Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fire in the hole: Alex Ferguson releases his autobiography

Fire in the hole: Alex Ferguson releases his autobiography
by rick olivares pic by getty

Everyone was waiting for this bomb blast.

When Grant Wahl published The Beckham Experiment in 2009 it made the news wires for LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan’s comments about David Beckham. If that was explosive then it is expected that Alex Ferguson’s autobiography would be incendiary.

And it is now here and perhaps the best reaction is, “Fire in the hole!”

Based on excerpts reported by the BBC, Ferguson wrote: "David thought he was bigger than Alex Ferguson. That was the death knell for him."

There’s more. Ferguson talks about nearly coming to blows with Becks in the locker room following a 2004 FA Cup loss where the manager criticized his midfielder’s performance.

He also talks about how Goldenballs was more obsessed with becoming a star than a footballer.

I respect SAF for what he has achieved with Aberdeen and MUFC and his success can only mean that his methods worked. Furthermore, I can understand that a manager has to be in control and cannot surrender the locker room to a player but I really question the timing of the book.

United is in eighth spot in the Premier League with new manager David Moyes trying to figure out how to resuscitate the defending champions’ floundering season. As if it is not enough that Ferguson’s large shadow doesn’t loom at Old Trafford…

I’m also surprised though that he talks about himself in the third person. And isn’t no one bigger than the club the gaffer included? Apparently not. I guess that SAF felt that since he brought United to new heights, he was entitled to have the biggest ego on the club.

I know that these are excerpts and that they could be taken out of context. In fact, it should be read in its entirety. Case in point, Andre Agassi’s excellent autobiography, Open, where some took his comments about Pete Sampras out of context. Having said that, books like this are sometimes anticipated for the dirt one has over others.

For sure those comments about Becks (wait until he gets into Roy Keane) are going to get people buying the book. That of course, shouldn’t be the only reason. Ferguson won 13 league titles and a whole bunch more (the haul is at 38 trophies since he became manager of the Red Devils) and the stories therein should take precedence more than anything from overtaking Liverpool (boo) to those European nights and when MUFC became arguably the world’s most popular football club.

Still it’s on Alex Ferguson and he certainly earned the right to tell his story.

Somehow this reminds me of the incident he recounts where following that FA Cup loss to Arsenal and he kicks a boot that hits Beckham just above the eye and nearly brings the two to blows. This book, while anticipated, is still a boot in the eye of a struggling club in an ill-advised time.

Fire in the hole.

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