Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category
What would you do if an employee bit one of your competitors?
I know this doesn’t happen often, and in most cases the answer is to show that employee the door, quickly. What if that employee was one of most talented in your industry? Should that make a difference? What if that employee also demonstrated public indicators of emotional or mental instability?
The Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC game yesterday was supposed to be a stage for a returning and much loved ex-manager and a platform to show support for a recently departed campaigner for justice following the Hillsborough disaster, but midway through the second half the next day’s headlines were decided beyond all doubt.
Why Luis Suarez sank his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic is a mystery. No real warning signs of prior animosity during the game leading to an innocuous tussle, then a bolt from the blue vampire-like thrust toward the Chelsea defender. Nobody saw it coming, but then again you wouldn’t, and the referee didn’t either.
So, what happens next? Read the rest of this entry »
Rest in peace Gary Speed MBE, I hope you’ve found the tranquility you were looking for.
Gary was a great professional player, national team manager, true ambassador for the sport of football and an incredibly humble and genuine person. Football will remember and miss you deeply.
Petulant prima donnas, designer labels and glamorous girlfriends usually dominate popular perceptions of an industry more than happy to revel in its position as the world’s most popular sport. How can anybody on the surreal wages commanded by top players possibly struggle with mental illness? Depression has yet to be positively confirmed as an element of Gary’s death, but for a 42-year-old fit and healthy man to be allegedly found hanged at home surrounded by his family, has to suggest a deeply troubled, if apparently successful role model of a professional athlete.
I was lucky to have briefly met Gary a couple of times during my days at Everton FC, and also a certain Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne. Of the two I can’t think of anybody that would have bet a single penny on Paul out living Gary, but the world is a crazy place sometimes, often making no sense. The solitude of depression and its ability to completely debilitate outwardly appearing robust people should never be underestimated.
The Secret Footballer wrote in Friday’s Guardian Sport Blog, a scarily premonitory post about the “darkness behind the limelight” offering a glimpse into a hidden world of mental illness in an alpha male world.
The sheer scale of the shock and devastation across sport may lead to Gary being remembered as much for the cause of his final moments as his sporting talents.
Back in my days at Everton I once received a call from an excited man asking for the club’s support, like hundreds of similar requests we received each year, except this time something felt different.
An obviously nervous, yet effervescing character called Mal Lee excitedly accepted my offer to come to Goodison Park and explain exactly what we was looking for. As a local junior football team manager he had had enough of witnessing the at times appalling behaviour of a minority of parents towards, referees, team coaches, other parents and worst of all to young footballers themselves.
Mal had become exasperated with all the official bodies expecting everybody else to take responsibility. Referees were leaving the game in droves and who would blame them when many had been regularly verbally abused and others threatened with violence or actually physically assaulted. Children were also walking away in tears never to return. With no referees there are no games. Without players there is no future. Read the rest of this entry »