We’ve all seen the viral videos of drama queen footballers falling over after a non-contact tackle. And they are quite often followed by a clip of a MotoGP rider high-siding into next week… and then casually dusting himself off before climbing back on the bike. I think we can all agree that most bike racers are probably harder than your average footballer. But is that just the first of many differences between these two groups of professional athletes? Or are there more similarities than you might think? Join us in a study of these sports personalities as we ask ‘bike racers vs footballers; are they really that different?’
If you’re a well known professional footballer, you’re not going to have any trouble getting your end away. In fact if the news papers are anything to go by, there are plenty of them who’s only problem is keeping it to themselves. No, a Premier League contract is a one way ticket to Clunge-ville. Now let’s consider the premier league of motorcycle racing; MotoGP. Have you ever seen a GP rider with a right old rotter on their arm? I certainly haven’t. If they’ve got anything in tow, it’ll be an absolute stunner. And if they haven’t, you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be one (or a handful) waiting in their motorhome or hotel room, to give them a post-race rubdown with a very happy ending.
Because like the footballer, the bike racer’s sex appeal is such that he’ll have the pick of the litter when it comes to choosing a mate. It’s for this reason that we’ve no choice but to call it a draw in this round of bike racers vs footballers, awarding both sides half a point.
The sickening numbers that get banded about regarding footballers wages are just that; sickening. But whilst their million-a-month salaries are the source of some serious envy amongst us laypeople, you can’t really blame the footballers, can you? I mean, I’d be quite happy to accept that sort of pay packet.
And whilst there aren’t that many motorcycle racers that’ll be on north of a million quid a month, there will be a few. Especially when you add personal sponsorship deals, merchandise sales and all that guff to their already healthy factory salaries.
And don’t forget that although some Premier League footballers are on the big bucks, not all of them are. Well not to the same degree, anyway. There are hundreds of them, so the ones earning a little bit less take the average salary down to £240,000 per annum, according to Google. Which is certainly less than the average MotoGP salary. But it might be nearer to the average World Superbike salary, so the only thing for it is to, once again call it a draw and award both sides half a point.
Ask any football fan to describe their favourite player using just one word, and nine times out of ten they’ll say ‘flamboyant’. It doesn’t matter which team you play for, if you score a goal, the adoring crowds want to see your best celebratory dance moves. Thankfully, most professional soccer stars have cottoned onto this, and have well and truly got the moves like Jagger. You could be forgiven for thinking, therefor, that the footy lads will have kicked the biker boys into touch in the flamboyance stakes. But you’d be wrong.
Because thanks to 20 years of Valentino Rossi pulling off his wacky race win celebrations, and special one-off paint jobs, the bike racing industry is now awash with zany characters, hell-bent on outdoing each other’s bonkers behaviour. If Rossi isn’t riding an Austin Powers themed bike, or Lorenzo isn’t jumping into a lake, Johann Zarco is doing backflips off a tyre wall and Scott Redding is dying his hair again. And if that’s not flamboyant, I don’t know what is.
We’ve deduced that bike racers and footballers are equally as flamboyant as each other, so after another half point each, the racers and the footballers are still level-pegging.
All professional sportsmen and women need to be as fit as a butchers dog if they want to stand any chance of winning (except darts). Football and bike racing are by no means the exception. We all know that giving it 110 for the full 90 is no easy task. That’s why to be your team’s top scorer you’ll have to put the time in at the gym, as well as the training ground. But what’s more important than that is the post-match shirt-swapping ceremony. Heaven forbid you take your top off to reveal an unsightly piss-tank, rather than the much more fashionable 6-pack.
For the most part, bike racers do keep their clothes on (although there are some exceptions). But despite plenty of people thinking that ‘the bike does all the work’, it’s still vitally important for a bike racer to be in as good a shape as possible, for every race. Not only because he’ll need every ounce of strength and fitness to haul his race bike round for umpteen laps at a time with no respite, but if he’s carrying an extra stone or two he’ll be out-dragged and outdone by the rest of the featherweight field.
There’s only one thing for it; another tie, and another half a point for each of our super-fit sportspeople.
In the UK, you rarely see bike racers of any description on the cover of Heat Magazine (or any of those shite glossy mags), let alone their wives. Because it’s true that over here, the general public do seem to be more interested in who’s cheated on who, who’s just released a fitness DVD and who’s got the worse case of cellulite, if there is a footballer involved. Usually though, it’s more about the ‘WAGs’ than the actual athlete themselves.
If a bike racer ever gets any column inches in the mainstream media though, it’s usually about him, rather than his sideshow, supermodel girlfriend, which does swing the pendulum back a little bit towards the bike racer, in this round. Although not completely. If our game of bike racers vs footballers was exclusively UK based, the footballers would have taken this round.
But it’s not. And you only have to consider the fame and notoriety of Messrs Rossi, Marquez et al. in their home nations. They’re every bit the A-listers. So, with that in mind, it would be completely unfair to declare the ‘celebrity status’ round anything but a draw. Both sides earn themselves another half a point each.
The results are in
After divvying up the points, it’s come to pass that both the bike racers and footballers have scored 2.5 points. This can lead us to only one conclusion. The notion that bike racers and footballers are different in anyway is completely false. Our study has proved that bike racers and footballers are exactly the same in every single way. Wow. Who’d have thought that?!