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Nibs

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When the news first broke about the JT scandal I was disappointed but didn’t pay too much attention to be honest. You never know what to believe in the papers – especially the red tops and rumours spread like wild fire on the internet without the necessity for any truth in them.

But as the days go on and more and more sh*t hits the fan, I’m getting pretty fed up with it (bar all the jokey texts) and reckon there must be many like me, who are more than a little disillusioned with the modern day footballer. Gone are the days when these blokes were hero’s to admire and look up to. I’m not talking role models – they have never been that and shouldn’t be expected to. Okay, I’m of an age now where I wouldn’t have footballing hero’s anyway, but my 12 year old son worships these guys with the replica kits and the pictures on the bedroom wall and what’s he supposed to think nowadays? Hero's? You wouldn't want them as mates.

Some will argue that today’s lot are no different to the Best’s and Osgood’s who lived colourful life’s all those years ago and there’s probably some truth in that.

But I’m not just talking about this latest thing with JT. It’s one scandal after another, from affairs, to alleged rapes, from spit-roasts in hotel rooms to gambling debts of six million, from driving at 100mph in a £200k sports car to beating someone up in a night club or failing drugs tests etc etc etc.......................

Football has made a rod for its own back by paying its players ridiculous sums of money and giving them their own little “footballers world†where they can do pretty much whatever they want to and need answer to no-one. Don’t want to tarnish them all with the same brush but it does seem that a large majority of them these days are pretty despicable human beings. I now long for the day when the football bubble bursts and these guys have to get back into something like the real world. That will only happen if they get back onto sensible money. With even average players on £25k - £50k A WEEK, it's little wonder they all go around acting like Billy Big Bollocks.

Until then I will try and convince my son to just have one picture on his wall. Of one Gianfranco Zola circa 1997. A footballer and person you know is 100% decent in everything he does. If only there were more like him.

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You're right: I would argue that this lot is probably no better than the generation of Best and Osgood. And medieval nobility probably didn't behave any better either.

I really can't be bothered about heroes falling from their pedestals. They're human, displaying human weaknesses, giving in to temptation. So what else is new? Perhaps this is the time to (once again) explain to your son about the values you cherish, and how he can achieve something by using his own strengths, instead of trying to emulate his so-called heroes.

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Are not role models.

As Ive previously stated its retarded to expect a 20-something multimillionaire to be a role model when they dont even live in the real world. They haev acheived NOTHING in life other than to be good at kicking a ball, a lot of them dont even have basic life skills having an agent take care of EVERYTHING! They drive flashy cars, and as any youth with more cash than sense, they make boatloads of bad decisions. And Im not saying its because they are bad people, but how can you have a grasp on reality when everything is handed to you and you are never told no.........because your good at kicking a ball.

If our world leaders cant keep out of scandals (sexually/morally/ethically) how can we expect young pro athletes too?

If Popes cant keep out of scandals (sexually/morally/ethically) how can we expect young pro athletes too?

If the damn people in charge of the FA/FIFA cant keep out of scandals (sexually/morally/ethically) how can we expect young pro athletes too?

Its just a retarded assumption that these people SHOULD be role models. However people expect it as if this were a perfect world. Which is stupid because ideally, if we want to view a perfect world, these pro athletes wouldnt be making millions playing a game they love. It would be teachers, nurses, care worker etc etc that make millions and who are the role models.

But logic doesnt need to apply when theres a Chelsea player to hold to the fire!

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We're living in a different age now, 'fings ain't wot they used to be'.

Imagine if instead of JT in 2010, it was George Best in 1970. The papers would all be chortling about it, and the general attitude would have been 'good old Georgie, he's a lad ain't he'.

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You're right: I would argue that this lot is probably no better than the generation of Best and Osgood. And medieval nobility probably didn't behave any better either.

I really can't be bothered about heroes falling from their pedestals. They're human, displaying human weaknesses, giving in to temptation. So what else is new? Perhaps this is the time to (once again) explain to your son about the values you cherish, and how he can achieve something by using his own strengths, instead of trying to emulate his so-called heroes.

What an excellent, eloquent post, Valerie. Over the last twenty years (give or take) we have been moving towards a celebrity culture, and the Press has played its part in that. Even 15-minute-of-famers can't go to the toilet these days without the paparazzi snapping at their heels, because unfortunately it is a consumers' market, and the modern-day consumer of popular culture is a sad being. Your average tabloid and middle-of-the-road press reader lead such mundane lives, it seems, that entertainment is sought in such things as watching 'celebrities' eat grubs, or unknown morons argue the toss all day in a closed house. Give the average consumer a 'hero' to worship, such as a footballer, tennis player, or other working class lad made good, and the greed for knowledge grows out of all proportion. Knowledge of the 'hero's' intimate life, family, motivations, therapy sessions, size of jock strap, WAG's favourite designer label - all these seem to be fair game. The consumer who thirsts for this knowledge must lead a very narrow, uninteresting life with little joy or satisfaction in it.

