England soccer captain, John Terry, winning Daddy of the Year, 2009.
Hacking was banned from the field in English soccer over a hundred years ago, but it still continues to thrive in the country's sporting press. Captain of England's team, John Terry, a married father of two, has just felt the crunching chop of Britain's vicious tabloids for his sex romp with a former teammate's girlfriend. Terry, recently anointed "Dad of the Year" in the UK by a ketchup company, scored the winning goal for his club Chelsea last Saturday, hours after Britain's #1 selling tabloid, The Sun, spilled the sexy sauce as he played away from home. His goal celebration will go down as the biggest drip of the English soccer season. The man looked broken.
The British tabloids love to destroy their soccer heroes. Beckham was crucified for costing England a World Cup in 2002; last year Terry's teammate, Ashley Cole, was branded a Love Rat in the tabloids for his extra-marital affair. The paparazzi chase players through the streets of London hoping to catch them with their jock straps off. It's tough earning $300,000 a week especially when you are bored with the missus.
The promotion of the world's top soccer players to the God league necessarily scripts tragedy, especially when there are commercial commandments to uphold. Thou Shalt Not Be A Naughty Boy is usually number one on the corporate endorsement tablet and we all know what happens when you tell a boy not to be naughty. He goes straight out and does his worst. Terry's endorsement with a popular razor brand is likely to see his contract being sliced to ribbons. And he can forget about getting down on bended knee before the Queen at Buckingham Palace should England win the World Cup in South Africa this summer. There will be no Arise, Sir John. That scenario will have to remain inside his shorts.
The British tabloids are famous for their fabulously brutal headlines. And the hacks that write these blazing leads are salivating over Terry's sloppiness and what it means for England at this year's World Cup. It's possible that England's defense could line up Terry and the teammate he cuckolded, Wayne Bridge, with the two of them playing next to the Love Rat. Oh, what an English pickle! It sounds like a complicated Jane Austen novel. Terry and Bridge will hardly be on speaking terms, and are likely to turn their backs on each other. This is great news for the well-behaved Americans, England's first opponent in the Finals. A few choice words in Terry's ear during the June 12 match-up -- You should see what Bridge is doing behind your back, John -- could open up holes in England's defense, and lead to a romp of American goals against the colonial ancestor. Let's hope so.
Alan Black is Scottish. And American. His book, The Glorious World Cup - A Balls Out Guide was published in May by Penguin.