Friday, November 20, 2009


Sometimes the best communications play is to shut the hell up. Apparently this fundamental is lost on French national footballer Thierry Henri, AKA the most hated man in Ireland right now. Henri set up the go-ahead goal that saw France defeat Ireland for a berth in next year’s World Cup – and did so helped by a stunningly blatant case of “hand balling,” meaning he touched the ball with his hands during the play, which is an absolute no-no in soccer. But let’s look, as we do here at TD&F, purely at his communications performance. Caught red-handed by everyone except the referee, Henri fully admitted the foul. “I will not lie, there was a hand. The ball ran up against my hand and I continued to play, the referee did not whistle and there was a goal,” he said. Full points for honesty, and for that reason, it was probably the smartest thing he said after the fact. But Henri blew it when he threw also threw in a finger-point – “I’m not the referee” – and then the capper: “It was just necessary to exploit what was exploitable. The Irishmen could have doubled their lead two or three times.” In other words, I got away with cheating, and they could have done the same thing if they were as weasely as I am. Audacious. Shameless. He won the game, but he has Fumbled his brand forever.

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