Scotland and Liverpool legend, Graeme Souness, wasn’t one for the shin guards. Rolling his socks around his ankles fitted his hard nut image. His mustache sprouted a cowboy tough guy vibe. His perm was like a lion’s mane, a threat to men with less Leo. For Souness could bite, bite your legs off. He could hack like a geek, and philosophize like a Greek – “It is a proper one…it feels like a knife,” he reflected.
Take that esoteric thought and manifest it into a playing career that put the back into backbone. For Scotland he was a hero, for Liverpool a leader, for TV a pundit with a large opinion. Hail the warrior! As coach of Turkish giants Galatasary, he grabbed his team’s flag and planted it in the center circle of their hated opponents, Fenerbache’s stadium, setting off revenge fantasies that will last a lifetime. Talk about a crusader’s bravery and madness.
He received his mail addressed to the Butcher of Bilbao. Andoni was not a man who settled scores through diplomacy. Forget about him having a career at the United Nations. When he did not like you on a soccer field, the spirit of the grim reaper possessed him and he scythed with the whack of the vicious. Just ask Diego Maradona; the Butcher left scraps of the Argentine’s ankle on the field for the birds to feed on. Maradona’s shoe was shredded like mince meat. Rumor had it that the Butcher kept it and placed it on top of his TV set as an advert for his unique brand of brutality.
Chelsea FC legend, Ron Harris, could have worked in the post office. His opponents knew that a parcel stamped with Ron’s signature tackle was always in the post and likely to be delivered late. Return to sender could have been his theme song. Anyone trying to deliver defeat to Ron and Chelsea were sent crashing back to earth. The Chelsea fans loved his hardness. And what is not to love about a man who titled his autobiography “Chopper.” Buy it for a friend but if you send it, put extra stamps on it.
University of New Mexico defender, Elizabeth Lambert, took matters and pieces of opponents into her hands. Elbows, kicks and wrenching ponytails to the ground were all part of her repertoire. Caught on camera acting dangerous, and banned by her school from playing, her actions became Youtube fodder for the campaign to brand soccer the Beautiful Game. It’s a picture perfect example of why those prone to violent outbursts should play chess and not soccer. She told the New York Times, “I still deeply regret it and will always regret it and will carry it through the rest of my life not to retaliate.”