Posts Tagged ‘John Terry’

FA planning sinister brain implants

In Satire, Sport on October 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

St George’s Park, the new £105m national football training centre, is secretly being used to pioneer brain implants to administer to prospective England players, TAY can exclusively reveal.

The centre is intended to be a world-class training facility to identify and train talent at all ranks of English football.

But our reporter, at the launch this week, exposed the shocking true motives for the centre, secretly recording a conversation between two scientists.

While collecting a stray ball from a journalists’ kickabout, he heard voices speaking through the wall and, as anyone good journo would do, listened in, excusing himself from the kickabout when he started to hear scandalous revelations on the centre’s true purpose.

One man speaking on the taped conversation revealed: “The money is just a ruse. Do you really think you need a hundred million bloody pounds to build some football pitches, a canteen and some jacuzzis?! I mean it’s nice, but c’mon…”

He went on to explain to another man, seemingly a new recruit to the project, how the real purpose was for the development of sinister new monitoring of players’ behaviour and lifestyle, with the intention of using findings for behavioural therapy to ameliorate the much damaged view of footballers, football authorities and the English national team.

And, in shocking revelations, he even claimed some players might be subject to new brain implants (which leave football ability intact) that they are very close to having pioneered, which make players less troublesome and more compliant.

The news follows the unveiling of a new code of conduct for current England players – a response to recent scandal surrounding the investigations into John Terry’s alleged racism, and social media hysteria about selection policy

He explained: “Think about it – we’ve been mediocre as a footballing force for so long that people are kind of resigned to that.

“Just get to some quarter finals and unluckily go out on penalties, get the odd big win against the Frogs or the Krauts and, especially with the success of the Premier League, we can just about kid ourselves we’re still a major international force, just perennially unlucky –despite the fact that supposed misfortune would surely have averaged out over THIRTY-SIX BLOODY YEARS [the time since England last won a major tournament]…

“No, what people are really so disillusioned about is this mediocrity compounded with players who are, or at least they think to be, c***s.”

He explained how, as with film stars and rock stars, no one really cares if their heroes are “wankers” so long as they are talented, indeed that it can actually boost the appeal, but the same decadent traits are poisonous when married to the “unrelenting mediocrity of English football we are bombarded with ”.

He added that the success of the Olympics – “decent people doing well” – great as it was, exacerbated the problem.

All Under-19 England players will undergo several “media training” sessions – some personal, some as a team – and a thorough ‘personality test’, under the auspices of beneficial career advice and determining suitable roommates.

But the actual primary purpose of these measures is to determine the extent of the need for behavioural therapy for players, or even brain implants, to ultimately avoid scandal for the FA (apparently not so much the players themselves, though – “if the media wasn’t on our backs like fucking leeches, we wouldn’t really give a shit what trouble some idiot from Salford does”).

The FA declined to comment.


We imagined what the test might look like:

1. Which most accurately describes your leisure activities?

A. Visiting art galleries, watching arthouse films, salsa.

B. Meeting mates, seeing the family, watching TV, playing Call of Duty and FIFA.

C. Getting drunk with the lads.

D. Chirpsing, cotchin’ and getting crunk.


2. Imagine, if you are not anyway, that you are single and in a club with your teammates. An attractive but clearly quite drunk young lady walks up to you and praises you for your performance in your last match. Do you?

A. Thank the young lady and converse with the young lady, finding out what she is like and what she does, but making it clear to her that if she has any “amorous intentions” she will disappointed. This is because you have a rule against that kind of thing when you are “dragged along” to a club by your teammates, due to the “fleeting and sordid” nature of such alcohol-influenced attachments and the perils of the “vulture-ish media and prying eyes of the public” damaging the image of the game.

B. Talk to the girl, end up kissing her and swapping numbers – but making it clear that, while you like her, you won’t take it any further until you’ve seen her a few more times and gained her trust because, “unfortunately”, you are wary of, as a time before, pictures and stories splashed in the tabloids. (Partly a genuine worry; partly a subtle request to her to be discreet).

