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Dean Ashton: Wuss or Great Emancipator? December 13, 2009

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in English soccer, U.S. soccer.
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So the news is out: Dean Ashton has retired from professional soccer at age 26 after struggling with an ankle injury for three years. If this article is accurate, he basically had a choice: quit soccer or risk never being able to walk again.

When, in such circumstances, a promising young player is untimely ripped from the game, there can be only one reaction: “Wuss!”

Pfft. So his ankle makes “noises” when he runs. So he won’t be able to “twist it properly” ever again. I say again, pfft! I’ve seen players deal with worse. Gabriel Batistuta had a secret peg leg. Pele was actually decapitated in 1967 in a bizarre chess accident that still puzzles experts, but he managed to lead Brazil to another World Cup and play for almost 8 more years before the U.S. government denied his head’s application for refugee status and returned it in 1975, after which O rei was never the same player.

As for Diego Maradona, let’s just say there’s a reason you’ve probably never seen him in the same photographs as former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, a man who contracted a case of polio in 1921 that left him more or less immobile from the waist down thereafter, and a case of being dead in 1945 that pretty much did away with the rest of his mobility. Yeah, that’s right: the greatest soccer player since Pele suffered from polio and played his entire career after his death, and was also America’s longest-serving president.

So I guess I’m saying that, if Dean Ashton is ever to erase the lily-livered stigma that surrounds his name because of this embarrassing incident, he pretty much needs to take the reins on winning the Iraq War and getting us out of the recession in a secret, posthumous second career in politics. Because Sicknote Roosevelt’s old “I’m dead” excuse for quitting his job as president was a real wussy move too, in my opinion.

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