John Terry is a sort of hero to me, because I admire his grit, his footballing skills, and his leadership qualities on the field. Dame Judi Dench is a 'heroine' to me because I could watch her act for hours on end; a woman who can say nothing and convey every thought in her head on stage or screen. Neither of them are role models to me. Nor should they be. They are entertainers, existing in their own context as far as I'm concerned. The sooner we get back to a world where we admire our sportsmen for their sporting prowess, and actors for their skills of interpretation, the better it will be for all of us. Beyond this there should be no further interest. It is a parent's job - as Valerie rightly points out - to steer children in the right direction by explaining values to them, and perhaps pointing to old Uncle Cecil as a true hero because he fought for freedom and brought up a family on five quid a week.

Nibs - I think the problem here lies with the culture itself. The rich and famous are so much more in our face these days than they were even in Best and Ossie's time. They have more exposure, and the blame has to be laid at the consumer's door. The Press are culpable too, but for every sad journo who boozes, cheats and shags his way through the average working week, there are a thousand readers who ache for his little pearls of wisdom.

Terry, Gerrard, van Persie - are perhaps no worse or no better than Best or Ossie. They only seem it because we hear about every little detail of their private lives. I'm not interested, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Unfortunately, very many are interested. And a celebrity culture loves to put people on ridiculously elevated pedastals, only for the joy of pulling them down again. And the rich will always disappoint the resentful masses.

I am not disappointed in JT. I don't know the man as a person. I am more likely to be disappointed in him if he slips up on the field. There I expect value for money. He owes me that as a football fan. But what he spends his money on during his non-playing time is none of my business, nor is how he spends his time any of my business, and it is certainly not the business of my children. In his private life, JT owes me nothing. Nor does any famous person. Their private lives are their own to mess up, sort out, and live - away from prying eyes.

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While I agree withNibs post entirely, I have said many times that I can't understand my own logic in that I scream for someone to score and defend these players to every fan of opposing teams I know unyet I really wouldn't want to have a beer with most of them.

The days of worshipping Footballers have long gone and although you still have favourites as you get older you realise most are just overpaid young blokes and you wonder what they would have done or been doing had they not had and nurtured their talents.

It hasn't changed as much as we think though as the Best comparison would show, its just the attitude of the press in the way evrything turns into a witch hunt.

I don't doubt a lot of the same stuff has happened for years but the obsene wages the players get makes footballers more interesting to even people who have no interest in sport, that adds to the disdain and sells papers..visious circle.

I had the pictures on my walls when I was a kid but these were the days of Bonetti, Hudson, Osgood, Cooke Chopper and the like, I wonder if the money was as big then as it is now if the media would have found stuff on these just as much.

Thing is I suppose they were my Role Models but the only time I wanted to do what they did was with a ball at my feet..the rest of their lives never interested me and I never heard a thing about it.

I don't think if your Boy like mine at 14 hears Terry has done what he's done it will make him want to do that, but I do still think they'll want to play like him.

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Just found this and agree with most of it

Role models? Try using your own moral compass

By Martin Samuel

How did footballer John Terry become a role model?

Something is seriously amiss with society if John Terry is a role model. And not just him, all of them. Terry, Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse... Jordan. Are you kidding me?

We falsely elevate these little monsters and then expect them to fulfil our lofty ideals and all because they are good at one tangential thing.

In Terry's case, football, in Kate's case, scrubbing up well and walking in a straight line. Amy at least can sing. Jordan, well, we can all presume what she's good at. As for the rest, who knows, who cares?

Being famous is not the same as being a role model. Getting your baps out does not make you an empowered female. Scoring a goal should not be a path to being voted father of the year.

Where are the parents in this? Where are the teachers? Where are those who are in direct contact with the young, and have the power to influence them every day?

How does a remote figure like the captain of the England football team, or the seedy Avram Grant, brothel-creeping manager of Portsmouth, get saddled with the added responsibility of raising your kids?

Terry might be able to teach them how to tackle but he can't teach them how to live. If your children have a philandering sports star or some gormless twinkie as their paradigm, you have messed up. Sorry.