C. Chat the girl up, end up going home with her (with your trusted cabbie, of course), while demanding several times she doesn’t sell her story to “those fucking scummy hacks”.

D. Start flirting outrageously with her from the off, aiming to be in the club toilets with her within five minutes.


3. Which of the below most accurately describes your views on gay marriage?

A. Passionately in favour. Love is beautiful thing and, in a true democracy, should be allowed to flourish by anyone fortunate enough to be blessed by it.

B. In favour. Don’t see a reason gay people shouldn’t be allowed to be as miserable as the rest of us.

C. Errrrm, ok, as long as they shove it anyone’s faces.

D. Weird. What’s wrong with pussy, man?! And won’t this means that AIDS will spread…


4. Which of the below most accurately describes your views on the EU?

A.  In favour. It has its negatives but the aim of greater political and economic consensus is a noble, and generally beneficial, one.

B. Dunno really. It’s a tough one. I hear it creates a lot of business, but it’s bloody expensive and they have some stupid regulations.

C.  It’s bollocks. Too many bloody foreign bureaucrats meddling in our business, and getting paid loads for it too.

D. The what?! Oh yeah, that thing…errr, I don’t really do politics, geez.


5. Which of the below most accurately describes your current relationship status?

A. Blissfully in love.

B. Single and looking for a relationship if you find the right person OR been going out with someone for a while and it’s going pretty well; just taking each day as it comes.

C. Single; you want to have fun while you’re young.

D. ‘On the prowl’


6. A bloke comes up to you in a club, clearly pissed, fairly aggressive saying you were “shit” last week. Do you…

A. Try to engage the chap in a epistemological discussion on the nature of perception, of which you believe society, and it seems him, has an overly restrictive view.

B. Admit that it wasn’t your best game, but state you will put it right next game.

C. Proudly defend yourself by citing your record of goals and assists record for that season.

D. Declare that the man is “talking shit”, list all your footballing and sexual achievements, and then aggressively question what said man has ever done with his life, while preparing yourself for a possible fight.


7. Football is…

A. A wonderful pastime which brings people together and fosters togetherness and inclusion between different people.

B. Dunno. Never really thought about it. A good game, I suppose.

C. A great sport, and cracking banter with the lads.

D. Something to show your tekkers and pull the honeyz.


8. Your fairly serious girlfriend confesses to you that she has been seeing another man for a while but that it is over, she regrets and still loves you. Do you?

A. Thank her for her honesty and sincerity; state that you are disappointed she broke your trust; discuss reasonably what led to her to the cheating; suggest how, despite no allusions to such from her, her actions represent a statement against the  “oppressive and outdated societal norm of monogamy”; and explore the possibility of an open relationship.

B. Call her a bitch, walk out of the room and say you need some time to think.

C. Call her a slut, leave the room slamming the door, call the lads for an emergency booze up and hit the town, aiming to pull a girl and send your (now undeniably ex-) girlfriend a spiteful picture message of the conquest (if fit enough to prove a point) in the morning.

D. Call her a “fuckin’ money-grabbing whore”, leave the room slamming the door, mouth off about her on several tweets tagging her and her friends (who you have had an eye on anyway) hoping for moral vindication, with a view to bedding said friends and sending your (now undeniably ex-) girlfriend – and everyone else –pictorial evidence of the revenge on social media.


9. Which of the below most accurately describes your diet?

A. I like to cook a wide range of foods from across the globe, so long as there’s no meat. I’m cooking a lot of Lebanese food at present.

B. Just normal stuff really. Try to eat healthy because of the job obviously; pasta, chicken, fish and stuff and I must admit some pizza and ready meals and stuff sometimes.

C. Whatever the woman cooks – or takeaways.

D. “The Holy Trinity” – Maccy D’s, Burger King and KFC.


10. Which of the below most accurately describes your view of the FA?

A. A bit bureaucratic and hierarchical, but generally for a noble purpose.

B. Good, I suppose.

C. Some of ‘em are decent, but a load of bloody jumped-up bureaucrats intruding in our business because they’re jealous they never had any tekkers.

