Time was when Wanker Of The Week used to be a fairly regular feature at the Mambo, and we only discontinued it as we got bored of writing an epic, occasionally libellous and invariably 2000+ word character assassination every week to a deadline. However occasionally we are so overcome with fury that we decide to dust the old trophy down. This week is one of those weeks.
The Bandwagon Jumper.
I’m sure you know the type. Tossers aren’t they.
They are everywhere you look in public and your personal life. They only express an opinion when it is safe to do so. They lick their finger, stick it up in the air, see which way the wind is blowing and rush headlong in that direction, even if it is the polar opposite of the one they were heading in just a few weeks previously. They are opportunists. Utter cowards. Invariably they are also shameless hypocrites, as well as being wankers.
In the realm of sports and in particular football writing their numbers are legion. A consensus appears, and desperate not to stand out from the crowd or displease their paymasters or their network of contacts in the game a journalist writes a piece perfectly in tune with it.
A team loses a game and they are the worst group of players ever. One good performance from someone and they are the next Lionel Messi or Franz Beckenbauer. One bad tackle and a player is worse than Osama Bin Laden. One act of sportsmanship and they are Jesus Christ incarnate.
A media narrative will develop regardless of its distance from the truth and many football writers merely repeat it with (occasionally) bigger words, whether they are of the tabloid or broadsheet variety.
The authors think it makes them look smart, cool, maybe even right-on. But for those of us who know better it just exposes them as the disgusting charlatans that they are.
Step forward Rob Beasley. A man who is to credible sports journalism what Simple Simon is to Mensa.
Beasley has written a short column for his employers, the Sun (who else…..) that has to rank as one of the cheapest, most diabolically cynical pieces of bandwagon-jumping that I have seen in a while (it’s also appallingly badly written and I’m bemused that a professional journalist is willing to put his name to such dross).
He then followed it up with a performance on Talksport that even by his loathsome standards of embarrassingly misplaced self-righteousness ranked as a tour de force of soul-destroying stupidity, child-like myopia and ended with him threatening the presenters who had quite rightly called him out on his hypocrisy. In the space of five minutes the nation’s newly and self-appointed moral guardian turned into the poor man’s Danny Dyer. The irony was lost on no one, with the exception of the man himself of course.
Beasley’s facile argument can be summed up as follows: the Olympics was a shining beacon of light and has shamed football, with its swearing, cheating and general immorality. He uses the bad-tempered Charity Shield match at the weekend to demonstrate his argument, such as it is.
I’m sure Beasley thinks he is riding the crest of a zeitgeisty wave by suddenly coming out and denouncing the game, in toto, that he has built his career on. In fact all he is doing is highlighting what a contemptible shyster he is.
(And the Mary Whitehouse shtick is nauseating. Swearing at football matches is part of the fun and last time I checked women and children enjoy it too. This isn’t the nineteenth century. So fuck you Beasley.)
Anyway, do the wonderful and supposedly family-friendly Olympics operate on a vastly superior moral plane to big bad football?
Well no, actually.
Cycling has spent most of its modern history riddled with drugs and doping and there is no reason to believe that it is suddenly squeaky clean. Ditto athletics and swimming.
Were the badminton players throwing matches really so much better morally than diving footballers?
Did the Algerian 1500m runner, Taoufik Makhloufi, who threw his 800m heat so he could concentrate all his efforts on the 1500m do so in pursuit of the Olympic ideal?
And the water polo players spend most of their games fighting each other.
Those are just a few examples. And they don’t highlight the moral depravity of Olympic sport. What they highlight is that the people competing are there to win.
You know, like football. That’s how all professional sports work. Of course there is space for morality and decency, but there are thousands of examples one could cite in football of that. To pick out one, essentially pre-season, game, as Beasley did, containing two teams who clearly don’t like each other very much to make such a sweeping point is a calculated act of cynicism from a journalist for whom the word ‘cynicism’ is indeed the mot juste.
See, that’s the thing about Beasley. He really is the last person to be making this argument. This is a guy who has built his journalistic career oiling up to some of the sleaziest, dodgiest and most amoral people in the football world. To wit: Jose Mourinho, John Terry and the entire Chelsea hierarchy.
A trawl through the archive of Beasley’s brown-nosing articles over the years reveals that he sees himself as Chelsea’s de facto media representative. His contacts at the club appear to be a significant factor in his national profile (it certainly isn’t his writing). It will not surprise you to know that Chelsea are ‘his’ team, he tweets about them obsessively and is immensely proud of their recent successes.
Which have all been achieved on the back of hundreds of millions of pounds being spent by a Russian gangster plutocrat who essentially stole his immense wealth from the Russian people. If Beasley is so worried about the moral decay of football then wouldn’t this be an issue for him to rail against? Shouldn’t he in fact be ashamed at what has been accomplished with money that the club by rights shouldn’t have?
Wouldn’t the actions of John Terry over the years be something to rail against?
What about Jose Mourinho, apparently Beasley’s bezzie mate?
Aren’t there a 101 things about Chelsea Football Club for a journalist to get angry about?
It is astounding that an employee of the unspeakably evil News International feels able to lecture anyone about morality in any sphere of life. It is even more extraordinary when it comes from the pen of Rob Beasley, who even by NI standards is an utter gobshite.