Player To Watch #6: Wayne Rooney

Number 6: Wayne Rooney

Position: Forward

Country: England

Club Team: Manchester United, English Premier League

American-based Professional Sports Athlete “Soulmate”: Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Boston Red Sox
When Chancellor Seco, in his “infinite wisdom,” assigned me this player to watch piece my initial reaction was one of complete disgust. “You want me, a fan of the only real team in Manchester to write about this jackleg, you can’t be fucking serious?” I began to think about all the ways I could organize this post. Maybe I could led off with a list of all the reasons I can’t stand Wayne Rooney, but that would go on for too long and be counterproductive to the point of this feature. Let’s get started with just some of the reasons Wayne Rooney is a blight upon society.

Long time readers of “the greatest blog of our time” know that every member of the staff (excluding the token English Wanker Guy Bailey) can’t stand Wayne Rooney. I especially hate Wayne because he plays for my arch enemies; the Red Devils. Each of his goal celebrations infuriates me, occasionally causing me to toss my precious PBR at the TV. I sincerely believe that each time Rooney scores a goal, your grandmother gets punched in the face. That’s right YOUR grandmother. Regardless of where Rooney grew up, he appears to walk about the pitch, and the rest of the planet for that matter, with this sense of entitlement that is unacceptable for a man that only stands 5-foot-9. Along with the Napoleon complex, Rooney is also one of the most unfortunate looking international stars. Am I the only football fan that thinks he looks like a drunken bulldog with a touch of Down Syndrome? He has been and will continue to be the model, inspiration, and gold standard for our Jackleg posts. Hopefully that orients you all to my feelings on Wayne fucking Rooney.

Even with how much I hate this joker, it is incredibly hard to ignore his brilliance. Rooney is without a doubt one of the greatest finishers in the world. With only the smallest of opportunities, he rarely misses a chance to convert for club or country. Never in my time watching football can I remember seeing Rooney have one of those, “how the hell did he miss that?” moments. One of his greatest assets is his incredible speed. One of the greatest EPL goals of the year involved Rooney in a dead sprint from his own 18 yard box to his opponent’s penalty

spot for a quality finish. Rooney started 30 yards behind the play, and still managed to get himself in position to score. His excellent play this year in the EPL has landed him the Football Writers Associations player of the year for 2009-2010.

Rooney is not on this list only for this talent on the pitch, but for the way he plays the game. Wayne Rooney is one tenacious and angry son of a bitch. He plays with a killer instinct that wills him to win, and he will fucking kill you if he has to in order to make it happen. This can occasionally leds to what I like to call the “Jackleg Explosion”. After a few questionable calls, or hard fouls, Rooney could completely loss it and earn himself a straight red card in the matter of seconds. The joke around TYAC offices has been who will get the red card first, Rooney or MB90? We know it will happen; it’s just a matter of whom.

Choosing an American Sports “Soulmate” for

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someone I hate so much was not an easy task. After consulting with “Lighting Cup” Jon, and “Ian Poulter Wannabe” Neil, we decided on Jonathan “Pap” Papelbon, the closer for the Boston Red Sox. After some thought, he was the perfect match for Rooney. First and most importantly, unless you are a Red Sox Fan, you hate this guy. He has no personality qualities that would think having a beer with him would be a good idea. Furthermore, Pap also looks like some type of drunken animal with Down Syndrome, maybe pit bull, you tell me. Pap walks around the mound with this pompous swagger that makes me want to stab him, much like Rooney. Even though I can’t stand Papelbon, as a baseball fan, I have to admit he is excellent at his job. Rarely does Papelbon fail to convert a save. In less than five years as a full time closer he has converted 161 saves in 180 opportunities. That translates to a save percentage of roughly 90 percent He also won two World Series Rings with a squad that will forever remain in my memory for coming back and winning four in a row to beat my beloved Yankees. I fucking hate him, but the guy is good.

Probably the most important and best comparison for Rooney to Papelbon is the “killer instinct” aspect. Pap is just as crazy as Wayne. In fact, all baseball fans will tell you that closers need to have a few electrical fires going off in their brains. After a few shitty calls by the overweight umpire behind the plate, Pap could have his own “Jackleg Explosion” and get tossed quicker than Milli Vanilli’s career ended. In my opinion, Papelbon is the match for Wayne Rooney.

Let’s go big picture here for a few moments. What does Wayne Rooney mean to the English football squad? Everything. Rooney will most certainly be the emotional fire on the pitch. During any match, he will not stop working. Even with a two goal lead, he will continue to chase down balls that may still end up heading for the touch line. This continuous motor raises the level of play and effort of everyone on the squad. If Wayne is still working hard in the 90th min, you better damn will be. While we here in the US are focused on who will be paired with MB90 in the midfield, English fans want to know who will be playing with Wayne Rooney up top. Everyone knows Rooney is the man, but who gets a shot to play with him? Not only will he be the emotional leader on the pitch, he also needs to be their best striker. While the English expect goal production out of their midfield, if Wayne Rooney, does not have the World Cup that expect him to, the English will fall short of their aspirations for a deep run in the tournament.

Puck is the pop culture guru for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at puck@yanksarecoming.com.

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  • Andy

    Best player for England and best player in England. Will bring King George to the finals.

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