Role Models

7 Jun

Matt Webb

So, Ryan Giggs is a bit of a one, isn’t he? It’s always the quiet ones, eh? Lots of people are up in arms over the fact that he (along with plenty of other people that we know about – except, of course, that we don’t – wink wink) has been using a super-injunction to keep his name out of the press in relation to his various affairs. As far as I am aware, super-injunctions are really meant to be used to keep matters of national security and so on under wraps, but apparently the philandering of a Premier League footballer is as important.

It’s all come out now, of course. Most of us have known about it for weeks, but now we’re allowed to say his name out loud, rather than whispering it in darkened corners while keeping a furtive eye out for the Feds. I’ll tell you something about this whole Ryan Giggs affair: I couldn’t care less.

Ryan Giggs is paid to play football; a job that he has performed with excellence for about 20 years now. This has made him something of a household name, but as far as I’m concerned his private life is his business. He’s a complete stranger to me, as he is to 99.9% of the people reading about him in the newspapers.

And yet people are outraged, not only over his use of a super-injunction (which actually IS pretty outrageous) but over his behaviour in general. Let’s get some perspective here. The guy has been cheating on his wife. While I do not agree with the way he has behaved, he is not committing any crimes and so long as that continues to be the case the matter should be between him and his wife.

Ah, but wait, he is a ROLE MODEL!! Of course! That’s ok then. Because we are apparently entrusting our children’s moral upbringing to the example Ryan Giggs sets in his private life, let’s all get elbow deep in it!

No, no, no, no, no. If you are allowing your children to see a Premier League footballer as any kind of role model then you can’t complain when they fall short of the moral standards you, for some reason, expect of them. Footballers are not smart guys. They don’t have to be. They can be a role model to you if you’re lucky enough to possess the kind of footballing talent required to make a career in the game, but beyond that they’re no saints.

Think back to what you were like when you were 16 or 17 years old. Get that picture clear in your mind. Now imagine that someone offers to pay you thousands of pounds a week to do something you love. How do you think you’d have turned out? A bit different, huh?

Someone like Ryan Giggs (see also Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, John Terry etc etc etc) has basically been living the life of an irresponsible man-child since the age of about 17. I’m not saying that all footballers are morally reprehensible. Far from it. I’m just saying that when you take a schoolboy and promise to make him a wealthy superstar, it’s very likely that their mind won’t develop much beyond that of a teenager. If you never were a teenage boy you can take it from me; they tend to think about sex a lot.

And yet people still expect footballers to behave as role models for their children! How many high profile footballers have to be caught with their pants down before we stop putting them up on some kind of ridiculous pedestal? I was going to say that they’re just normal people, but as I’ve already pointed out, this is not the case. They’re you when you were 17, with a couple of million in the bank. It’s a wonder they live as long as they do. If I’d had that kind of money when I was 17, I’d have died of suffocation under a pile of naked women and ice cream sundaes.

I’ll tell you who I’ll provide as a role model for my children. Me. That’s one reason why I haven’t had any yet. But if and when that does happen then I will be the one responsible for making sure they turn into decent people. If I catch them idolising any footballers I’ll be sure to put them straight. “I may be your father,” I’ll tell them, “but you must worship me as a GOD! Me and no other! Fie! Fie on your false prophets!” And so forth.

That should set them on the right path.

One Response to “Role Models”

  1. Gogglebox June 9, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Mmmmm. Ice cream sundaes.

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