Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Trials and Terry-bulations

Only one thing to talk about really. It turns out that England Captain and self proclaimed natural born leader John Terry has been alleged to have been playing away from home in more than just the football sense. I'm sure you've read in countless other places exactly what I'm talking about. Ordinarily, a footballer cheating on his wife is about as surprising as an Aston Villa long ball and if anyone was ever looking at 'Jay Tee' as a beacon of moral guidance they need their head examined. But for a number of reasons this particular incident is just that little bit more juicy and seems to transcend beyond the usual tabloid hysteria to a point where it raises a number vaguely interesting discussion points.

John Terry has never been whiter than white. An odious human being with a rap sheet as long as my arm. Allegations about pissing in public, parking in disabled bays and most recently his special guided tours are just the norm for the man. It wouldn't be fair to attribute the alleged misdemeanours of both his mum AND dad to him but let's be honest, a bad apple never really falls far from the tree does it? Many wonder why he is entrusted with the responsibility of leading the England team. Regardless of his football ability (something itself that divides the opinion of the the football watching public) there is a belief in some quarters that he is the only person with the required footballing 'leadership qualities' to do the job. But when stories like this and the above-mentioned break, the debate then becomes about whether he is morally equipped or rather if he even needs to be.

Footballers are under no obligation to be role models. I think that should be made clear. They are professionals like anyone else who are doing a job. They aren't teachers nor are they social workers. They are not in some mentoring programme and they have never claimed that they are setting an example that others should follow. However, They cannot deny that as footballers, they cannot escape the public eye and there are people out there (wont someone pleeeeease think of the children?!?!?!) that will look up to them and therefore they should be aware of their responsibilities. Their public personas are open to such intense scrutiny thanks to the privileged position they find themselves so I don't think it's too much to expect that they would at least attempt to act with some kind of decorum.

Many have said that what Mr. Terry gets up to in his private life should be kept private. After all, there was no crime committed by his actions. But like Tiger Woods before him, John Terry is less an individual and more a 'brand' or representative of his sponsors, his football club and as he is captain, his country too! His questionable moral choices therefore become the interest of those he is said to represent. This is the reason why his 'superinjuction' was overturned faster than a dirty bed sheet in the Bridges' Bedroo...

Anyway, the main fallout of this whole messy situation is whether Mr. Terry should remain England captain. I believe that regardless of public opinion and what the media say, it is all dependent on whether his actions have his actions affected him as a leader or his team mates around him. If it was the case that any of them were to take the moral high ground and there was friction within the camp, for example, If the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney were to turn around and suggest they wouldn't listen to nor can they respect John Terry then there's no possible way he can continue as captain. If players started refusing call ups out of respect for Bridge then Terry's position is untenable. However, I feel sympathy for Bridge because of the fickle nature of his colleagues. As I said above, in terms of players WITHOUT indiscretions in that team, you could probably fit their names on the back of a used condom wrapper. Don Fabio's decision (or Terry's if he is to take responsibility) will be based primarily on the other players and I personally don't think they are either smart or concerned enough to stand up and speak out about the fact the man that leads them out onto the pitch cheated on his wife and mother of his children by having an ongoing affair and unprotected sex with the mother of one of his so-called friend's - and teammate's - child. Allegedly!

For the players, England's World Cup dream is far more important than Bridge's feelings (The 'Bro Code' has never been treated with so much disdain...) and no two-bit scrubber who cant keep her legs shut is not going to change that.

Naturally, at CSKA Fulham fans have come out in support of Terry showing once and for all the ignorant and irrational behaviour that comes with supporting a football team. When the direction of the pin in your moral compass is dictated by the football team you support then you really need to take a good long hard look at yourself. I guess wrecking the lives of others is not enough for some people to have a conscience as long as 'tha bloos' are winning, right?