Wednesday 20 March 2013

Mr T. - Don't Pity the Fool [Guest Post by Dennis McRoss]

Welcome to a guest post by part-time gonzo journalist Dennis McRoss... 

I'm writing this on St.Patrick's Day, when everyone pretends to be Irish and gets drunk. It's also the last day of my free 2 week MUTV trial. Didn't ask for it but Sky insisted so who was I to refuse? And it's actually good, just not worth paying for (a bit like Michael Owen...). Obviously if you don't like United and can't stomach Paddy Crerrard then it's a non-starter, but even as a United fan I was dubious. Amongst the usual "Classic games" and "all the goals by..." there was a great programme about one of my first football heroes - Norman Whiteside. A touching show (at times anyway) and also very insightful (he nearly went to Ipswich instead of United) it did a lot to debunk the drinking culture myth that surrounded the club in the 80's.

But that's not the show that spurred me to write this...err...rant(?!)

A couple of years ago John Terry was filmed on Sky or BBC Sport giving an interview at his home. Part of the show included him taking the presenter around his "Trophy Room", a lavish, specially constructed part of the house made up to look like an exhibition or museum. Having gone through all the trophies and England caps on display (no newspaper cuttings surprisingly) he then pointed to a Chelsea shirt framed on the wall. It was his 2008 Champions league final shirt and, as he says himself, it's "...the shirt I wore when I missed that penalty. It's there as a daily reminder to me of what I'm striving for".  As I recall the presenter seemed bemused by this OTT act of martyrdom. Terry, as always, was lost in his own self-obsessed ignorance.

What reminded me of that was a documentary about Nicky Butt on MUTV the other night, including a bit where he shows the presenter around his home. After answering some questions about his playing days he is badgered in to taking the presenter to see his collection of memorabilia from his career.

Now Nicky did alright financially as a player, so you can imagine his home is a fair old size. But the collection was housed, not in a giant extension but in a tiny room in his loft. His shirts all hang up inside a small wardrobe (save for the treble shirts which are framed and leaning against the arm of a sofa). And he didn't even mention the medals. After picking out one or two shirts of significance (first FA Cup win, World Cup 2002 shirt) they reconvened downstairs. He then started to talk about his wife and 2 kids, how much they meant to him and how proud he was of them. This was when he really sounded the most enthusiastic, to be fair.

Two players, two England Internationals and yet a gulf of difference.

There is a banner at Stamford Bridge which reads "John Terry: leader captain legend"
I have a better one:
"John Terry - missed a penalty that cost his team the European Cup in 2008 then swore to keep the shirt as a reminder to never let his team or fans down again. Then got himself needlessly sent off in the 2012 European Cup semi-final and let his team and fans down again. Then celebrated like a "full kit wanker" when they won it without him. Fucks his team mate's missus, taunts Americans about 9/11, banned for racially abusing the brother of his international team mate and even once got done for parking his car in a disabled bay"
You have to work hard to earn trophies but you also have to work hard to earn respect, Terry only has it half right*.


* - for the record Butt has twice as many league titles winners medals and also the small matter of 1 Champions league medal over Terry.