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Soup of This Day #331: Take Only What You Need From It

September 4, 2013

Zephyr 6
Ride like the wind, with a reckless disregard for resistance and queen bees – Photo: Redsimon, 2007. Redsimon is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

This is not a post about Luis Suárez.

Which might seem like a strange way to get this thing rolling – Wikipedia currently has 4,313,770 articles in English. This blog, written (mostly) in English, has by contrast just the 1,941 tags. We could be here for a long time if I list out everything that this post is not about.

I’ll summarise then. From ‘A’ to ‘Z’.

As far as I can tell, the article in alphabetical pole position in the afore-mentioned Wikipedia is ‘AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity’. This post is not about that virtual BASE jumping game, even if it is set in an alternate reality Boston, the home of 1 of this blog’s beloved outfits.

And anyway, is BASE jumping showing a reckless disregard for gravity? To my way of thinking it’s more harnessing gravity, working with it and implicitly acknowledging the effect of that great force. I reckon the practice of BASE jumping is instead actually showing a reckless disregard for concrete.

Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum in Wikipedia is ‘ZZZZZ’, which is an episode of ‘The Outer Limits’, a seminal science fiction show of the 60’s. Do not attempt to adjust the picture though because this post is not meant to be about that weird episode, featuring a queen bee masquerading as a human, either.

Sure, it references ‘ZZZZZ’ and ‘AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! – A Reckless Disregard for Gravity’ too. It’s just not about them.

Or Luis Suárez.

This post references Luis Suárez a lot. It mentions him so often that you could easily imagine that these words exist in sentences solely to pay homage to everything Luis Suárez.

About how, the talented but temperamental Uruguayan striker arrived at Liverpool during January of 2011, originally to accompany Fernando Torres as part of some unholy goal-scoring alliance, and then, following the Spaniard’s tumultuous departure, to complement the brutal aerial assault that was to be Andy Carroll.

If Andy Carroll had been successful in a red shirt. Which he wasn’t, leaving Suárez to lead the line. A line which in truth had him not just leading but also bringing up the rear.

Luis Suárez was the whole of the line.

This was abundantly clear at the end of the 2012/2013 season when a look at Liverpool’s scoring list had Daniel Sturridge in 2nd place with 11 goals across all competitions. Suárez had 30 and that was after he missed a few games.

Mostly through a lengthy suspension he got for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanović.

And that pretty much sums up Luis – He’s incredibly talented at leading the line, but he’s also incredibly talented at crossing the line. For every sublime act on the field there is a mitigating piece of stupidity, such as a deliberate handball to deny a goal in a World Cup 2010 quarter-final against Ghana.

Technically it was more of a handsball since he got both of his up to block what would have been the winner. He was subsequently sent off for the professional foul but Ghana missed the awarded penalty (Watched by an ungraciously celebrating Suarez) and were then cruelly knocked out via a penalty shoot-out at the end of extra-time.

It seems a little weird that we call that kind of thing a professional foul – If I deliberately broke the rules at work and denied a colleague a fair shot at a promotion we’d been competing for, by say, throwing his presentation laptop out of a 3rd-floor window, then I’d hardly be labelled ‘professional’. Unless you followed that tag up with ‘nutter’.

Which is a fair appellation to attach to Luis Suárez too – Along with that volleyball move and the biting fracas, Luis has also got himself a reputation for simulation, or ‘diving’ as it’s generally known. Luis in fact has been down more times than this guy:

To be fair, this dude has kept his feet, even after diving. Suárez by contrast flops around like he’s been speared instead of that fish.

Then there was the time he scored a goal in the FA Cup against Mansfield Town. Only he used his hand to steady the ball 1st. Yep, 1 of the world’s best strikers had to use his hand to score against lowly Mansfield Town, then playing 4 tiers and around a bazillion places below the English Premier League giants. Compounding the injustice was that it turned out to be the decisive goal, denying the Stags at the least a memorable return fixture at Anfield.

The piece-de-resistance though, the cherry on top of the Suárez cake, was in 2011 when the Reds frontman was pinged for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra – An act that a seemingly unapologetic Luis tried to pass off as just a harmless cultural misunderstanding, a bit of jocularity in a crowded penalty area.

Which happened to involve Suárez calling Evra a ‘negro’.

Because that’s jocular and not at all indefencible.

And I can confirm the latter because throughout all of the Suárez shenannigans, Liverpool Football Club and the majority of the Merseysiders fans have defended their guy. Poor Luis – He was provoked, or misunderstood, or led astray, or victimised, or… or…

Or maybe he’s just not a nice guy. That’s the inescapable conclusion for me. You see, earlier this year he angled for a move away from Liverpool – The English press were hounding him too much he cried.

Only they weren’t and the lie was given form and function when it became obvious that where he was angling to was Arsenal. Who are based in London. Which is the capital of England, a place known to be inhabited by those terrifying English press types.

Arsenal’s home ground, The Emirates Stadium, is in fact just 5.2km from Fleet Street, the home ground of the English press. And the best way to get to 1 from the other is to go via Liverpool Road. Oh, the irony.

Fortunately for Luis Suárez, he was saved from making this horrible mistake by his club, led by it’s principle owner, John W. Henry, who clarified:

‘He won’t be sold even if a foreign club comes in because we do not have time to sign a suitable replacement. It’s not about finances. So late in the window… we can’t replace him. So for football reasons we can’t sell, and especially to Arsenal.’

So that is that then – The transfer window has shut and Liverpool Football Club are stuck with Luis Suárez and vice versa. End of conversation.

And I mean that – I’m done writing about Suárez – That’s why this post is not about him. It is instead about this:

Apparently you just reach a @#$%-it point where by you ride a push-bike at 80mph (129kph) behind a Zephyr carrying a garden shed. Awesome is too limp a word.

Tell me that story is not magical – Tell me that it isn’t sport at its purest. And if you can do either then can I suggest you could be the ideal fan of Luis Suárez, because that short film is stupidly wonderfully pure and magical – Tom Donhou and his mates have hand-built a bike and then drafted it behind a Zephyr in pursuit of a record. And not some poncey world record – Nope, they’ve gone out after their own time, their own stretch of priceless immortality.

Imagine if all sport was played like that – With ambition that is exuberant instead of excessive. Bloody hell, it would be something to see then.

Sadly though that will not happen soon. There’s too much money and so we get Luis Suárez’ instead. For now then I’ll just content myself with the idea that the Uruguayan striker could make a shift towards a better way – All he has to do is catch a Zephyr.

Take Only What You Need From It

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