Anorak News | We All Love A Bad Boy

We All Love A Bad Boy

by | 26th, November 2005

‘AS the new 24-hour licensing laws kick in nationwide, the excitement of it all seemed too much for poor George Best. After years of living the high-life and battling with the bottle, the original playboy footballer has sadly drifted off to sporting heaven, no doubt to be greeted at the Pearly Gates by Sir Matt Busby, Duncan Edwards and a bevve of buxom blondes.

Despite the Irishman’s wanton wasting of his own talent, not to mention a previously owned liver, Besty will forever be remembered with fondness by the vast majority of the nation.

Indeed, for the simple act of appearing on Wogan in 1991 and proclaiming that he “likes screwing”, the man deserves respect. We may, according to the press, be witnessing the end of civilisation – what with ‘booze Britain’, ‘yob culture’ and ASBO’s – yet despite the current climate of moral outrage, you can’t escape the fact that we all love a bad boy.

Just ask Gary Barlow, about to go back on the road with a Robbie-less Take That. Maybe if he and not Robbie had cultivated a public penchant for hard drugs and rampant promiscuity, we’d now be referring to him simply by his first name – the ultimate sign of stratospheric success, rather than his cheeky former band-mate. Instead ‘Gary’ could now just as easily mean the dodgy geezer down the road with the go-faster stripes on his Fiat Ritmo.

The final whistle for George Best also comes less than a week after the messy departure of another United bad boy. Shrinking violet Roy Keane still has all his organs in tact, but to Sir Alex Ferguson, the Cork-born star is dead in all but name.

Yet once again, despite ‘Keano’s potent mix of inspirational leadership and alleged pre-meditated violence (just ask Alf-Inge Haaland), this Irishman will forever be viewed with a (grudging) fondness. Nasty and vindictive he may be, yet his outbursts directed at everyone from Mick McCarthy to his United team-mates to the Old Trafford prawn sandwich set, coupled with his rottweiler performances on the pitch have ensured his legendary ‘rebel’ status.

Not surprisingly, Keane rarely indulged in the current vogue for applauding even the most woeful attempt at a pass from a team-mate. And rightly so. This hollow attempt at ‘team spirit’ is the equivalent of an American saying “have a nice day”. (They really don’t give a monkey’s what kind of day you have, but they’ve been brought up to repeat it, almost mantra like, as it apparently constitutes ‘manners’.)

Indeed, maybe sometimes sportspeople can be too nice for their own good. After all, whether we like it or not, sport is ultimately all about winning. And where would the likes of Diego Maradona, Michael Schumacher and, indeed, new United icon Wayne Rooney be without their mean streak?

While the recent cricket pitch–tampering pirouettes of Pakistani golden boy Shahid Afridi and the gymnastic diving of a myriad Premiership glamour boys can never be condoned, there is no bigger turn-off than a goody-two-shoes, on or off the field of play.

Just ask yourself who you’d rather meet for a pint – Michael Owen or Paul Merson..?’

Posted: 26th, November 2005 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink