DASH OF CHEER

Fol­low­ing the re­cent teething trou­ble of Luis Suarez’s, Malavika Sang­ghvi sinks her teeth into a let­ter

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

Dear Mr Suarez,

I won­der if you feel you’ve bit­ten off more than you can chew with the lat­est in­ci­dent in­volv­ing your pearly whites and a cer­tain shoul­der be­long­ing to Gior­gio Chiellini.

That in­ci­dent, tak­ing place as it did dur­ing a cru­cial match of the World Cup be­tween Uruguay and Italy has to put it gen­tly, set the world’s teeth on edge be­cause it has demon­strated once again how you like to sink your teeth into the game you play.

Af­ter all, this is not the first time you’ve been ac­cused of ‘ bit­ing’ a fel­low player dur­ing a game Mr Suarez. Ear­lier, there have been noted demon­stra­tions of your pen­chant for fight­ing tooth and nail to win, like the in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Branislav Ivanovic that oc­curred a few years ago, and an­other with Ot­man Bakkal amongst a few oth­ers, earn­ing you the so­bri­quets ‘ Drac­ula’ and ‘ Can­ni­bal’.

Of course, your enthusiasm for bit­ing the bul­let is part of a long and colourful his­tory of sport­ing love- bites: Alex Bur­rows bit Pa­trice Berg­eron, in Game 1 of the 2011 Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal; Marc Savard was ac­cused of bit­ing Philadel­phia’s Daniel Car­cillo in the sec­ond pe­riod of Game 2 of the Bru­ins- Fly­ers play­off se­ries in 2010; Tree Rollins bit Danny Ainge dur­ing a fight in a 1983 Celtic­sHawks play­off game, ( giv­ing rise to the pi­quant head­line ‘ Tree bites Man’); Jar­rko Ru­utu bit Andrew Peters in a Sen­a­tors- Sabres game in 2009; and in 2010 Ar­ron Asham ac­cuses Matt Cooke of bit­ing.

But of course the Rolls Royce of bit­ing, the very acme of the art of bit­ing the bul­let, per­haps the most fa­mous sports bite of them all, oc­curred when Mike Tyson bit Evan­der Holy­field dur­ing their 1997 heavy­weight fight in Las Ve­gas, which means you still have a long way to go in your teething ca­reer.

The thing about your pre­ferred tac­tic of get­ting un­der your op­po­nents skin is of course that a tooth for a tooth tends to set people’s teeth on edge and give rise to a Twit­ter uni­verse of sound bytes as you might have no­ticed af­ter the in­ci­dent with Chiellini.

You were the trend­ing topic, the sub­ject of dis­cus­sion and foot­ball fans who cared about the ethics and fair­ness of the beau­ti­ful game, bit back with their dis­ap­proval.

It was also said ( un­fairly in my opin­ion) that in your case there was a his­tory of bit­ing the hand that fed you. Your ac­ri­mo­nious and highly pub­lic wran­gling with your Club Liver­pool, es­pe­cially with its man­ager Brendan Rodgers and the many pub­lic dec­la­ra­tions you had made of your un­hap­pi­ness with the team that paid £ 22.8 mil­lion to get you are part of foot­ball lore.

Why have you al­lowed your bad be­hav­iour to come in the way of your suc­cess, Mr Suarez? Why are you fol­low­ing a path that could re­sult in all your dreams of glory bit­ing the dust? Some say your child­hood was spent in poverty, your years spent away from home and your frus­tra­tions ad­just­ing to for­eign climes have added to your ag­gres­sion. Oth­ers be­lieve that your hunger to win, blinds you to ev­ery­thing else and pro­pels you to fight tooth and nail for vic­tory.

What­ever be the case, your many fans are hop­ing that your re­cent teething trou­bles do not mar your ca­reer per­ma­nently.

As for the mat­ter of whether you ac­tu­ally did sink your teeth in to poor Gior­gio Chiellini’s hap­less shoul­der: we await the tooth, the tooth and noth­ing but the tooth!

Take care and my ad­vice to you is that ev­ery time you feel your ag­gres­sion ris­ing, count to ten and, well … bite your tongue.

Yours sincerely etc,

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