English football could teach us a thing or two about general scumbaggery
|February 17, 2012||Posted by Cameron MacLeod under satire|
Politicians? Bankers? Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers? They’ve had their rough patches, and they’ve become satirist fodder as a result. But when it comes to childish or criminal behaviour, corruption and callous greed, they’re all lightweights. Like Scooby-Doo villains at an arsonists’ convention, they’re out of their depth and sweating profusely into their home-stitched dragon costumes as the heady aroma of petrol-fuelled flames beckons them into a dizzying state of depression, inadequacy and nausea. Because when it comes to unbridled immorality, no one has quite such a monopoly on the concept as those in the football industry.
For instance, England manager Fabio Capello has resigned after trying to convince the FA that the criminal court was a higher authority than a sporting organisation which is essentially a coven of most families’ alarmingly conspicuous ‘uncles’. His noble yet baffling defence of the overpaid, adulterous and allegedly racist defender John Terry earned him a straight red in the eyes of many, as numerous other pieces on the issue have likely so tediously quipped, despite the fact that the decision was Capello’s.
Frankly, England didn’t deserve the Italian. As if to illustrate my point, my spell-checker has informed me that, rather than Capello, I was in fact trying to type Cannelloni. Naturally, he didn’t deserve the estimated £24m he received during his time at England either, seeing as he only had to put up with the team and the fans for about one weekend a month. This essentially made his role that of a nanny for the over-privileged. His uncanny resemblence to Postman Pat doubtlessly aided him during his three-year period of intermittent babysitting.
Fortunately for beer-swigging nationalists everywhere, it looks as though England has found its saviour in the paunchy form of Saint Harry Redknapp. If anything smacks of heroism in the football world, it’s being cleared of two counts of corruption (or being found guilty of racism, but we’ll get to that later). The fact that his acquittal coincided with Capello’s resignation caused football fans and pundits everywhere to stop for a moment. In the football world, people are used to a week that revolves around the same, single, football-related event. It’s not dissimilar to how soap operas operate. Faced with a two-event week, fans were forced to make a crude logical connection between these events, as though they had been forged by destiny.
The fact is that it doesn’t matter in the slightest who manages England. Even the most competent of replacements would be earning an only marginally less excessive amount, and would still leave the job on bad terms as the armchair experts once again fail to identify the endemic cognitive inability of the players.
Most England line-ups present you with images of gormless expressions and widely-publicised sexual exploits, which make comparisons to semi-domesticated pets palpable, particularly when given the overwhelming amount of praise and reward they receive whenever they succeed at a task so unimportant and simplistic that it would appear patronising to most when taken out of context.
There is also, of course, the matter of racism in football – a sensitive issue which has recently been exacerbated by Luis Suarez’s racist comments towards Patrice Evra, then further still by the Liverpool fans’ and management’s support of Suarez after he had been found guilty of the charges (the second most heroic thing a footballer can do, after evading conviction for corruption). There was then the arrest of a Liverpool fan for racially abusing an opposing player during the team’s victory against Oldham, which didn’t exactly help matters, and also the case of the racist tweet directed at Stan Collymore. A conclusion is still pending as to whether John Terry is guilty of racism.
All of the above incidents took place in the last four months. Or never, possibly; Sepp Blatter argued in November of last year that there is “‘no racism in football.” Apparently all that is required to put an end to the problems caused by racism is a handshake. Ironically, the handshake recently in question never came, meaning that even by the standards of Blatter’s unfathomable reasoning the issue is a lingering one. But enough about Sepp. He deserves an article of his very own.
Ultimately, from the youngest nose-picking antichrist to the oldest lecherous despot, scumbaggery is an intrinsic feature of the “beautiful game.” Whether it’s carrying out acts of sexism on an insitutional level, forming betting syndicates within the Dutch second division, or moving things to Qatar for no comprehensible reason, miscreants, ne’er-do-wells and scuzzballs alike all have something to learn from the world of football.