Another thing that has been rattling around in my brain all week was the reaction in Britain to Arsenal captian William Gallas' behavior at the end of the Birmingham-Arsenal match. He kind of freaked out a bit when Birmingham was awarded a last minute penalty- he stormed off to the far end of the field, then when McFadden converted the penalty he kicked the shit out of the advertising board, and then at the final whistle he fell to the ground and was pretty emotional.
Hard to describe unless you saw it. As Myles said:
In that moment, Gallas saw 8 months of hard work by 30 people go down the toilet . Having started the game by witnessing the most horrific injury he'd ever seen, Gallas ended it with a close-up view of the most stupid defensive error he'd ever seen.
Anyhow, what struck me through the week is how the press in Britain reacted to his actions. He was universally criticized, and he was slammed pretty hard for acting inappropriately, especially for a captain, and some even said that Arsenal should strip him of the captaincy or sell him. Like the injury porn thing, I couldn't help but compare this to how this would have been reported in America. I'm pretty certain that here he would be praised for being emotional, that showing emotion would be a positive thing, showing his team how much he cared and how they should to, setting an example to the team & younger players, he cares so much, etc, etc.
Interesting to say the least.
Furthermore, this is the country who counts Gazza's emotional outburst when he broke down crying in the middle of a match at World Cup 1990 as one of the defining moments in their sporting history, and this was lauded rather than condemned.
Would the reaction to Gallas' actions be different if he wasn't Gallic but rather British?
Color me confused.