D. Wankers; always complaining about me and fining me cos I speaks my mind and live my life.


11. Which of the below most accurately describes your taste in music?

A. Nu-jazz, pyschadelica, post-funk. Don’t like too much in the charts. World music and classical.

B. A bit of everything really. You listen to Radio 1 on the way to training.

C. Dance and rap mostly.

D. Rap and grime. You do your own raps actually.


12. You have just come in to your club to have a meeting with the manager and are told to wait in the little room outside his office. There is a selection of papers on the table. Do you?

A. Pick up The Guardian and start reading it front to back.

B. Have a quick scan of the front pages, then turn to the back pages and see what takes your interest.

C. Pick up The Sun, have a look at pages 1 and 3, then turn to the back page.

D. You don’t read papers as you don’t “do all that political shit” and “journalists are lying c***s”. Instead you are playing Angry Birds and messaging some ‘honeyz’.


13. Your club offers you a new contract and you think you deserve more than the than they offered. Do you?

A. Consider that money is only a means to an end, you are in a very privileged position, and you are happy with your life, so accept the contract while politely asking if the club can pay an extra £5,000 a week, which you feel you ‘deserve’, to charity in your and their name.

B. Discuss with your agent that it is not great, but that you are otherwise happy at the club and therefore resolve to go into further negotiations reasonably, with the idea that you will ultimately take the contract regardless.

C. Immediately get on the blower to your agent and express your displeasure and get him to say the “bloody pen-pushers” that a lot of other clubs would pay more…

D. Immediately call up the manager and start abusing him for his “disgrace of an offer” and bragging about your talents, tweet about your anger under the hashtag #disgrace, call up that journo friend of yours at The Sun to get the story out to attract potential buyers, and call up Fergie to see what he can offer you…


The results

Mostly As – Obviously a very cultured, politically engaged individual, and likely to deal with the viccisitudes of top-level football, and all the crap that goes with it, with equanimity many don’t possess. Only problem is, he might just be a bit too cultured and intellectual to really get on with his teammates if he makes it to England level.

Mostly Bs – No issues here; balanced in his opinions, level-headed enough to deal with the responsibility and potential pitfalls of fame, but not averse to a few laughs. Normal lad, all in all.

Mostly Cs – A bit gauche for some people, perhaps, but not a bad bloke. Potentially a bit rash in his judgements and decision-making, so could lead to a bit of media trouble, but should be ok with a bit of intensive “media training”.

Mostly Ds – An Ashley Cole in the making. Lobotomise the moron.

Joel Durston

Premiership footballer’s weekly salary: £100,000. His new Ferrari: £200,000. Joy in the world: priceless!

In Opinion, Sport on May 10, 2011 at 6:45 PM

‘Vain, illiterate, millionaire, borderline rapists, whose job is it to shepherd a bit of leather into an outdoor cupboard’. Alas, as much I would like to take credit for this quote, I must pay due deference for it to the brilliant comic stylings of Bristolian media-vagabond comic-come-musician Bill Bailey. For me, it encapsulates about 99% of the U.K population’s perception of modern-day professional footballers in England (particularly English), more succinctly than I, and I daresay another 99%, could ever wish to. Of course such a view is supported by rainforest-ravaging amounts of newspapers (particularly those of the red-topped variety), infinite amounts of bytes on the blogosphere and, indeed, that eternal spoilsport for awkward contrarians; reality.

I think it’s fair to say that are some less than admirable characters plying their trade in the upper echelons of British football. And, at least, on the face it, football is ‘just a bit of fun’ so, in this sense, I’m with the zeitgeist. But increasingly, many have come to thinking that the aforementioned unsavouriness of many footballers’ characters and the ‘shallowness’ of the game itself, disentitles the players from the admittedly gigantic salaries that many of them are on the receiving end of. So I am hereby taking up the thankless task of the proverbial fish swimming against the tide, in offering some defence of the wage packet of the archetypal, modern-day, star footballer. And indeed, that that prototype is not inherently a mere verbose euphemism for ‘twat’. Wish me luck….

