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All Right, Ryan Giggs: You Listen Up

I’ve been stewing all weekend about the whole Ryan Giggs affair (yes, pun intended; it’s the only humor you’re going to get from me today).

For anyone living on the west side of the pond (or who’s been residing in a cave in recent days), Ryan Giggs is the incredibly talented, Energizer Bunnyesque Manchester United side mid.

If you watch football (the Brits’ word for voetbal or American soccer), you’d know him anywhere. He’s the one with the gray in his hair, because he’s still playing, and playing quite well, in his late thirties. (That’s like Crypt Keeper status in footie years.)

Let me preface everything I’m going to write with the following:

  • I am a huge football fan.
  • I have great respect for Ryan Giggs’ hard work, dedication and ‘never say die’ attitude with which he’s approached his career.
  • He has earned every single one of his accolades, club championships, and international caps playing for Wales. 
  • He is truly a great footballer.
  • His longevity speaks to enormous dedication to keeping in peak shape and (mostly) injury free.
  • To be able to play well this late in his career takes amazing perseverance and self-control.

Too bad it stops there. While being a great footballer may help make someone a role model (whether we like it or not), it does NOT necessarily make him a good role model.

To briefly sum up recent events, Ryan Giggs was outed on Twitter and then in the House of Commons as the Premier League footballer who had a six-month affair with British reality tv star Imogen Thomas.

It was a bit surprising because Giggs has always portrayed himself as a family man dedicated to his wife and children. No whiff of scandal over all these years.

In an effort to try to keep it quiet and out of the arguably rabid English press, he had paid huge sums of money to his legal team to install a ‘super injunction’ forbidding Thomas to reveal his name. It backfired, and he was named and publicly shamed.

As an aside, the whole concept of a ‘super injunction’ is ridiculous and completely unfair. I get that people would want to avoid their dirty laundry being aired in public. But only the wealthy can afford them: all the unwashed masses have to fend for themselves.

Now I am not a prude. I understand that every marriage has its ups and downs. It’s easy enough with busy lives juggling work, home, children and other responsibilities to suddenly find that you and your spouse have drifted apart or seem a bit remote. I understand human frailty, temptation, poor judgment.

Those aren’t excuses, but I do understand affairs happen. So please don’t go all ‘Oh you Americans are so immaturely prudish on affairs of the heart’ on me.

It’s not my place to dump on him for having an affair. That is something between him and his wife, his family. He and his wife took the vows, and they will have to determine how they will proceed.

Nor do I feel at all sorry for Thomas. I’ll give her credit for not selling her story (yet). She’s the one who chose to enter into an affair with a married man. It’s been reported that she’s gutted by his suddenly cutting her out of his life; it was a total lockdown, hiding behind lawyers and that stupid super-injunction.

Well tough. A married cheat choosing his family over you? You couldn’t see that coming? Sorry. You reap what you sow.

But I am going to point out a couple things that have been gnawing at me.

First, let’s not pretend that Ryan Giggs couldn’t have figured out what might happen if he pursued this affair. If it was a momentary lapse of judgement on his part, he could have stopped at the one-night stand phase.

He’s teammates with the incredibly talented striker and village idiot Wayne Rooney. He of the ‘I’m world famous and going to have a three-some with two prostitutes, but they’re nice girls so no one will ever alert the nasty Brit media to sell their stories for cash’ fame.  

At least the pros reported that Rooney was full of genuine remorse immediately after their little ‘tea party’.

That unveiling ocurred in August of last year. Which means Giggs witnessed firsthand the press feeding frenzy, the public pain of Rooney’s wife and family, and Rooney’s own shame.

Yet he still chose to undertake an extramarital relationship a few months later.

Can you spell stupid?? Obviously Giggs can’t. Or perhaps he truly does spell it ‘I’m above it all’.

You may speak of Gigg’s shrewdness on the pitch, but don’t ever try telling me he’s bright off the playing field. How lame can you be to make Wayne Rooney look like a boy scout in comparison?

Secondly, do not tell me that Ryan Giggs sought the super-injunction to protect his boys. It’s reported that he confessed all to his wife, and then sought the injunction to try keeping the affair quiet for the sake of his children.

Would those be the same wife and children that he certainly wasn’t thinking about when he was having an affair for six months?? They couldn’t possibly be the same children he was thinking of when he alledgedly arranged to sneak Imogen Thomas multiple times into hotel rooms on the eve of ManU matches for some pre-game frolic.

Only Ryan Giggs knows whether he ever once thought of his family while he conducted his affair. He may have had a guilty conscience, and perhaps even known enough to be ashamed of himself. But he sure didn’t deem his family important enough to end the affair.

So don’t ever, EVER hide behind the ‘I was thinking of my family’ when you bone-headedly seek a super-injunction. And don’t expect sympathy for the horrendous drubbing you receive at football matches with the opponent’s fans singing nasty chants and jeering you.

I pity your family, but not you. You’ve played football all these many years, you’ve watched as Rooney and others have had to deal with it, and now you will, too.

So those were the two points I wanted to make in today’s post when I went to bed last night.

Only two people are responsible for the aftermath of their relationship, however serious or frivilous it may have been: Giggs and Thomas. But others will pay dearly for it.

This morning, I woke up to the headline that Giggs carried on an eight-year affair with his brother’s wife.

I don’t know what disgusted me more: that he sunk this low, or his aunt saying that having an affair with another footballer’s wife would have been acceptable.

Incredible. Absolutely freaking incredible.

Was he thinking of his wife and children then as well?

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