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We are the Champions, so we are the BULLIES

September 6, 2010

The world of football was to witness ghastly scenes at the Manchester City football stadium the past Saturday. Adebayor seized the opportunity of the contest between Arsenal and Manchester City to avenge his loathing not only towards the Arsenal fans but also his former team mates. Amidst the hype of his celebration and kick on the face of Van Persie, the media has forgotten to highlight the statement made by him on Fabregas.

Adebayor needed more than fifteen minutes to make a statement about his emotions and celebrations after the game but only eleven minutes to warn the Arsenal players of his hunger for revenge. The challenge on Fabregas in the eleventh minute signaled his intentions. MOre surprising to me was the absence of a card flashed form the referee Cattermole who was standing five yards from the incident. It is shocking how the referees can miss such incidents and always in the favor of the richer or stronger clubs. This was the turn of the richer club.

Come the latter half of the game. Van Persie lunges into a tackle with Adebayor for a fifty-fifty ball. Van Persie wins the ball and is bestowed the honor of feeling the cleats of Adebayor’s boots on his face. It only took the striker to turn around and stop his full stride mid way in the air to make a perfect landing on the face of Van Persie. I hope many were aghasted and cursed the Togolese for that similar to me.

The media has already discussed the celebration so I would not want to go in detail about that but here is an excerpt from his apology on the various British Dailies. Quoting from BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/eng_prem/8252803.stm

After scoring City’s third goal 10 minutes from time, he ran the length of the field and slid on his knees in front of the stand containing the visiting Arsenal supporters.

“The emotion took over me,” admitted Adebayor. “Now I just have to say sorry.

He says, “Now, I have to just say sorry”. Doing an analysis of this only gives me two thought – either he planned it or has been misquoted. Let me warn you on the futility of enquiry on this statement the response is either misquote or English is not the native language.

If one had a flight from this island towards the west across the vast Atlantic to another small island in twenty four hours one would have witnessed another sportsman really desperate to win but with a lesser animosity as it was not towards a player but a line judge.

Serena Williams invented a new source for her powerful ground strokes. It was not from her Wilson racquet across the net but from her mouth to the person sitting on the side of the net.

A foot fault is called at Match Point and she bursts into anger threatening the Line judge in the US open final. Her ego has made herself bigger than the sport itself. It is good that she does not want to succumb to anyone but her pride does not even let her apologize when it is her fault.

Quoting Serena Williams from BBC online page http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8252971.stm

Asked whether she thought the official deserved an apology, Williams said: “From me? How many people yell at linespeople? Players, athletes get frustrated. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen that happen.”

The official then went to the umpire to report what had been said, and Williams was heard to respond: “I didn’t say I would kill you, are you serious?”

Two days later, she apologizes to the line judge in the public statement. All of a sudden her pride vanishes and humility subsides in herself. Probably Richard Williams forgot to put manners in her or she was the spoilt youngster or the US open doubles title substituted for her singles hunger.

If you stayed in NYC taking a stroll in the Central Park, visiting Ground Zero, The Wall Street during the day and returned to the Flushing Meadows in the evening to avoid the Broadway comedy you were all but mistaken. The mens US Open final was another Broadway in itself with a tinge of Hollywood scriptwriting.

All was smooth and calm like any Grand Slam final without Nadal. The wind was flowing in the right direction. Like a sudden attack from UFOs everything changed in a second towards the end of the second set. Never has Federer let go of his emotions so much on the court as he did yesterday.

Quoting from http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article6834729.ece

So rattled was the Swiss that at one stage he launched an angry tirade in the direction of Jake Garner, the umpire, after he allowed Del Potro to challenge a call late in the third set despite taking a lot longer than is normally allowed. “No, it’s too late,” an angry Federer said. “I wasn’t even able to challenge after two seconds and he takes ten seconds every time. Do you have any rules in there?”

Garner then gesticulated with his hand, to which Federer said: “Don’t do that with your hand. Don’t tell me to be quiet.” Responding to Garner’s comment that Del Potro was talking to him throughout the period before eventually challenging, Federer said: “I don’t give a s*** what he said. Don’t f***ing tell me the rules.”

I believe he is trying to make up for all his previous ignorance from the media for his lack of display of emotions on the court. Federer during his early career was like a machine never even letting a smile between his lips but now is on the brinks of the league of John McEnroe and Andy Murray.

People might remember the US open 2009 for the return of the mother champion and the failure of Roger Federer to match Bill Tilden‘s record of six consecutive US open titles but I will remember it where both the runner up’s of the final did not know how to lose.

We say in sports – Learn to lose before you win. It seems Federer and Williams have forgotten how to lose to players other than Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal.

It is kind of a tragedy to every sport when sportsman start to think themselves bigger than the sport and launch into behavior like this. They forget they are the role models of the younger generation of the sport the population of which is ever increasing. Little will the person who first time watched Federer this year will respect him for his fifteen Grand Slams but more so for yesterday.

We all associate John McEnroe with “Are you serious?” and not with his Grand Slam titles. When tennis followers hear this phrase, the first name flashing in the mind I can claim with quite certainty is John McEnroe. There is a slight possibility for a tennis player of age nine doing that to a chair umpire in local tournaments and later defend his behavior by saying – ‘The greatest player does/did that’.

Adebayor has yet to climb higher to reach the same summit as Federer and Williams but nonetheless, he is a champion and surely a huge role model for the African kids. Sports was always about discipling yourself and not letting your emotions run high or control you. And even this greatness does not allow a person to humiliate it for it was the carrier of this greatness.

No one can win with solely a heart and intent of winning. Were it such Nadal would always win and so would the underdogs of every sport for they are more passionate and have a more passionate desire to win.

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