The standard line of argument from those who think that professional footballers are not entitled to their riches runs that soldiers/firemen/doctors (common examples) work much longer hours, in worse working conditions, risking/saving lives, for far less money. Now, obviously, these facts about these professions are…well, facts and I am going to make no attempt to morally justify them. To say that people who ‘just kick some leather around’ are of more worth than these people who work in what I and the vast majority believe to be, very important, noble professions.

What I will do though is offer some account of the importance of football to me and millions, nay billions, worldwide. Football is our national sport and, to a large extent, part of our national identity too; rightly or wrongly, it just is. Around 7 million people are recorded as playing football in the U.K and that doesn’t even include those who only play kickabouts or watch the game. Admittedly, coming from Wikianswers as it does, that figure is hardly a bastion of reliability, but football’s popularity can’t be reduced to mere dots on a computer screen anyway. It fills the back and front pages. It fills stadia in tens of thousands. It is the vehicle upon which we’re sold innumerable rubbish (I remember buying loads of Mars bars during the last World Cup, fully aware of how easily I’d been duped). It effectively dominates all weekend daytimes from mid-August right through to May (and, bi-annually, June too). It provides a ‘real-life’ daily soap opera of bling, booze, bonking, break-ups and broken friendships. And it even ruins people’s relationships; ‘he (or ‘she’) just wants to spend time with the lads at the football’ is a common complaint of many maligned missus up and down the country, indeed, worldwide. Even football’s virtual form, specifically, the eponymous Football Manager games, has been the primary reason for separation cited in at least three divorce cases and an important factor in many more. If you still don’t believe me in asserting just how big football is, see the rise of increasingly infamous Truelad.

What would we males talk about if it were not for football (or other sports)?! Personally, it doesn’t bear thinking about. Other banter, such as last night’s shenanigans? Granted, yes. But, beyond that, I don’t know. Politics? A little bit, possibly, but then we’d just get confused, bored, depressed or a combination of the above. Our jobs? For a bit yes, but for the majority of us who aren’t tycoons, astronauts or plastic surgeons (premiership footballers are obviously out of the hypothetical anyway) this would often soon get fairly dull and repetitive. Popular culture such as films and T.V? Again, for a bit, yes, but after discerning how funny the show/film is, how much flesh is on show and how many explosions there are, that conversation will have often found its natural end. Ditto music, if you exclude the former qualification and substitute bangin’ riffs/basslines for explosions. Hell, without football, men may even be forced to talk about those peculiar things known as ‘feelings’.

It’s not just Britain though. Throughout much of the third/developing world (it’s hard to keep up with the new vogues in political correctness), the game is just as big, if not bigger, than it is here. In my gap year, I went to Cape Town, South Africa; of course, a colourful host to the most recent World Cup. Not wanting to get all “GAP YAH” on your posteriors (though I am about to…apologies in advance), it was genuinely moving to see how happy most of these kids were despite living with very little material wealth. It could just be wishful thinking, but I sincerely believe that a significant part of this was attributable to their daily attempt at emulating their heroes from the other side of the globe in the Premiership (by far the most watched league as their knowledge of it testified to) on the sorry excuse for a football pitch that Tamboerskloof’s unique combination of sand, dust, grass and mounds was. With all this in mind, the great Bill Shankly was probably only half-joking when he uttered his immortal soundbite: “football’s not a matter of life and death…it’s much more important than that”.

The seemingly unflappable, ever-perfect Mr. Obama demonstrated how powerful a motivator the concept of hope is and football it has it in bucket loads; hope that yours truly (who’s frustratingly mediocre) can once in a while glimpse the greatness of say Rooney’s bicycle kick; hope of a better season; hope of a new manager/centre forward; hope that kids from the tower blocks of East London to the suburbs of Surrey to the dirt pitches of South Africa’s townships to the favelas of Rio can, one day, lift that golden Jules Rimet for their country.

