England Football - Bloody Shambles
Wayne Bridge refuses to shake John Terry's hand because Terry has had an affair with Bridge's ex-girlfriend, I don't suppose Bridge is going to be doing a right lot of handshaking in his football career because according to the tabloid press, half the Premiership seems to have had a dalliance with his ex who appears to 'collect' footballers like Kiss legend Gene Simmons used to 'collect' groupies.
There are two things that make me quite angry and upset about this whole sorry saga, the attitude of an England footballer towards what should be the pinnacle of his career, and the obsession the British public has with the private lives of well known people.
How on earth can Wayne Bridge even think of refusing to join the England team for the World Cup ? Surely you play football to win, to play at your best, to play for the national side is what every schoolboy dreams of. Is this linked with the astonishing wages footballers are now paid, I imagine to some degree it is. When I was a boy growing up in the 70's, footballers were not the multi-millionaires they are today and it is quite obvious from the amount of loyalty that players now show towards club and country that the biggest achievement in football is not pulling on the England shirt, instead it is signing a new contract for a bigger wage and better image rights.
I would have had much more respect for Wayne Bridge had he shaken John Terry's hand, that would have been the mark of a man who, despite being wronged, was determined to rise above this dismal fracas and show himself to be morally superior to Terry. The snub he gave though was pointless, it may give him some fleeting satisfaction when he sees it on the television replay, but in the long run it won't do anything to settle the hurt he feels or imagines. The snub he has delivered to the England team and the England fans though is unforgivable, if you are selected for the national side at any sport you should be proud and honoured. Were I in charge of English football, I would hand Bridge a lifetime ban from the national side.
Of course, much of this dreary and disheartening affair could have been avoided if not for the insatiable appetite of the British public for the sordid details of the private lives of the rich and famous. I ask you, what is missing in your own life that you want to wallow so deeply in the misery of others ? This petty minded and fetishistic fascination with the love lives of others demeans us all. A huge industry has grown up in the UK based on bitter tittle-tattle, rumour mongering and the bringing down of well known people. The tabloid press thrives on it, on the magazine stands there are numerous magazines dedicated to either building the public image image of famous people or knocking them down again.
We don't actually like people to do well in this country do we ? You can do fairly well, achieve a moderate level of fame and recognition and then everyone likes you, but if you get your head too far above the parapet, if you aim too high and achieve your goals then you will incur the wrath of the jealous and small minded British public who like nothing more than to see someone dragged back down to their own level. What level is that ? Are we so morally superior to the famous who we seek to destroy ? No, of course we are not. We, the great British public, we get pissed and fight in nightclubs, we have affairs and one night stands, we are one and the same with the people we both love and loathe.
We do posses something in large amounts though, and that is absolutely shameless hypocrisy.