Remember the furor that erupted way back when Toronto Blue Jays star Roberto Alomar spat at an umpire, resulting in a suspension and a $50K ‘donation’ to charity? How about when the NFL’s Terrell Owens was fined $35K for spitting on an opponent during a game? Or more recently, when the 38th ranked tennis player in the world was fined $15K for spitting at a heckler?
So why hasn’t there been a similar FIFA action since Cristiano Ronaldo launched a loogey at a camerman who dared film the striker’s walk of shame following Portugal’s dismissal from the World Cup? Perhaps it was because Ronaldo missed his target, much like he did on the pitch. But we have an alternate theory. See, based on his disappointing performance during this World Cup, we think that the Portugobber has decided he has a brighter future posing for shirtless pics on magazine covers than he does on the pitch. If that’s the case, then Ronaldo wasn’t actually spitting, but doing what all bodybuilders do right before a competition or photo shoot – going to ridiculous lengths to dehydrate themselves to shed that layer of water between skin and muscle. Well, alrighty, then. Spitting is healthier than taking diuretics, I suppose (at least, healthier if you’re the spitter and not the spittee).
But if Ronaldo’s NOT training to become Mr. Olympia, then he’s guilty of (a) being an asshole, and (b) insulting/assaulting a guy who was just doing his job. Let’s be clear – this wasn’t some dirtbag paparazzo hiding in the hedges outside Ronaldo’s bedroom window — this guy was where FIFA told him he could be and where his producer told him he should be. We understand that athletes are emotional, and nobody likes being put under a microscope when you’ve so clearly fallen short of your nation’s expectations, but that’s part of the tradeoff for being paid those multi-million dollar salaries – the cameras don’t just roll when you’ve got your arms held aloft in triumph. Like that old Wide World of Sports intro claimed (and Ronaldo has just learned), sport encompasses the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
So suck it up, princess. And next time, be a big girl and swallow, don’t spit. Read more.