We had the debate with Will, who is 12, the other night. We asked if he saw John Terry as a role model. He looked at us as if we were crackers.

He said Terry was a good footballer, but he never gave him a thought beyond that. We pressed him on role models. He said somebody who was clever, successful, had a kind heart, but was one of the lads (he really did and, no, I couldn't believe it, either).

There was a teacher at his previous school we knew he admired: Mr Brown. We asked if he considered Mr Brown a role model. He said 'yes', because he was strict, but fair, and funny, and he had helped him get one of the top mathematics marks in his year.

And that is what does it for kids: direct action. The real role models are those at the coalface. They are the grass-roots guys, not the posters on the wall. The coach of the under-11 football team or the dad on the sidelines can be a role model if his ethics are up to it. The music teacher can usurp any pop star if she is prepared to inspire.

So then we pushed further. If Mr Brown had started, say, poking kids in the eye for no reason, would you have lost respect for him? 'Definitely,' said Will.

Amy Winehouse (left) and Katie Price are another two unlikely role models

What about John Terry having an affair? He gave us that look again. It was clear he had the captain of England in a mental box marked Good At Football. Moral guidance would be sought elsewhere. Sensible chap.

There is no logic to our demands of the modern sportsman. We alight on boys who left school at 16 and whose skill was athleticism, not intellectualism, give them the lifestyle of a rollover-week Lottery winner, and expect them to be emotionally grounded.

Sometimes, by happy accident, the system works. A mature thinker appreciates the wonderful opportunity he has been afforded and uses it positively. The majority of footballers and football clubs do excellent charity work.

The dressing room being a cross-section of society, however, there are some spectacular failures, too - made more crushing by our moral projections. Using what criteria was John Terry the Daddies' Sauce Father of the Year? That he was pictured a few times pushing his twins in their double buggy? He should have run a mile when that letter dropped through the post. Anyone with any sense would.

What we are dealing with is an abdication of responsibility: and not just his, but ours, too. These days, if a young boy takes a dive or cheats on the football field, the professionals get the blame. 'They see Cristiano Ronaldo do it and they copy him,' we are told.

Fair enough, but where is the father in this, or the mother, the big brother, the coach? Not every family unit is conventional, but there is always someone, an adult, a figure of authority, to instil right from wrong. It can't be left to Ronaldo. He might as well be a figment of the imagination for all the genuine influence he will have on your child's life.

Footballers, even those who have crossed the line, can remain role models in a professional sense because to reach their level of achievement requires practice, discipline, sacrifice and devotion to a team ethic.

Morality is a whole other area. Ministry of Defence records now reveal that Sir Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortensen, two legends of the English game, were charged for selling goods on the black market while on international duty during the war. Had players from a previous era been under modern scrutiny, we would not be romanticising some bygone golden age.

It is us who have changed, as much as the players. We have moved from a society that once accepted the obligation of the contract between parent and child to one that has inserted a proxy. And, in this case, a proxy with a doxy. Yes, John Terry needs to relocate his moral compass: but he is not the only one.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-...l#ixzz0ec1oxu5U

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In many respects we can blame the Press. 30 odd years ago these stories would hardly have made any kind of headlines because the Press would not have known and if they had there would have been strict embargoes on these kind of stories. JFK and Sinatra were obviously messing with lots of women including Marilyn Monroe but so much of it was speculation and alluded to. Prince Phillip is supposed to have had affairs but nobody has every talked about it so we may never know.

The gutter press pay fortunes for kiss and tell stories. People buy these rags and so out come all kinds of stories whether they be true or not, but every frigging detail is included, pictures of their texts, hotel rooms, and so on. Maybe it's time to stop the press from so much detail, not being allowed to pay for stories. It's no longer investigative journalism. All they have to do is sit in their NOTW tower and wait for somebody to call in and negotiate a huge sum for some poxy story. There is just way too much sensationalism in people who are famous for being famous.

Crappy magazines like Hello and OK just keep on digging, and paying. The problem is people buy this sh*t but whether they really care to read all the stories I don't know.

But also blame the system - the Queens and PM's honors list are ridiculous - actors and sportsmen everywhere honored for nothing much. Why is Paul Mccartney a knight - he's a fricking musician as an example. Win a gold medal at the Olympics and get an honor from Queenie. Yeh ok maybe a CBE but a knighthood?

And then we have stupid situations like Pete Doherty - this guy is a menace and a nobody. Drugged out of his stupid head non stop and not a thing happens to him. Kids see him as a 'role model' ditto Amy Weinhouse the pair of them need a long stint in jail.

