|Rooney Says Hello to His Friends at the FA|
The double standard of both the FA and English journalism is readily apparent here. As pointed out in a shockingly well reasoned and thoughtful article by Sam Wallace of the Independent, the FA and Sky Sport want their football to be raw, passionate and full of fight. The public demands it in this day and age. Authentic, I think they call it. But one need look no further than the customers in the stands watching the action to know that the swearing heard on television Saturday morning (afternoon in England) isn't confined to the pitch -- it's inherent in the game, it's in the stands, it's one of the sounds of football.
And it's not just English football. One need not be an expert in lip reading to see the vast majority of players express frustration with a tirade of language that would make even Charlie Sheen blush (well, okay, not Charlie Sheen, but maybe the Goddesses). It's not as if these guys went to finishing school in Switzerland; Rooney was ripped right of the streets of Croxteth. You think no one there has ever sworn after being fouled or scoring a goal? You can't have the "authenticity" of football without acknowledging where many of our favorite players come from. These guys didn't study Foreign Affairs at Eton. They're footballers, nothing more and nothing less.
And if you think the swearing is confined to the British Isles, or the vulgarity is exclusive to the football pitch, think again. I'm consistently amazed with the slogans people are willing to display on the shirts they're wearing and the game day banners they're holding: "FCUK" is a popular designer label I've spotted at recent NFL games I've attended, and a friend of mine sent me a photo of one of the Kentucky Wildcat cheerleaders holding a homemade sign at the NCAA Mens' Basketball Tournament noting that "Kentucky Girls Like Dick," clearly a clever reference to ESPN's legendary hoops announce Dick Vitale.
And this article is not to excuse Rooney's behavior. Rooney's a total chav whose tested my patience already this season. But he's apologized for his behavior, and in truth it's nothing compared to the behavior of many other players out there who escaped FA punishment (think dart throwing and airgun shooting) or committed actual assault on the pitch without getting booked (think Carragher and De Jong). And it's not even the first time Rooney's sworn on the pitch, either -- apprently it's okay to do it when he's actually playing for the FA and England (see below), just not when he's playing for United. Talk about a double standard.
So get off your high and mighty horse Mr. Bernstein. This is nothing more than a naked attempt by a bitter bunch of ABUs to stop United's 19th title chase in its tracks. And wake up. Rooney apologized for his outburst and moved on. It's time for you to do the same.
This is farlieonfootie for April 5.