Thursday, 7 April 2011

If you can't live as a good example...

So, today it was announced that Coca-Cola has politely, but firmly, dissolved its relationship with Wayne Rooney.  For some reason, the soft drinks giant doesn’t want to spend £600,000 per year to have its brand associated with him any longer.  A sad day for Mr Rooney, who has been raising awareness of the fizzy goodness since 2005.

It was a beautiful relationship to start with.  A true marriage made in heaven.  Coca-Cola loved their dear boy, as evidenced by their webpages dripping with crawling sycophancy with the sole aim of trying to prove to the world that the product was in actual fact BFFs with the “super-talented striker” who is “internationally respected for his outstanding football skills.”

According to stats on Wikipedia, he has had a 41% success rate (appearances v goals) in his club career and 37% in his International career.

This seems to me (a complete know-nothing in the realms of football) like reasonable number, and there was that bicycle kick thing that apparently did the thing and the world was won and there was jelly and ice cream for all or some such.

Anyway, the point is, Coca-Cola really cosied up to this guy and he was more than happy to reciprocate.  After all, if one partner says “I love you” it would be rude just to say “erm, thanks.”  That way tears and recrimination lie.  So there we are, all nice and jolly, with Rooney saying nice things back, and being in their adverts and everything, and probably even remembering their anniversary.

But then the honeymoon period passed, and Wayne let himself go and started doing those little things that upset the marital bliss such as the alleged sleeping with ladies of the night while his wife was pregnant which, according to insiders, did not sit well with the top bods of the company.

“They were bewildered by the stories and found reports of his conduct disgusting. There have been stories of him cavorting with prostitutes and he was even photographed urinating against a wall." (This is Money Website)

And then the swearfest of the weekend.  His potty mouth is nothing new: last year he was booked for shouting “effyou” at referee Jeff Selogilwe during a World Cup warm up match yet despite this and the other alleged scumbaggery taken into consideration, we are surprised that he swore publicly, on TV and everything? 

The internet is awash with indignation, disgust and outrage.  How can this person, whom every single child in the world nay, the universe, looks up to have done something so foul, so heinous and so terrible?  Swearing and everything like that!  On telly too? People are questioning his position as a role model and even Marie-Claire (that well-known sports rag) is getting in on the action. 

I am just stunned that we have been collectively surprised.  Who knew that a sports star might act like a total jackwaggon, given the fact that he (or she – unlikely, but still need to be fair) is told on a regular basis that he is a total legend, is generally fabulous, better than mere mortals and are exempt from general good behaviour rules because of their ability to boot a sheep’s bladder about accurately?  Quick!  Tell the papers that some sports star has done something unacceptable!   

I am a little surprised, however, that he got dumped over dropping the F-bomb, but somehow the allegations of evenings with women of negotiable affection was not a dumping offence. In terms of rottenness, I would have thought that one was worse than the other.  Perhaps it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Either way, the deed has been done, he’s been asked to leave, and the Coca-Cola has changed the locks and will immediately have a haircut or something to make itself feel better and, given time, will undoubtedly be looking for another upstanding young football of high moral fibre and with no murky past and GSOH for friendship, mutual promotion and maybe more.

As for Rooney, nothing much will change.  He’ll continue with his football, cussing and public micturition and probably get more sponsorship deals with less queasy companies but, most interestingly, he has made it into an educational video to teach children about fair play, sportsmanship and how not to be generally foul and bratty.

If you can’t live as a good example, you can serve as a dire warning.

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