Roy Hodgson has described the London Olympics as a “wake up call” for football players and supporters.
He is certainly right, the Olympics have caused anyone who cares about football to hold up a mirror and take a look at the sport.
Football does not come out too well.
But Hodgson’s focus is wrong, he is trying to use it as a chance to get fairer treatment for players from fans, completely ignoring the real problems at the core of football.
In the cold light of day, football is a horrible, unsportsmanlike sport played by overpaid cheats who are skilled in deceit and fooling officials as much as anything else.
If the sort of collision that resulted in a player hitting the deck holding a random part of his body pretending it to be causing pain occurred in the street, would he go down? Imagine if we all were decked by simple bumps of shoulders or threw our limbs into the air at someone bumping into us walking out of a shop?
Footballers are cheats.
So much of their childish behaviour has become normal and is accepted that it has all become relative to itself, not to real life.
When will we see a player like Ashley Young be awarded a penalty but also be booked for diving? It ‘s totally possible for a foul to have been committed but for the player also to dive to make the offence look worse. It happens many times in every Premier League match and is never punished.
It is not just a case of “It’s either a penalty or a dive”. It can certainly be both.
So what did we see in the Olympics? Sportsmen and women competing for nothing other than the joy of competition and the hope of victory. Was Jessica Ennis thinking about commercial endorsements? No, just about that gold medal, yet Wayne Rooney’s Twitter account is regularly fed by promotional messages from Nike. He is literally being paid for doing nothing.
This is the kind of message that has been forced upon our children for years in the era of talentless people on TV being famous for being on TV.
You don’t need to try, you don’t need to work hard or be good at anything because you can have what you want and are special. You only need to be famous. Babybel cheese has a TV ad with kids singing “We don’t want to get in line”. Really? That’s what we want to teach our kids? That they are so special that they don’t have to wat in line? Good luck with that.
We now have a generation of people who can have their role models as people who have shown commitment and effort in their chosen field and got the reward they wanted.
Enough of these wastrels in the Daily Mail sidebar and Heat magazine being hailed as “a great businesswoman” when all they do it endorse products. You don’t have to be a business genius to answer the phone and say “yeah, I’ll put my name to that”.
Put these Olympians on the front covers, put them on the news because they are actual heros.