line on a ’right to know’. I would prefer not to know personally but if there is an unease in the team it is not about the person’s sexual activity but the consequences of that activity. As such, I want to have the facts to make a judgement.
Again, you miss the tennet of my point by focussing inaccurately on a convinient minor element. I never proposed the breach of someone’s privacy to be acceptable but commented on the situation brought about by that exposure.
To suppress a story such as this would not necessarily preserve the morale of the team as their split was borne out of loyalty to individual players and not tabloid revelations. Their subsequent displays of solidarity in certain quarters is (ironically) far more likely to be a positive that comes from the tabloid excesses fuelling the fires.
Please try to read complete comments before passing judgement. I have had the decency to read yours in their entirity and in general agree with them on this site but do not think it too much to request the same courtesy.
21 Posted 04/03/2010 at 08:54:00
My point that it created division is accurate as the parallel could be drawn of one teamate divulging the story to the same effect. In this case it is not the course of events I accept but that doens not negate the premise of my point. Nor does it mean a division in the team should be suppressed. Therefore, no, I do not believe the premise of my argument to be self defeating.
What a bizzarre comment about the tattooed fuckwit. Relevance? If you do not wish to read the more scurrilous elements of stories there are other sources of news. They are the ones I choose and I do not presume to judge people the way you do. Please do not tell me you are a judge of some sort as I would hate to know someone with tattoos standing in front of your blatant prejudices.
22 Posted 04/03/2010 at 08:57:14
Whether he is a role model or not, is an irrelevant point...the argument is circular.
If he is a role model then there has to be some assumptions made..number one, that his behaviour will influence the more suggestive in our society and number 2, that printing the story is somehow vindicated on this basis...
I would argue that both these are nonsense...for a start, to suggest that those who he may or may not be a role model for will mimic his behaviour...is utter nonsense. Secondly, it is not reconcilable with any logic whatsoever that his perception as a role model validates the printing of the story... if anything printing the story will be counter-productive to the preceived influence on society...therefore the argument for and against role models is counter-intuitive from the start...
..and that’s without even discussing whether he is a role model or not...Which is itself a notoriously abstract concept.
23 Posted 04/03/2010 at 09:05:07
I didn’t avoid any of your points....You clearly are missing the circularity of your own argument.
You think that the story is valid on the premise of the division caused..but won’t acknowledge that the division was caused by the story being printed.
24 Posted 04/03/2010 at 09:06:58
"Secondly, it is not reconcilable with any logic whatsoever that his perception as a role model validates the printing of the story... if anything printing the story will be counter-productive to the preceived influence on society...therefore the argument for and against role models is counter-intuitive from the start..."
I am sorry but (let me remind you that I disagree with the role model premise) the media would be acting precisely as expected to expose a role model falling short of expectations and thus the premise is entirely valid. Purely a point of order as I believe your argument to have been flawed in that instance.
25 Posted 04/03/2010 at 09:14:12
I did acknowledge precisely that "My point that it created division is accurate as the parallel could be drawn of one teamate divulging the story to the same effect. In this case it is not the course of events I accept but that doens not negate the premise of my point. Nor does it mean a division in the team should be suppressed. Therefore, no, I do not believe the premise of my argument to be self defeating."
How many times must you be asked to read all of a sumbission?
Furthermore, there has been no acknowledgement of your misrepresentation of my position as previously pointed out so here it is AGAIN "You clearly read a minor element to one of my posts and took umbrage to my belief in one sentence rather than reading either of my posts in full. Why ignore the part where I say "...you don’t have to like him as a person so the whole role model for our kids malarkey is just a kop out for poor parenting ourselves." and misrepresent me in such a fashion as to question my implication as the exact opposite of this view?"
I will leave the thread at this point because this must be tiresome for all others involved besides you, I and perhaps Dick Fearon. Have a good day gents.
26 Posted 04/03/2010 at 09:16:05
What benefit to society is a paper providing by illustrating that someone who may be percieved as a role model...is in actual fact, not the type of person you would have around for dinner?
Can you not see the contradiction there?
The paper claims a public interest in providing these details to the public while the idea of dismantling a role model can in no way actually serve the public interest...
Let alone....the said paper being the arbiter of what these ’expectations’ are that the individual concerned has transgressed...
27 Posted 04/03/2010 at 09:22:07
No point taking a strop. I didn’t represent you one bit...I repeated the part of your post that I took issue with [i.e that the story was valid].. as this is the entire point of this article (a point I find myself repeating).....and I can assure you I read all of your posts.
Your argument, on the facts - is indeed self-defeating. Whether you admit it or not.
