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The Antagonist - Tabloid trashing could be the making of Rooney

Published: 10 Sep 2010 - 07:47:17

Nearly a week has gone by since the badly kept secret first hit the press and Rooneygate is still filling front and back pages of tabloid trash.

Daily, sordid outpourings from the money grabbing, opportunist prostitute who preyed on her victim's insatiable sexual appetite have highlighted the almost unbelievable naivety that blinded Rooney to the fact that, at some stage, the 'you know what' would hit the fan.

I say 'badly kept secret' because, in media circles, rumours had been circulating since the World Cup that our Wayne had been playing away rather more than at home and it was simply a case of whether or not his lawyers could get an injunction to stop the rest of the World knowing.

- The Libero on Rooney / Strange on Rooney

The News of the World has taken a lot of flack but continues to outsell its rivals on the basis of such lurid tosh and would maintain that 'business is business'. ‘If people were that outraged they wouldn't buy our papers, is no doubt their justification.

Whilst I have nothing but contempt for gutter press, I would suggest that anyone who says that they weren't at least mildly intrigued by this gradual unravelling tale of carnal debauchery is being slightly hypocritical.

We are all guilty of, on the one hand, despising and castigating the seedy journos who go off in search of such sleaze and condemning the 'sleaze bags' themselves who sell their stories but, on the other hand, are quite keen to lick off the steam and scrutinize every minute detail of Rooney's intimate liaisons with his flighty bed mate.

Scandal mongering, of course, is far more effective if it is seen as the antithesis of the lifestyle we would expect from the perpetrator.

Hence, politicians who we would like to consider to be our law makers and moral guardians should, by implication, be above the law themselves.

Professional sportsmen, whose performances generally rely on fitness, mental stability and strength, should surely live their lives in a disciplined, focussed style eschewing the temporal temptations the World throws at them in aid of the greater cause.

Despite many examples over recent years shattering the above expectations, we somehow still remain shocked when they actually occur.

Other walks of life do not command such outrage. For example, as Simon Barnes wrote in The Times earlier this week, 'Rock stardom doesn't carry any moral baggage'. It is almost expected that rock stars will misbehave. Thus, similar transgressions by them wouldn't create the impact that Rooney's misdemeanours have.

So, in a culture that always feels it necessary to apportion blame to someone or something when this type of moral demise occurs we should, perhaps, seek a reason and expose it so it doesn't happen again.

Maybe, we are all to blame for creating a demi-god out of someone who is, after all, despite possessing extraordinary ability with a football, just a very ordinary, simple, unworldly victim of modern life's temptations.

He has, perhaps, been guilty of believing his own press and believing that he is untouchable (no pun intended!).

Hopefully he will emerge from his personal nightmare as a wiser, more wary individual just as his former team mate, David Beckham, did after the Rebecca Loos incident, and concentrate, once again, on the type of ball game that he is paid very good money to pursue.

He took the first step towards that objective with an assured, mature performance on Tuesday night. Let's hope that in years to come he continues to let his feet rather than other parts of his anatomy do the talking, thereby starving the vultures of Fleet Street of their lifeblood.

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:the antagonist
Love him or loathe him you cannot ignore the Antagonist. His Friday blog tackles the big issues in our game today in an abrasive, often controversial style. He goes where others fear to tread. From wages to wags, diving to drugs - no subject is "off limits", no individual beyond reproach. Miss him at your peril!

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