This particular thought often crosses my mind, especially around this time of year. I’ll be watching a lopsided game and out of nowhere a team scores a jammy goal against the run of play. Or worse, a stroke of misfortune hits a team and say Thierry Henry handballs your country out of the World Cup or something. Whatever.
Or look at broader circumstances in the game of football. It’s not fair that someone like Mike Ashley can so fickly dismiss Chris Hughton as manager of Newcastle. Hughton only goes and saves Newcastle from the Championship (with the utmost ease, it must be noted), has the Magpies sitting nicely in the middle of the Premiership, then POOF, he’s on the dole at Christmas time. And it’s not fair that your team immediately plays them and gets rearranged by Alan Pardew whilst the Geordies practically clamor for revolution.
It’s not fair that Wham!’s “Last Christmas” is forever categorized as a Christmas song and as such it only gets radio time in December. One line about Christmas. One line. Eleven months in absentia then every DJ manages to make you sick of it in two weeks. But I suppose that’s part of the Christmas compromise. We give “Last Christmas” to the Holiday Season, they allow us to piggyback Die Hard in there as well.
It’s not fair to the 19 teams in Serie A that Zlatan Ibrahimovic doesn’t play for. They just never had a chance for the Scudetto, did they?
It’s not fair that Eggnog is so delicious, yet so unhealthy for human consumption. Every time I glance at the “nutrition” facts on the side of the carton, I pray that by some Festivus miracle it’s suddenly acquired some redeeming vitamins, but alas, it’s still a fearsome tag team of saturated fat and cholesterol.
And it’s sure not fair when you watch your Italian midfield genius leading a resurgence at Juventus, while their Danish reject/thug rots in your reserves. (I heard a great nickname for Christian Poulsen on the LFC forums that I’d like to share: “Christian Garbage.” I’ll hereby by referring to the Dane solely with this moniker, so please make a note of that).
Not fair not fair not fair.
But every once in awhile a story comes along that slaps you across the face with some perspective. Makes you wonder what “fair” really is.
Rushden and Diamond’s goalkeeper Dale Roberts killed himself Tuesday after his fiancee had an affair with one of his teammates. He was 24.
Sad, tragic, wasteful, pick your adjective. It’s pretty messed up stuff anyway you look at it. You kind of think that sort of thing only happens in Dream Team or Footballers’ Wives or The Real Housewives of Kettering Town. People tend to take a fleeting moment to reflect, then immediately minimize it away from sight. It gets filed next to the Sebastian Deisler and Robert Enke dossiers of inexplicable depression among footballers– which kills me. Depression is almost a mandatory fashion accessory for artists and actors, why should it be so taboo for athletes?
There is no answer. It’s not fair.
The “other man” in the Roberts’ love triangle? None other than Paul Terry, brother of Chelsea captain John. Obviously, this mirrors the incident in which JT allegedly had an affair with then-teammate Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend. Pretty similar it’s downright freaky, to be honest.
It would be so easy to carve up the Terry brothers but somehow joking about it now doesn’t feel right . Suicide tends to do that. Besides, it would be too easy. With those rumors about their mother at the 2006 World Cup, it makes you wonder if maybe they never really learned the value of fidelity growing up. Without excusing their behavior, maybe it’s not totally their fault. Certainly, they aren’t the first professional players to have affairs, nor will they be the last.
It’s the betrayal of a teammate that gets me. With so many women to choose from, why go after your colleague’s? I know they have Twitter in the UK, why not follow the NFL/NBA groupie model? It’s literally no work for those guys. Fifty characters on your iPhone and you can have a posse of skanks at your hotel.
And all that in turn makes me wonder how the Terry brothers can be effective members of their own squads? I mean, JT is the captain of Chelsea. The leader of his teammates. If you’re Petr Cech, how do you have faith in a guy who’s sworn to defend you but could just as soon bed your wife? Was Chelsea’s tremendous Premiership run last year because of John Terry or in spite of him? So many questions, so few answers.
My guess is that we’ll never know. And it’s just not fair, is it? Not fair to you, to me, or to the Dale Roberts in the game.
Okay, now here’s a phenomenal video to get you out of here on a better note.