As we grow up and realise the sometimes harsh realities of life, we tend to forget all this in favour of the supposed injustice, jealously bemoaning ‘toiling in humdrum ‘nine-to-fives’, whilst they swan around playing football, fucking page 3 girls and, all the while, earning millions’. This point is illustrated brilliantly by a conversation between George Clooney’s character in the film Up in the Air as he sacks one of the workers. After announcing the sad news, he asks the despairing man: “Do you know why everyone looks up to sports stars?” The worker replies rashly “I don’t know…’cos they screw lingerie models?!” to which Clooney’s character replies “that’s why we adults look up to them…Kids admire them ‘cos they follow their dreams”. Being an American film, this refers primarily to other sports, but it’s a very prescient point that is applicable to premiership footballers too; we adults tend to forget or ignore the latter perspective on them, which is an important one too. There is no doubt the jealously of Prem. footballers is justified and that they often do some very distasteful things, but we’ve all done things we’re not particularly proud of (even if it’s not quite adultery and with a mate’s bird/ex. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great if players are ‘good role models’, but I’m not sure they should be under obligation to be, just as nearly everyone else isn’t. Besides, like the already anodyne interviews and press conferences, doing so might drive out the drama of the almost daily soap opera that is Premiership football.

Now I realise I’m presenting a view only slightly less biased than Fergie’s timekeeping to prove a point, but I’d like to think that I’ve shown that the happiness football should and does bring can be a very positive force for sustaining, changing, reforming, even saving lives. So, should the inspiration for this not be remunerated about as handsomely as many actors and musicians who also proffer such entertainment? God forbid, if, as I write this, I suddenly come down with a life-threatening disease and am presented with the choice of a doctor or a Premiership footballer to treat me, I would obviously plump for the doctor (unless it happened to be Arjun De Zeeuw in which case I’d have both) with his/her several years of training/experience and track record of saving lives. The point I’m trying to make is that, at their best, the professions have different worth and that the professional sports is far more analogous to the entertainment industry, amongst others.

Right about now you’re probably thinking ‘well that’s all lovely ‘n’ that, but he still hasn’t explained why the pay cheques of people in professions of merely ‘different’ worth are so radically different’. Ah, well for that, I’m afraid to say, I think the buck stops with us – the punters. Let me elaborate; for better or for worse, we live in a capitalist society, whereby, so long as it’s not illegal (‘immoral’ is a whole different kettle of fish), ideas/companies/people prosper or falter pretty much depending on need (or supposed need at least); supply and demand. Believe it or not, the general basis capitalism is founded upon is a power-to-the-people idea of ‘what the public want, the public gets’ (N.B. ‘founded upon’ and ‘resulted in’ are not necessarily the same). Football is without doubt a very competitive profession with the players at the top of the tree undoubtedly the very best at their trade (they may very well be lucky to do something they love, but it is ultimately still a profession). So, it could be argued that those at the very top of the pyramid, alike their counterparts in other, especially private sector, professions, deserve their handsome pay because their unique brilliance and, let’s not forget, their market appeal is in high demand and little supply and/or to give those billions at the bottom of the ladder a golden light to aspire to.

So, regardless of whether you agree with that, I think the ‘blame’ for the titanic wages lies not ‘upstairs’ with the ‘fatcat’ owners, the millionaire playboy dilettante star-striker or the agents who make Great Whites look like goldfish, but with us – the punters. Week in, week out, we buy the new FIFAs and PESs, buy the kits, buy the Sky Sports subscriptions, hell, buy the bloody club lampshades, but, most importantly, buy the tickets at, usually expensive, often extortionate, prices. So, my advice to you dear reader, is to either put down footballer’s seemingly black-hole-like pockets down to the unfortunate misfiring of the, personally, generally beneficial, capitalist system and/or watch this really rather wonderful BBC football video covering the whole gamut of human emotion and then try to disagree with me in asserting that football really can be ‘the beautiful game’: . After slight disillusion, I fell back in love with the game after watching it; I dare you not to too….

Joel Durston