I was going through my usual routine of checking the different sports websites – BBC Sport, SporX.com, SkySports.com – and they were reporting on the same-old topical stories. Apparently some person scored a goal or did something amazing, while another was upset because of a referee’s call. Then, on the BBC, a couple of articles that caught my eye.
Wayne Rooney to play for England again: Does it cheapen an England call-up?
Floyd Mayweather: Boxer to fight kick-boxer Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan
Let’s begin with the insanity surrounding Floyd “Money” Mayweather. He has decided to take up mixed martial arts and will fight Tenshin Nasukawa.
Who? I hear you ask.
In the world of MMA, he is pretty much an unknown. But don’t let that fool you. Nasukawa, 20, is unbeaten in 27 fights. (Four of those fights being in MMA.) He currently fights in the RIZIN Fighting Federation, the organisation that Mayweather also signed with.
He is no mug!
Mayweather is double Nasukawa’s age, and a retired boxer, albeit an exceptional one.
This fight has already been confirmed for December 31, but the rules and weight class are yet to be decided. Everything is due to be ironed out over the next few days. And you know, Mayweather isn’t going to be allowing his “money-maker” to become too disfigured going into 2019.
Expect a hell of a lot of rules, one of which will be, “No fighting on the ground,” (which immediately disqualifies this from being an MMA fight). So, we are looking at a kick-boxing match, with extra rules. What those rules will be, I’m not really sure. Maybe a limitation on the number of kicks being allowed. Even with a limitation, I am confident that Nasukawa will be knocking Mayweather out, as long as those yet-to-be-decided “rules” allow for it.
This fight is basically the equivalent of someone asking you if you want a fight, but then following it up with, “Okay, but no hitting me in the face.”
Which, for me, makes the contest a waste of time, and one that I will not watch. Not even to see Floyd’s eyes widen once that first blow lands on his melon, and he realises that the fight was not a good idea.
What about Wayne Rooney’s inclusion to the England national team?
People have argued that it’s a ridiculous decision, and it takes away an opportunity from a youngster who could become an England star in the future. Especially as England coach, Gareth Southgate, has been complaining about his main stars having to play too many competitive games, and that he doesn’t have enough opportunities to give youngsters an opportunity.
As a result, many people are adamant that Wayne Rooney’s appearance prior to the game would have sufficed, instead of taking up a position in the team. That way, he could have got the send-off that he deserves.
Wayne Rooney (left) and England coach Gareth Southgate.
But it’s important to know that such a procedure (Introducing a legend before a game and giving them a ceremonial round of applause) is more common for retired players who haven’t kicked a ball in months, or a player who is playing at a very low level, and hanging onto a career because they’re not ready to call it a day yet.
Rooney doesn’t fit that description.
So, is it ok to give him the call-up?
He is clearly still a great player!
Let’s look at the facts here:
- It’s not a competitive game.
- Rooney is playing competitively against international players (Plays for DC United in the American MLS).
- He has scored 12 goals in 21 games.
- He is the second-highest-capped player in England history (119 caps).
- Highest number of England goals (53 goals).
- Always fulfilled his England duty with pride.
Rooney is an England legend and deserves the correct send-off. This will be exactly that. A friendly game, against America, with the revenue from ticket sales going to the Wayne Rooney Foundation. Most importantly, his name will be chanted by the fans at the iconic home of football, Wembley Stadium.
Wembley Stadium, London (Via WikiCommons)
So, what about the youngsters?
Their time will come.
The funniest part of it all is that on the BBC, Rooney’s selection is being questioned, yet, Mayweather’s announcement is reported like it’s just normal behaviour.
What has the world of sport come to?