Chances are, as an Australian sports fan, you don’t know who Nigel Pearson is.
I follow the English Premier League quite closely and even I didn’t know who he was until last weekend. For those not in the know, he is, or quite possibly now was, the manager of cellar dwellers Leicester City.
He’s been around the traps for a while it seems, this Nigel, as you would expect for someone managing an EPL team, but he only came to my attention on Sunday morning after a particularly unsavoury incident in his team’s 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.
With his side trailing and not much time left on the clock, Pearson was unceremoniously and completely accidentally cleaned up by Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur after a tackle from a Leicester player.
Initially Pearson appeared to take it well, smiling at the Scotsman, but things took a bizarre turn when he wrapped his hands around the innocent fellow’s throat just before helping him to his feet. He then held onto his jersey, preventing him from returning to the contest.
It is not so much the jersey holding that bothers me (but I do wonder what would happen in that instance if Leicester had equalised, surely the goal couldn’t stand?), it is the wrapping of the hands around the throat.
No matter how softly or jovially done, seizing someone by the throat is the mark of a true psychopath.
I can understand it if someone has sexually assaulted your girlfriend or loved one, or you’ve caught them selling heroin to your twelve year old kids, but other than in cases of extreme provocation it has absolutely no place – and most definitely not on a sporting field.
Like a tracksuit wearing character straight out of ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,’ Pearson then returned to his post accompanied by the obligatory sniff, as it to say; nothing to it, did what I had to, or perhaps I am so fucking high on cocaine right now I couldn’t give two fucks.
That sniff, more than anything else, summed up the type of character Nigel Pearson must be.
It brings to mind the famous incident of Simon Katich v. Michael Clarke, and as much as people bemoaned the dropping of Katich, I don’t blame Clarke for a second for not wanting him in the team.
In that fateful moment Katich was no doubt fuelled by an anger deep within and probably by more than one or two chips on his shoulder. It is slightly more forgivable than the egotistical, Patrick Bateman-esque act of Pearson, but only just. I don’t imagine Katich sniffed after the incident, but he very well may have.
In the sporting world, there is a fine line between being a loveable loose cannon and just “being a c*nt” and as soon as you grab somebody by the throat, you have crossed it.
By Alasdair McClintock