We’ve all been there; two mates arguing over the same woman, or maybe seeing the same woman, or even worse, diddling the same woman. Everybody pretends that it’s all fine and everybody are mates after all and it’s a wonderful sentiment to enjoy for the few seconds it takes you to realize that, like open relationships and sex addiction, it doesn’t exist. It’s a cover story, a state of mind a close partner or friend in denial will adopt to hide from the inevitable and like the majority of these things, it gains critical mass, drawing in neighboring states and countries until you’ve got a full-fledged war on your hands.
But enough about Arch Duke Ferdinand, Grand Duchess Sophia, The Kaiser (not Franz Beckenbauer, the other one) and the causes of World War One…
Wayne Bridge this week quit the England team when the left back position was to all intents and purposes his to lose. Not because he is a limited left back who has got very lucky with his choice of clubs, nor because he magnanimously thinks that if he pulls out now it would prevent a lot of trouble happening (as 80 percent of dads would concur with); no, he’s pulled out of the team because he has been bullied and cajoled by a London-based media into ending his own international career so an arrogant, ignorant cockney putz can strut around on the world stage and have ample opportunity to rebuild his depleted bank account. This sets up nicely the opportunity this weekend, at Stamford Bridge, for the other Bridge and his teammates to literally stamp their moral superiority all over Terry’s smug, gormless face – (British readers will no doubt draw comparisons with Paul Whitehouse’s Lance character) but no doubt circumstance and team selection will deny us one of the most looked forward to grudge matches since Katie Couric asked Governor Sarah Palin which hand was left.
Brawls in Football are so much more exciting than other sports precisely because they are so unexpected. We all know that these guys are the best of pals off the pitch, all play golf with each other, share tunes and nightclubs with each other, sometimes more, so when they act like regular supporters then it is so much more delightful and satisfying.
It wasn’t such a big deal back in the 70s when the fighting sometimes ceased when a football match broke out. My own particular favorite from the period is Franny Lee v Norman Hunter – which continued after the sending off and all the way into the tunnel. It’s even funnier when two teammates decide to get it on. Here, Lee Bowyer gets a knock on the head and suddenly seizes his chance to do what 99 percent of the country would have done to Keiron Dyer had they been given a chance.
All we’ll get on Saturday is maybe some pushing and shoving and some brilliantly inventive singing and maybe some tut tutting by the commentators who will insist it’s all nonsense and that nobody wants to see this in a football stadium when of course we will all be watching and hoping that we get something reminiscent of this. And if the gods of football justice are watching, then maybe, just maybe, we won’t be seeing John Terry’s sneaky smile for a while – at least until he finds his two front teeth.
Guy Bailey is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.