Our own Bonnie Prince Charlie has a long affair with Camilla behind Diana's back and it's all ok cos after the Queen of Hearts dies he can marry his lover!! It's a joke. What happened to respect and honour? If the press had kept quiet just maybe things would have ended very differently.

blimey I have ranted on here. I personally don't give a sh*t about Brangelinas, bonking footballers, idiotic stoned musicians. Get them out of the papers.

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Thats exactly why I rate Martin Samuel.

I might not always agree with his opinion, but he has a level head.

Amen, That is an excellent article Chippy has posted, and for what its worth, I rarely find myself in disagreement with the man. Except on his choice of employer, because he is wasted at a paper like the Mail.

Barry you also made a good point in an earlier post about this being a problem endemic to the modern footballer. At the top level they are insulated from reality and told they are special from a young age, given every advantage, and not allowed to worry about anything. So it surprises me that situations like JT's, or that of that dirtbag Marlon King's, dont happen more often. They do seem incredibly detached from reality, with the assumption that their gift gives them a right to act however they want.

Some people may not want to hear this, but in the case of JT I think its especially pronounced because he knows whatever happens he will have the backing of a club who consider him indispensable. Thats why when he has a brainfart like he did with the illegal tour of cobham a few months ago, its almost immediately hushed up as being fine without a whimper and the incident is just forgotten.

I know times have changed, and I am not some old soul who has been following the game since the fifties, but the money paid to players these days is just obscene. Its not our fault, its not his fault, its just the whole state of the game in general.

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Many thanks for the Martin Samuel article, Chippy, as I’ve long been an admirer of his work, but now miss much of it because I just can’t stomach the rag he works for. That said, I’m stuck with the haughty priggishness of Patrick Barclay in my daily newspaper, so there really is nowhere to turn these days. Here’s an excerpt from the latest Barclay prose on JT’s sacking as an example…

“In giving Ferdinand the job, Fabio Capello is correcting the error he made in selecting Terry to wear it during the World Cup qualifying matches. Contrary to the word from the websites, this will have no negative effect whatsoever on England’s chances in the World Cup — Terry will still lead and inspire in the manner of Stuart Pearce — but people of taste will be able to support the team without mixed feelings.â€

So, people of taste like Barclay harbour mixed feelings when watching John Terry play for his country, do they? Personally, I don’t recall anyone at the Bridge or any other ground showing physical signs of disgust when the ball goes in JT’s direction and he deals with it in [what must obviously be for those ‘with taste‘] an unrefined, yet damn effective, manner. No doubt in such circumstances, if he were back in Valerie’s recollected Middle Ages [excellent post, along with Lady D’s, by the way], the discerning Barclay would have drawn a lace handkerchief from his sleeve, placed it over an offended nose, and turned his back on the whole nauseating spectacle. Then again, who knows, perhaps he does the selfsame thing in the press box nowadays, such is the high moral stance of a man who cannot wait to cheer the contrastingly fragrant Ferdinand to the rafters.

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Without denying parents' undoubted responsibility for raising their children, you can't help children having role models and I think we have all had ours growing up - I was writing about Zola as "The person I admire the most" in my English class as late as 15.

The best you can hope for from those role models is for them to be hypocritical enough to hide their true life. They are not perfect, indeed they can't be perfect, but this is a realization that does not come easy to children.

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Without denying parents' undoubted responsibility for raising their children, you can't help children having role models and I think we have all had ours growing up - I was writing about Zola as "The person I admire the most" in my English class as late as 15.

The best you can hope for from those role models is for them to be hypocritical enough to hide their true life. They are not perfect, indeed they can't be perfect, but this is a realization that does not come easy to children.

I promised myself I would leave this now, but your post strikes a chord with me, Virosh. Children's 'role models'? Hmm - let's see: how do those 'role models' affect our lives in general?

When I was 15, my idol was David Bowie - 1973, a wild, outrageous rock star who wore his bisexuality as a fashion accessory. I loved him to death (still do, as a matter of fact). Did I want to emulate Bowie? Of course I did. I could never get down with the bisexual bit, being at heart a red-blooded gal who was into men and not girls, but I got the Ziggy haircut, hitch-hiked the length and breadth of England to follow him on his Ziggy tour etc. etc. My mother was appalled; my father was at a loss to understand how I could worship this 'jessie'. But they were sensible parents in the end - they put it all down to a phase. Teenagers worship idols. But teenage years whiz by and a 19 year old is not the same as s/he was at 15. The teens are a wonderful era for all of us; the years when we learn to be ourselves, to deal with the myriad of contradictory images that are thrust upon us. Most of us battle through, making no worse a job of it than previous generations.

