Cocks in sport, part 1

I’m feeling mean this morning, so here’s a list of a few people I hate in sport, in no particular order.

Bernie Ecclestone. One of the reasons I find my bile rising regarding celebs is, paradoxically, because I envy them or even admire them. And Bernie may be the best at turning the most grudging of admiration into sheer, pure, live-giving hatred. Bernie is a billionaire, but like all billionaires, he’s fantastically greedy. He abuses and betrays the whole of motor racing purely for his own private whims. It’s not even always about money – he toys with the sport because he can; he creates and destroys careers and traditions dependent on how he’s feeling. He may even toss a coin. I’m pretty sure Simon Cowell masturbates to a picture of Bernie every morning, such is his own slavish devotion to the tao of the poison dwarf.

Sven Goran Eriksson. Sven, however, only raises contempt in me. A moderately capable football manager at club level, the man has lucked into a number of positions where stupid, greedy people have given this archetype of stupidity and greed more money than he knows what to do with, to the extent that after a while, money is the only thing that drives him (and women, presumably, but the money no doubt sorts all that). I couldn’t have looked anyone in the eye after the Notts County deal, but then Sven’s moral compass has no issues dealing with corrupt criminals like Shinawatra, so for him it’s just more money – much more money – for old rope.

Manny Ramirez. Not such a name on this side of the Atlantic, but in the US he’s one of the biggest stars in baseball. He’s a tricky customer, utterly egocentric (and allied to an agent, the universally reviled but fantastically effective Scott Boras, who may be the only man with fewer scruples in the sport), dishonest, disrespectful and lazy. He can hit a ball like few people on this planet, sure, but as a result he doesn’t care for the team, doesn’t care about his defensive role, certainly gives no shit about the fans or his fellow players (it’s a great tradition in baseball that when a big league star plays a few games with minor league teams during rehabilitation, he pays for a dinner for all the players and staff as a show of gratitude and companionship. Everyone does this, even the rookies earning league minimum. Everyone, that is, except Manny Ramirez). Oh, and he’s a filthy career drugs cheat, named on the list of steroid abusers in the 2003 season and banned for 50 games this year after a female fertility drug – which allegedly masks the effects of steroids – was found in his blood. A classless, selfish, lazy cheat. And he earns $25m a year.

Mark Laurenson. The man sucks any kind of life or enthusiasm out of any situation in which he’s placed. His schtick – which I hope to God is affected, because to be so sarcastic and negative in real life must be the short way to suicide – robs what should be a joyful, surprising game of all its magic. His omni-present scowl, his appalling hair, his dead eyes and whiny voice – how did this man get on TV? And on top of that, he was pro Wimbledon FC’s move to Milton Keynes, for which crime he enters a special circle of hell which also features…

Pete Winkelman. Cunt. Back in the news this week having somehow wangled Stadium MK as a potential World Cup 2018 venue (and I can dream of it being the deciding factor leading to the entire country’s rejection, and the entire country would deserve it), this odious, straggly pile of shit is the perfect representation of what happens if you let private, profit-making enterprise have too big a role in the running of sport. The theft of WFC is a complete travesty, and should never be forgotten, but it’s not so much that I blame Winkelman for having a go – he’s a businessman, a soulless whore but no worse than myriad others, who saw an opportunity – but for lying through his ugly, crooked teeth about the move, about what it would mean for fans and football, what it would mean for MK (as if anyone gives a flying fuck for that monstrosity of a failed dystopian nightmare). Fuck you, Winkelman. Fuck you.

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