Monday, March 19, 2007

Being Freddy

Being The Fredster Just Got Tougher!

News from the Caribbean is just about all bad. In the wake of the England cricketers' romps in the sea and visits to local bars comes the report of the tragic death of Bob Woolmer. Whereas one event is laughable, the other puts into perspective the role of sport in modern society. Freddie may just be an idiot, but Bob is dead.

Reading the papers, and between the lines, it now appears that Freddie has always been a bit of a bad boy. He has been “spoken to” by the England management on numerous occasions. He has received many “warnings” about his behaviour – and has chosen to ignore them.

It's hard to feel any sympathy for him. As a talented and highly-paid sports star, he really ought to know better. When he reflects on how “demon rum” ruined the careers and lives of Gazza and George Best, he really ought to take stock of the situation and moderate his imbibing. And, I bet Rachel isn't all that pleased with him either.

By the way, where are the Wags?

Little has been seen or heard of the cricket Wags this tour. Maybe they are at home. If so, this is a mistake. Presumably, Freddie might have been in the hotel with the wife and kids instead of pedalling around the Caribbean were that an option. If there are no Wags on the tour – why not? Is this policy? If so, it's the wrong one. Lads left alone with plenty of money and not much to do in the evening are likely to drink too much and get into trouble. This is hardly rocket science. It's a bit sanctimonious for the England officials to climb on a high horse and express disappointment and chagrin from such a lofty height if they have done nothing to obviate the problems of a long tour.

Before the media jump on Freddie's case, which they seem all too ready to do, they might do well to examine the tour arrangements.

Of course, this does not excuse silly behaviour from the team, but it does, perhaps, put it into perspective.

Hopefully, in addition to his public contrition, Freddie might spare a thought for the family of Bob Woolmer. An excellent coach and an excellent ambassador for cricket, he will be missed as well as mourned.

If Freddie's antics shift the focus from the human tragedy that surrounds Woolmer's death then that alone should be reason enough for him to feel guilt and need contrition.

Hopefully Freddie will learn from his peccadillo and become a better person for it. After all, it truly is only a game.

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