28 Posted 04/03/2010 at 09:46:43
You say you did not represent (I presume you mean misrepresent) me so let’s try yet again to draw your attention to the irrefutable facts you conveniently, repeatedly ignore. Here is what you wrote when quoting me; "The gutter press have irrefutably exacerbated the situation greatly but the story itself is (IMHO) perfectly valid."
Why is the story valid?
Because of some fabricated and abstract notion that footballers are role models?"
I now refer you yet again to my posts above outlining about role models and poor parenting as to how you undeniably misrepresented my stance on the matter. Now do you at last have the capacity to see beyond your blinkers?
Also yet again I wrote (this is the third time for this one too) " In this case it is not the course of events I accept but that doens not negate the premise of my point." If it helps you sleep tonight I will accept the point to be self defeating in this particular instance but not as a premise, which was always my contention.
Your clear derision for the red tops is not something I oppose. At no juncture have I alleged the tabloids were correct in their approach or in their desire to oust anyone from the pedastal they placed them onto. I merely pointed to some inaccuracies in your posts. Instead of twisting my comments to make a point opposing the ones I am actually making could you perhaps address them as they stand? Startign with the one at the top of this post? Thought not.
Now I must leave and you may have the final dig. Genuinely and without any sarcasm, as per my original wish, have a good day.
29 Posted 04/03/2010 at 10:10:15
I accept you didn’t say it was valid because they are role models...that post was a combined response to both you and a previous poster who had alluded to that reasoning...
I hope this clear the confusion up...It’s a very interesting debate in my opinion.
30 Posted 04/03/2010 at 11:13:03
31 Posted 04/03/2010 at 11:52:57
32 Posted 04/03/2010 at 12:33:47
33 Posted 04/03/2010 at 13:31:14
However one could, if one wanted to play devil’s advocate, use the ’guest on Jerry Springer defense’
ie: (stands up arms out)
"BEEEATCH! IF YOU AIN'T GIVIN' HER WHAT SHE WANTS, HE'S GOING TO GET IT SOMEWHERES ELSE... KNOW WHAT I AM SAYIN'?"
34 Posted 04/03/2010 at 13:37:46
35 Posted 04/03/2010 at 13:53:02
36 Posted 04/03/2010 at 15:34:39
What did not escape my attention was how Terry used high powered lawyers and legal threats to avoid exposure. a la Robert Maxwell.
Such a costly recourse is a weapon of the rich and not accessible to the man in the street.
Funny how politeness can somehow go out the window when debate heats up.
For a brief second I was tempted to jump on a plane and fly 12000 miles just to plant my untattooed fist into Ciarans gob.
Just as well I do not have Terry’s wealth or might just as well have done that.
37 Posted 04/03/2010 at 17:14:36
But I think my input might be of some value.
For better or worse, every professional footballer I’ve ever known (and according to some of them, everyone they knew in the game) shagged anything that moved. Usually female and blonde one way or another I hasten to add.
As soon as we look to the world of professional athletes for some sort of moral gudance is the day we know it must all be kicked in the head.
The role of Murdoch’s media power is beyond even the possibility of resposible government. Potentially as evil as Hitler, if you ask me.
38 Posted 04/03/2010 at 19:43:14
39 Posted 04/03/2010 at 22:08:37
Others on these pages seem to accept Terry’s deed as being normal or at least of little import.
Call me old fashioned but I expect more from people who are appointed to exhalted positions.
40 Posted 05/03/2010 at 02:50:48
41 Posted 05/03/2010 at 03:19:17
You’re correct in your assesment of it as being "boring bollocks," and as such I don’t want to have it inflicted upon me. But it isn’t football...
Nor is it football,when unelected,powerful organisations have the ability to destroy individuals; stalking them with cameras, snooping on their activities,publicly revelling in their misadventures, deriding total strangers while strengthening their position,to socially engineer a docile society, by exposing their weaknesses,to behave as judge, jury & excecutioner.
That IS Orwellian..
Thanks for all the comments,guys. Particularly the weighty & fascinating debate between Ciaran & Lee. Good read..
42 Posted 05/03/2010 at 04:31:57
The long big punch up.
43 Posted 05/03/2010 at 04:29:29
They want all the adoration and trappings that come with the game. But expect people to leave them alone. When it suits them. But believe me when I say, I couldn’t care less.
The original tirade was the result of Mr Rooney being mentioned again in the same breath as Everton. That always incenses me, as. He is a cretin.
I also do not have my opinions swayed by the gutter press, I have not read a news paper in 2 years or so.
44 Posted 05/03/2010 at 07:44:03
If you’re still there. My point is that ’Orwellian’ is too often used out of context and thereby demeaned.
As in this case.
45 Posted 05/03/2010 at 10:48:02
Terry deserves all that has come his way since.
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