Monday, July 18, 2005

The other football

The second sports story that dominated the news (only the G8 summit and the Olympics were bigger at all in any subject) at the beginning of July was the saga of Steven Gerrard, captain of Liverpool Football Club.

Gerrard, a local Liverpool boy, grew up with the team and it is the only team that he has played for since he was 7 years old (at the top level since he was 18, he is now 25). So he had some serious allegiances. Also, this past season, despite finishing a disappointing 5th in the English Premier League, Liverpool won the UEFA Champions League (inspired by Gerrard's goal to come from 3-0 behind in one of the greatest comebacks in history), the biggest prize in club football. So Liverpool (the team I support by the way) is clearly capable of competing with the best clubs in Europe. Yet for all this, Gerrard seemingly inexplicably appeared destined for major rivals (and defending Premier League champions) Chelsea this summer. For a flawed, but somewhat accurate analogy, imagine David Ortiz (if he had grown up in Boston and always been there) leaving the Red Sox to join the Yankees this season.

Gerrard's actions were absolutely outrageous, and his jersey was even burned in effigy. Then something remarkable happened. He changed his mind. He decided to stay with Liverpool. Just like that, he determined that he was making the wrong decision and he just couldn't bear to leave home. Now obviously his thought process was much more complicated than that (and it helped that Liverpool was still offering him the salary of 100,000 pounds per week), but Gerrard's reversal gave a glimmer of hope that some athletes still do care about the fans and what they think, and that even star players can maintain strong allegiances to just one club.

In a happy ending, in his first competitive game back for Liverpool, Gerrard scored his first-ever professional hat trick in a 3-0 victory.

6 comments:

  1. the marquis reader who initially voiced his preference for more sports content.7/18/05, 9:28 PM

    fascinating. that's what i'm talking about.

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  2. berger's back! love the sports content. not a huge fan of things non-american, though---except for takeout chinese and hot bitches with accents and tasting beers of the world. So because of that , I can't wait for, in particular, some NBA and PGA posts. what's your take on mr. thomas as a gm this summer? Ms. Wie's chances on the men's tour?

    ReplyDelete
  3. berger's back! love the sports content. not a huge fan of things non-american, though---except for takeout chinese and hot bitches with accents and tasting beers of the world. So because of that , I can't wait for, in particular, some NBA and PGA posts. what's your take on mr. thomas as a gm this summer? Ms. Wie's chances on the men's tour?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brooklyn Nets fan7/18/05, 10:21 PM

    extremely solid post. i agree with everyone else on sports content, by the way. keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  5. alright, now this is the great feedback i'm talking about!

    even if it could all be from one person...which i hope it's not...heh...

    this means that there will certainly be more sports posts in the near future!

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  6. baseball is STUPID

    ReplyDelete