A few posts ago I railed about Spanish pride. Maybe you thought I was being facetious. Well, here's further proof
Chelsea Football Club has made it through to the the finals of the Champions League after playing a courageous match at the Nou Camp despite being a man down. Apparently that's not the really big news in Spanish sporting dailies. The big news is the front page of today's (April 25, 2012) The Sun, that cheesy English tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch.
The front page headline says: "Terry sent off; Messi misses pen; Chelsea reach Champions League final...but most incredible of all: TORRES SCORES!"
Well, the backlash of that headline was incredible. Marca headlined it "Intolerable: The Sun makes fun of Torres' goal."
If we were talking about any other non-Spanish footballer, The Sun's headline would not have even raised an eyebrow. But because Torres is Spanish, it is a slap in the face to all Spaniards. I mean, the nerve of these Brits! How dare they! What are they trying to imply, that Torres scored out of sheer luck...that he doesn't possess the skills to score of his own accord? How dare they insult us in this manner, harrumph, harrumph!
But wait, there's more! If you continue reading, I will also include links to the Guiñol scandal (French muppets) at no extra charge!
A few months ago, Alberto Contador, 2010 Tour de France winner, was stripped of his title after being found guilty by the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) of using Clenbuterol, a performance enhancing drug. Well, needless to say, the French jumped all over that one and parodied it on their Guiñol program (Canal+).
It gets even better. The show was so successful, Canal+ decided to up the ante a bit and produced another skit based on Rafael Nadal's physical prowess, which is actually quite funny. The icing on the cake was the Guiñol that showed several Spanish professional athletes, including Iker Casillas and Pau Gasol,signing contracts with a steroid-filled syringe.
Mon Dieu! Sacré bleu, quelle sacrilege!
Suffice it to say the Spanish were up in arms and made all sorts of calls to denounce and boycott the French. Sure, Spanish pride was hurt. But seriously, sue the French over some satirical review? Can you imagine if George W. Bush went about suing every late night talk show because they ridiculed and made fun of him? Jay Leno, David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O'brien would all be out of a job.
I reiterate, Spain suffers from national collective inferiority complex. And it is precisely their reaction to ridicule and satire that proves my point. Had they chosen not to react so vehemently against the French, no one would have even noticed or paid attention to the Guiñol.
Spain feels, rightly or wrongly, that they deserve to be one of the world's influencers. I can only say that if they continue with their downtrodden persecuted attitude, they'll never be considered for anything.
The old adage still rings true: if it doesn't apply, let it fly.
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