Sometimes, first impressions deceive. Sometimes, you only need a single game to show your talents. Sometimes, the host with the most is the least to boast. Just as Alan Thicke pulled himself up by his bootstraps – coming from middle of nowhere Western Ontario and making a splash on American TVs in Growing Pains – Manager W has risen himself to unexpected preeminence.
However, just like with Alan Thicke, jealousy, suspicion, and incredulity cloud the public’s image of Manager W. So, we humbly ask you, please leave him alone.
Gerard Depardieu. Scott Baio. Society gobbles and spits out our TV and sport celebrities whole. When Growing Pains first aired, nobody knew what to make of this dashing Jason Seaver. Was he really a hard-ass? Or a softy on the inside? For a so called psychologist, he used some pretty stern words with his three mischievous kids. And his alleged journalist wife really didn’t seem to travel all that much to cover major stories. Even in the pre-internet days, fictional TV show newsroom budgets were tight. Still, Dr. Seaver soon found himself thick in the heart of a prosperous TV series run – lasting a glorious seven years. Yes, the 2004 Return of the Seavers disappointed, but they at least killed the series before Ben or Mike Seaver had to ride a surfboard and jump over a shark.
Sadly, though, not everybody recalls fondly Dr. Seaver. The vitriol for Alan, though, pails to the verbal assaults launched at Manager W.
Foreign dandy? Not quite. Yes, Manager W has enjoyed his share of time on the continent. In fact, he’s hauled a few trophies from the land of land-locked and multilingual mini-countries. On the Isles, not so much. Still, far away from the UK press and the gossip hounds, Manager W placidly led teams to championships in various different countries. ‘Tis a renaissance man in every respect of the word. Yet still you don’t respect him.
Sure, Manager W coached a mid-tier team to unreached heights. Manager W acquits himself publicly quite well and never seems to ruffle his players’ feathers. However, Manager W gets alot of flak for his brief stint at troubled & past its prime big club. The weight of history. Unrealistic expectations. Uncertain ownership. Aging roster. Manager W’s only mistake was accepting the job. He didn’t see the iceberg before buying his Titanic ticket. Still, that’s not exactly a mortal sin.
Now Manager W finds himself in an odd place: where he wants to be. Near the end of his managerial prime, he must grasp at half-chances to coach major teams. Nobody pities him. Big club fans merely point to his lack of “big club” experience, whatever that means. Pep Guardiola had reserve team experience before taking over Barcelona. Should Manager W wear more dapper outfits? Probably. Should he also take a serious look at rosters before signing a deal? Maybe. However, the clock is ticking on Manager W’s legacy. He knows it. He may never get another half-chance. One fell on his plate, and he’s taking a bite. Much to your dismay.
Manager W’s greatest crime is probably his manner of speaking. At every press conference, he provokes the 2nd grade bully in all of us. Some find his spoken word endearing, like an under-oiled engine trying to start really really hard. Others, of course, prey on his words in an infantile manner. They write blog posts and Guardian comments that would make a kindergartner blush. The internet’s anonymity brings out the worst in them.
Yet Manager W tries to stay above the slings of his managerial career. And we, the Alan Thicke Historical Legacy Society, ask you to be less of a d-bag. At least for the next three months.
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