Has this had a lasting effect on me, as a middle-aged lady of 52 years? Not one jot. I loved my teenage years. I had fun. I idolised a man who was unconventional. I now hold down a responsible job (I have held down responsible jobs since I was 16!) and have two wonderful children. With age and experience comes wisdom. As parents we can only guide and offer advice, but our children must find their own way. Most of them do - yes, even in 2010. So, don't let's hamper the JTs and David Bowies of this world with the power to influence a child for life. Trust me, they won't.

And now, I really am concentrating on the Arsenal game, and I have said all I will ever say on this subject. But there are some good posts in this thread, nonetheless.

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when i was a kid i loved postman pat, i never became a postman or ever wanted to be one. thats all im going to say on this matter....

Subconsiously I think early role Models have a massive influence on all our lives..what couler's your Cat DKW?

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I promised myself I would leave this now, but your post strikes a chord with me, Virosh. Children's 'role models'? Hmm - let's see: how do those 'role models' affect our lives in general?

When I was 15, my idol was David Bowie - 1973, a wild, outrageous rock star who wore his bisexuality as a fashion accessory. I loved him to death (still do, as a matter of fact). Did I want to emulate Bowie? Of course I did. I could never get down with the bisexual bit, being at heart a red-blooded gal who was into men and not girls, but I got the Ziggy haircut, hitch-hiked the length and breadth of England to follow him on his Ziggy tour etc. etc. My mother was appalled; my father was at a loss to understand how I could worship this 'jessie'. But they were sensible parents in the end - they put it all down to a phase. Teenagers worship idols. But teenage years whiz by and a 19 year old is not the same as s/he was at 15. The teens are a wonderful era for all of us; the years when we learn to be ourselves, to deal with the myriad of contradictory images that are thrust upon us. Most of us battle through, making no worse a job of it than previous generations.

Has this had a lasting effect on me, as a middle-aged lady of 52 years? Not one jot. I loved my teenage years. I had fun. I idolised a man who was unconventional. I now hold down a responsible job (I have held down responsible jobs since I was 16!) and have two wonderful children. With age and experience comes wisdom. As parents we can only guide and offer advice, but our children must find their own way. Most of them do - yes, even in 2010. So, don't let's hamper the JTs and David Bowies of this world with the power to influence a child for life. Trust me, they won't.

And now, I really am concentrating on the Arsenal game, and I have said all I will ever say on this subject. But there are some good posts in this thread, nonetheless.

We must have been separated at birth.

I too spent most of the 70's wishing to become David Bowie and was lucky enough to realise my dream in 1980 when a bizarre chance meeting in New York allowed me to take over his persona for the next three years.

It started when I bumped into him at a Warhol party some time in June and blurted out how much I was loving his performance in 'The Elephant Man' which was runnning on Broadway at the time (I'd seen it 32 times in 6 weeks, so felt well qualified to give him my opinion).

We got talking, him about his new fascination with 16th century Japanese sculpture, me about how I'd spent 4 days solid (with no sleep) trying to perfect the guitar riff from 'Stay' to no discernible avail, when he let slip that he really wanted a break. Well one thing led to another, and owing to the fact that I had his hairstyle down to a tee and had never really looked after my teeth, we agreed to do that whole 'Prince and Pauper' thing.

Which is why you can thank me for the Scary Monsters album, my role in Brecht's Baal on TV and the original version of Cat People. On the other hand, he was well pissed off that I agreed to duet with Queen on 'Under Pressure' (he really hated Freddie) and was also narked off that I got to snog Susan Sarandon in 'The Hunger'.

For his part, he effortlessly charmed my mum for 3 years whilst also buggering up my French A level and losing me my place as open side flanker in my rugby team. He also scored with quite a lot of girls whom I'd previously thought of as 'out of my league' (when we switched our roles back, they weren''t interested in me at all - what does that tell you about Mr 'I'm a Momminpoppa coming for you'?).

Anyway, things came to a head (literally) after I'd written Let's Dance and had decided to dye my hair blonde. He found his way back stage on the third night of the Serious Moonlight tour, stormed into my dressing room and gave me what-for, demanding to take his rightful place back. I agreed and quickly spent the next 5 minutes teaching him the words to 'Up the Hill Backwards' and 'Modern Love'.

The next day, I was back home with a fiver in my pocket and a crap haircut.

Still, I'll always have my memories.

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