Say what you like about European and Latin American idolatry of soccer, its fans accurately think of team managers (US: coaches) as nothing more than well-paid hired guns. Their part in the morality play of competitive team sport is not as role models, but scapegoats when the team lose. Mathematically this must average out at half the time, so the job tenure of managers tends to be short. Very rarely, a long-serving and successful soccer manager may earn not adulation but respectful affection, as with Matt Busby at Man U and Bill Shankly at Liverpool. Alf Ramsey didn´t, and he won the World Cup for England.

Not even the most unhinged soccer fans would ever describe the career of such a professional as ¨a lifetime of heroism¨ (Ross Douthat on Joe Paterno) with a straight face. That´s not even counting the bad stuff, in the case in point the pretty large offense of collusion in child rape. Douthat does not, I stress, minimise this.

Via Belle Waring at Crooked Timber.

Ah, but it´s college sports! Coaches are noble Socratic educators! Mike O´Hare has already nailed that one.


Loading... Logging you in...
There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one!

Post a new comment

    Posting as JamesWimberley (Logout)

    Comments by