Has Tiger Woods’ peccadiloes helped John Terry?

One can’t help but wonder if Tiger Woods has helped out John Terry. One has not seen the sort of saturation press coverage in the case of Terry that followed Woods with his serial infidelity. Except for a few voices there has also been a lack of moral outrage in footballing circles. Much of it centers around betraying a team mate, not the extra marital affairs. It’s not cool but at the same time not enough to get your knickers in a twist. The reaction following Woods within the hitherto tight lipped golfing community was quite unprecedented.
Partly this might be due to Terry never pretending to be a player with a squeaky clean image whereas Woods was this scholar athlete from Stanford University, a role model revered not just for his golf exploits but for his clean living. His sexploits provides some basis for Revenge of the Nerds sort of comeuppance. Even now there is a sense of disbelief that Woods would be capable of such behaviour.
With Terry we harbour no such illusions. In football, we have always had our George Bests and Fillipo Inzhagis, the lovable rapscallions who play on and off the field. There is also the nature of the sport itself which gives rise to the sexist term WAG, creatures dismissed as little else but consorts, deriving their importance from the men, hiding behind huge sunglasses, unsure of their shelf life, and the target of endless rotating lists which begin “The Hottest Fifty WAGS This Week”. Footballers and 86 year old governors who bed multiple women at the same time are worthy of our admiration. Woods was in the wrong profession.
Then there is the big debate as to how important is a captaincy in itself. Terry being stripped of the captaincy does not really prove a message. The armband is purely symbolic. Players will gravitate to Terry even as Capello might nominate someone else captain. In football one can easily find a core of players who provide leadership. It is more important that Terry plays well. Meanwhil, the outrage meter has ticked over and gone back. For that we have to thank Tiger Woods. It also may mean that Terry remains captain.

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