View From Across the Pond – Greed is Not Good


Forgive me for the late posting of my weekly missive, but as you have probably seen, there have been some mighty strange goings on in little Olde England this week.

I was due to post on Monday night, but after a couple of days of rioting in a small area of London, following the shooting of a local man by police (believe me that is a big deal over here), the events which happened on Monday night were both frightening and fascinating at the same time.

I am no real social commentator, and can’t pretend to be abreast completely of the political and economic situation that currently affects our country, but the events of Monday night boiled down to two things, greed and a total disrespect of the thoughts and lives of others.

All the rioters were out to do were loot and destroy, not caring about the livelihoods of those they were stealing from, and whose property and lives they were destroying. The iconic image of Monday evening was a furniture store burning away. The guy who’s owned the business was interviewed live on TV as his shop burnt before our eyes. It had been in his family for over 130 years and was destroyed by a mindless act of selfishness in just 30 minutes.

As the night wore on, news came of copycat riots in other cities across the country. Our second city Birmingham and later Liverpool saw opportunists seize their chance to steal flat screen TV’s, smartphones and designer clothes.

Last night saw distressing scenes in Manchester, just an hour away from my home, as once again the mob saw an easy way to have the best things money can buy, without having to work hard to get it.

Also last night saw the two cities closest to my heart, Bradford where I live and Leeds where I come from meet each other on the soccer field. The two cities sit next door to each other, share an airport and have their “downtown” areas just 7 miles apart. Tensions are usually ramped high as the two sides rarely meet (Leeds are in the second tier of the English professional soccer leagues, Bradford the fourth). But despite a close encounter the game passed off peacefully, with my side, Leeds winning 3-2.

After the game there were worries that the city of Leeds may well be next to be looted, but it was a peaceful night with no incidents.

So where am I going with all this?

Greed has been the driving factor for most of the disturbances, a peaceful protest about the death of a citizen hijacked by a criminal minority.

The biggest headlines coming out of the Tennessee Titans in the last week have involved greed. Chris Johnson is holding out for more money despite earning millions of dollars a year. Cortland Finnegan stormed out of camp over the weekend for “personal” reasons, which turned out to be all about money. Greed is driving their actions and they don’t care how that affects the thousands of people who love what they do. Yes everyone deserves the right to be paid what they are worth, but man up about it and sit down and talk in a respectful and decent manner. Don’t act without thinking about how your actions affect your coaches, teammates and fans. Because it’s those fans that in effect pay your salaries by turning up, watching you guys play, buying merchandise with your names on.

At least Finnegan has had the decency to apologise to all those mentioned above who he has let down. The silence from Johnson is deafening, but no doubt he will roll in just before the season kicks off and expect to be treated like the saviour of the franchise. Unfortunately that’s the power that players hold, and unless we can pull of a mega trade that’s the sort of attitude the Titans are stuck with.

Rant over – Football starts tomorrow night, I just need to find a way to watch the game, then I can get back to talking football.