Sometimes a 'story' breaks that is so delightfully screwy that you spit-laugh coffee everywhere. This morning, as I prepared a worthy-but-dull piece on the professional contracts being offered to Lloyd Jones, Ryan Fulton and Daniel Trickett-Smith by Liverpool Football Club, I got distracted by the ever-open tab on my laptop which bestows my news-feed from the footysphere.
There, in all it's wonderfully lurid glory was the 'news' that Luis Suarez was about to transfer to Arsenal. Obviously, I was attracted by the dangerously high levels of crazy, but I was held in a trance of bemusement and nausea as no fewer than six separate agencies had the purported fee at twenty five million pounds. That was when the coffee made it's emergency exit. Sorry academy kids, but this nonsense is what I'll be talking about today.
Prominent UK bookmakers, William Hill, have suspended betting overnight on Suarez moving to the Emirates, so popular was the punt. Meanwhile, Paddy Power today have the move at a 5/2 shot -- doubly nuts when one considers that long-term Suarez-fanciers, Bayern Munich, are 7/1 with the same company to acquire the Uruguayan's services.
I could go on, citing odds and sources, but that would be redundant, as no doubt your own keyboards have been aflame with frenzied clicking and searching for the most recent madness already. Suffice it to say, that what we have here is an indictment of the intelligence of some, the gullibility of others and the cynical manipulative thought processes of the media.
The whole machinations of transfer-window story politics remind me of the hive-mind dementia and group-think hysteria of something like McCarthyism. One guy whispers, without any proof, that so-and-so may be a no-good Commie and next thing the poor bastard is standing before a Commission with the masses baying for his blood.
Since when are reported betting patterns a sane indicator of any likely future? Don't people even question such bizarre predictions? Does nobody suspect that the whole thing might be a Machiavellian plot to, oh I don't know, increase profits? Now, clearly the majority of news agencies are simply reporting the rumour but the headlines are massively misleading and the facts are non-existent.
Let's imagine for a moment how this purported move may have gone down with Suarez himself;
AGENT: "Hey Luis, y'know how you've been telling everyone how you just loathe the press intrusion into your personal life and how you need to escape it for the sake of your family and how you really just wanna win things, and junk?
SUAREZ: "Yes, yes? Is the Real Madrid deal done? As a boy, I played with Real on my Playstation. I always dreamed of..."
AGENT: "Er, sorry to interrupt, chief. It's actually Arsenal? They'll pay much the same and of course they've won fewer trophies than your current club of late and I know you've been given horrendous abuse by their fans, but you get to move to London, home of Big Ben, the Queen and the media capital of the country...oh, er..."
SUAREZ: "Bwahahahahahaha...that's a good one Pere! Arsenal?! Hahahahaha. I mean...can you imagine me going to...? Wait, you're serious? Please f**k off. You're so fired, I can't even..."
As fellow Crazytown residents until this damned window closes let us pledge to each other, that upon the occasion of the next certifiably batshit rumour, we will at least attempt rational thought before we lose our minds angrily and messily via social media. There are only so many new away kits with the legend Suarez emblazoned across the back that we can burn for the Sky cameras. Let's consider the environment here, people.