While the title may be misleading, I’m only half-kidding. Seriousness will suck the fun out of every good enjoyable thing that sports has to offer. Once the millions of dollars pour in, and the branding, and the regulation, not only are the players, but organizations as a whole are robbed of their personalities.
I know people love the big stadiums, and the flashy players, and the excess, but sports used to be about so much more fun and the shenanigans that come with sport.
Wayne Shaw decided to pay tribute to those historic and forgotten times during the FA Cup.
It should first be said that Wayne Shaw isn’t afraid to be colorful, and he was one of the most beloved back up goalies that Sutton ever had the pleasure of watching warm the bench. He’s really a part-time coach, part-time groundskeeper, part-time 3rd reserve goalkeeper; basically the kind of blood that makes up the spirit and life-blood of an organization.
During warm-ups he was spotted vacuuming the dugout in sandals:
It’s clear to anyone who has played sports that Wayne Shaw plays the role found on so many teams of the, “jolly big guy”, and likely has played that role his whole life in sports. Why try to squash an energy like that? Why ruin it, when given how much he’s exploded across the internet, it’s clear that this is the stuff that people love?
But Wayne Shaw takes his big personality to another level. At half-time he stopped at the local pub to see some friends, who were catching the game:
This is where the story gets sticky due to FA overt seriousness. Wayne, while at the pub had heard a rumor that there were odds on whether he’d eat on the sidelines. He didn’t go place a bet, he didn’t tell his friends to place bets, he mostly thought it was funny rumor.
His words when he heard the rumor: “I don’t know. I have eaten nothing all day. So I might give it a go later on.”
Even still, he was considerate, eating only after Sutton had made their three subs and he knew he wouldn’t be called in.
The FA wants to investigate this as a part of ‘spot-fixing’, or altering small events that happen that may be bet upon.
Here’s the issue: spot-fixing is meant for instances where a player does something during the game, like miss a shot intentionally, in order to win or influence a bet. Wayne Shaw was EATING A SANDWICH. ON THE SIDELINE. HE HADN’T EATEN ALL DAY, AND BY HIS OWN ADMISSION HE’S OVER 300 POUNDS.
If a bet is based on his actual nature, is he supposed to intentionally avoid it? Put Christiano Ronaldo in that scenario: tell him that the bet is he’ll fix his hair more than 10 times in the first half, see how quickly he runs his fingers through his hair 9 times. You’d accused him of spot-fixing, when it’s really just his nature.
And the worst part? It’s worked, Shaw, someone who could’ve continued to bring publicity and press to his club in the form of an impromptu mascot has handed in his resignation.
Way to screw it up again, nerds.
But Shaw isn’t focusing on the negative, his closing remarks over all of it, go back to the fan’s getting their money’s worth and having a good time:
“You can look back and say it was part of it, and we got our ticket money back.”
Post Script: If you thought Sutton would shape up after this, here is what the club coach had to say about being told he couldn’t vape on the sideline before the match: