Any Cole Is A Goal.
By Dan Siron.
Eve NI Magazine April 2010
As a boy, I had many “heroes” and a liberal scattering of role models, some which have endured to this day. The work ethic of my Dad, the diligence and commitment of my teachers, the creativity of lyricists and musicians; all have made me the man I am today. The fact that I fall short of each and every one of them in some fashion is not a fault on their leadership, but a habit I have formed and nurtured over my years of mediocrity in wanting to keep a low profile.
As I look around at the media spun “heroes” of today, I see a landscape that has not changed as much as the Daily Mail Right would suggest. Mixed in with my pillars of social strength and familial unity, there were the odd characters that fall very much short of the stereotypical British gentry. Apart from the occasional guitar smashing hoodlum from whatever post punk pariah I happened to try and relate to at the time, there was a constant that still prevails to this day. Footballers.
Though I consider myself lucky enough to have avoided the bubble perm “Kevin Keegan” era, I was like any other young man entering teenage and carried my desires into young adulthood. I wanted to be a footballer. I wanted the glory and the trappings. I wanted to turn to the Gwladys Street End at Goodison Park to see the adoring fans of Everton F.C. looking to me as I smashed home the 5th goal in a 5-0 drubbing of Liverpool. That never happened for a number of reasons. Firstly, despite Everton’s resurgence in recent years, the chances of the Toffee Men smashing 5 past anyone but Hull is still as likely as Naomi Campbell turning down her annual phone upgrade because her “current phone doesn’t have a scratch on it”. Number two, I was a rubbish at football. Very rubbish at football. My P.E. Teacher left me on the bench against our local rivals despite us already losing 5-0 and it being my birthday. Maybe that disappointment is the real reason I didn’t make waves in the world of professional football. My ego prevented it.
But a mans ego is a fragile and difficult to understand at the best of times. Not just for women, but for men too. It provides us with the Darwinian will to succeed, the competitive edge that has spurred us on from considering tree bark a substantial snack between meals consisting of the limb of a less quick animal, to evolve into the fine diners we see at drive throughs today in suped up Renault Clio’s. But this competitive nature has its drawbacks. It gets the fellahs into trouble from time to time. It doesn’t take CSI to figure out that the broken teeth on the “Nag’s Head” floor are there as a direct result of male ego doing what it is naturally predisposed to do, and that is; to prove we are bigger and better than the next man. Footballers are competitive for a living and rewarded with enough spoils to enable such spirit to drown in an orgy of pride. This includes the most basic instinct there is.
The rest is history, and not a pretty tale by any stretch of the imagination. I fact, you don’t need a good imagination as every tabloid rag had a front page “scoop” of Ashley’s baggy and saggy Y-fronts from the photograph that he had sent using his telephone. Why he wasn’t using that telephone to phone his wife has been the subject of every talkshow, watercooler and football fan since. The only person that seems to have benefited from the media avalanche is Ashley’s team mate, John Terry, who was also caught taking potshots from the edge of the box at ex team mate Wayne Bridges ex. Are you keeping up? The nation was already in uproar about JT’s fall from marital grace and champing at the bit to have him sacked as captain of England and dropped from the team. Since when did a bloke, doing what blokes have done since time immemorial, deserve to lose two jobs for what he has done in his private life? It isn’t his fault that his private life was considered anything but, by the press.
What is more disturbing is the reaction by even the “white van man”, who seems discontented unless JT is painfully castrated, stripped of all assets and forced to grovel to Wayne Bridge for forgiveness. The “”will they, won’t they” handshake when Terry’s Chelsea faced Bridge’s new club, Manchester city, was watched and anticipated by more people than saw Peter Andre weep until Kay Burley was on the brink of joining the dole queue. And anything with Andre weeping is big primetime news. It is his “thing” these days. The heroes of yesteryear would be turning in their slippers if they could see how men are becoming “soft”. I reckon there will be more than a few “White Van Men” in exactly the same shoes as Ashley, though they may be Clarks and not Testoni Norvegese.
The simple fact is this. Ashley Cole has, in the eyes of the media, dropped the ball in a cataclysmic manner. He has lost the nations darling and the support of the country in a World Cup year. His life is reported to be a disaster zone and he deserves every drop of vitriol that comes his way for his despicable acts. Alternatively, he is the luckiest man alive. He is absolutely loaded. He looks increasingly likely to live in a sunny country and to be paid more than Icelandic banks would dream of finding down the back of their Scandinavian sofas. He has had the opportunity to climb into bed with a woman many feel is as near to perfection as you can get. And now he is a free agent, he will have the opportunity to do the same with another near perfect woman. And still be loaded. And not have to shovel snow off his drive.
A mans ego is a fragile thing. We always want to be the biggest and the best, to try and take the next step. We love to be a contender. Our brains ask “Can I?” and “Will I?” long before they consider “Should I?”. Don’t blame us; it is the way we are built. We wouldn’t be living mock Tudor mansions and driving machines with seats made from other animals if we weren’t predisposed to try and have our cake and eat it. And then want to try someone else’s pudding too. Take away this urge for greed and you would be enjoying your woodlouse panini in a hollowed out log.
Do I like what Ashley Cole has done? No.
Do I feel sorry for Ashley Cole? No.
Would I swap positions with him? You bet your backside I would. In a heartbeat.
And if the men of today were able to be honest, I am sure they would agree. As long as we can avoid a resurgence of the bubble perm forever. Robbie Savage excepted.