THE BLOG
09/07/2010 01:31 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sport's Mad Men

It's all about brands. Just ask the lucky striker Wayne Rooney, English soccer's latest ad for high price hookers, Marlboro and large amounts of abandoning the wife. The English tabloid revelations last weekend that Wayne was playing away from home as his pregnant wife slept alone prompted his corporate sponsor, Nike, to announce plans that they were sticking by their mad man, much like they did with their fierce Tiger. Marlboro will also be happy to see their name in print, quoted by Wayne's hooker as his smoke of choice. After a long shag, a man needs a drag on his fag -- Marlboro, Keep It Burning.

Only months ago, Rooney's English teammate, John Terry, was branded Daddy of the Year by a food sauce company, appearing in the company's print ads holding a bottle of their goop - perfect for thick sausages. It was revealed Britain's #1 Daddy was bonking his pal's ex-missus at the crack of dawn, while his family was stuck at home in front of sad Cornflakes, broken yokes and no Daddy to pour the milk. He paid for the abortion.

There is a cruel irony that when sportsmen become brands it can sear them like an iron burning a number into cattle. Behave or it's the slaughterhouse. These blokes had they not been blessed with the magic in their feet or swings, could have been working in a supermarket packing the food sauce on to the shelves, instead of being on the label. Though super rich, the masses demand equality in their brands, do what we do -- marry, have kids, stay at home and watch Don Draper screw around on the telly. But it's impossible.

Imagine being able to play your famous self on the latest game from Electronic Arts -- I am Wayne Rooney, I can score at will, I am who you wish you were, I am invincible. What kind of impact must that have on a man's ego? Hallmarked with tens of millions of pounds to spend -- Rooney tipped room service $350 for the packet of Marlboro -- and their faces stamped and posted to the consciousness of every kid's dream and wall poster, breaking bad seems to be the only way these "poor" guys can say to the world -- I am not a sticky label. I exist. Like The Nike swish. The Daddy's Sauce. Packaged as straight as Don Draper's tie.