Monday, February 1, 2010

John Terry's England Captaincy
on Borrowed Time; Who Cares?

Captain, my captain.

Perhaps I'm jaded living here in the States, but what's the big deal about who wears the captain's armband? Yes, I get it, you're the de facto team leader on and off the pitch. You're the symbol of professionalism for your squad, and you're often the team spokesperson when things go South.

But honestly, once the game starts, does it really matter? Does it make John Terry play better that he's England's or Chelsea's skipper? The guy is (was) world class before and he will be after.

Terry's England captaincy is under fire because he was playing kissy-face with teammate Wayne Bridge's girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel, above, -- sorry, turns out she was his ex-girlfriend at the time of the affair. Terry is married, has twins and apparently likes the flaunt them about and portray himself as a family guy (think Peter Griffith?).

Patrick Barclay of the Times of London rails on Terry today in his column. He pleads with the FA to pass the armband from Terry to Wayne Rooney. Rooney is the captain in waiting and Barclay figures that now that Terry's adulterous doings are public, Fabio Capello should make the inevitable, well, evitable.

Rooney, he says, is a latter day Bobby Moore, who at 22 captained England during the 1966 World Cup. Ron Greenwood, Moore's West Ham manager, was quoted in the piece:

“We’re going to win and that man’s the reason why. He can already see in his mind’s eye a picture of himself holding up the World Cup and he’s calculated what that will mean to him.”

Maybe that was the case in '66, but I think that's an exaggeration in 2010. I mean, do these guys give a damn the way they used to back in the day? Maybe I'm jaded, but today's pro athlete--and pick your sport here, they're all the same--is a selfish prick. A rich-boy of dispicable depths who would rather hold out for a fatter contract, and stay out later for his better pick of a drunken WAG. Captain's armband. OK, it's cute and you get to argue with the referee just a little louder than the rest of the squad and get away with it.

But is Wayne Rooney going to get in Frank Lampard's face is Lampard dogs it in the first half against the USA? Is Rooney going to kick Terry in the ass if he starts looking sideways at the closest WAG? Um, the answer is no. And why? Well, the captains of the world's football squads have to look in the mirror. They understand that the guy staring back is just like the guy you're supposed to get in line.

Captain, my captain. Does it matter? I don't think so. I just don't.

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