You may have noticed, from the TV or the newspapers or passing loudspeaker vans or sky-writing aeroplanes, that a certain football player has recently been revealed to be a bad role model for the nation's youth, due to the uncovering of certain behavioural shenanigans which have no place in a respectable blog such as this. The sin is deemed especially heinous by virtue of the fact that the person in question had hitherto been universally regarded as a good role model: sober, balanced, faithful loving husband, perfect father, etcetera etcetera etcetera. So youngsters who were previously motivated to emulate this laudable lifestyle will, we are told, be instantly converted to the belief that it is after all perfectly acceptable to play away from home/beat your wife/snort yard-long lines of cocaine or whatever the latest scandal might be.
And I think: hang on. A couple of things. Firstly, whilst all this was allegedly going on, who was holding this man up to be that paragon of virtue? Why, the very media who now vilify him as the spawn of Satan. So that wasn't very good journalism, was it? They are normally so good at unearthing wrongdoing where none exists, you'd think the real thing would be a doddle, wouldn't you? But it took them years. Secondly, have they ever met, spoken to or observed an actual teenager? And finally (all right, that's three), if they are so dismayed by these revelations and their perceived corrupting influence, er, why did they publish them?
Myself, I think this whole role model thing isn't what it's cracked up to be. I can't think of a single one I ever had. Heroes to be worshipped, certainly. Achievements to be aspired to. But people of whom I thought: 'I want to conduct my life like him'? Nah. But maybe that's just me.