To be fair, your
mama is most potent overseas, where cultural taboos vary. Last year Ronaldo
threw a water bottle at Real Madrid fans who insulted his mother. A year
earlier Madrid teammate David Beckham was red-carded for calling a Spanish
linesman a hijo de puta (son of a whore). And yet Beckham was still outraged
this summer when the German tabloid Bild said his mum has "the smile of a
peasant," an uproarious example of German wit.
In the end, as
Materazzi may discover, your mama references almost always end up hurting the
insulter more than the insulted. In 1995 Eric Cantona, the French striker of
Manchester United, was suspended for nine months after kung-fu kicking a
Crystal Palace fan in the chest during a match for allegedly insulting his
mother. That fan, 20-year-old Matthew Simmons, denied ever mentioning Cantona's
m�re, but the damage was done.
A decade later
Cantona was the bearded narrator in this summer's ubiquitous Nike soccer
commercials, while Simmons is left to lament that the mere allegation that he'd
slurred a mother cost him his job and ruined his life. Ten years on, a reporter
for the London Observer found him living semireclusively in that city with a
virtuous woman who had remained true to him-the very opposite of your mama.
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