Belfast Telegraph

What makes sportsmen like Mike get so steamed up?

By Gail Walker

As if the dwarf throwing wasn't enough ...

England rugby captain, Mike Tindall (right), has been caught on CCTV in a clinch with a 'mystery blonde'/'close family friend' (delete according to taste) in a New Zealand bar.

Well, if this woman is a family friend, Zara has no need for enemies. What FF would - if eyewitnesses are to believed - allow herself to be pawed by a newly-married man, kiss his forehead and "grapple" with him on the street.

Of course, had it been the other way round, there wouldn't be an awful lot of this 'family friend' line. But instead supporters of Tindall are backing him online saying the poor man was only blowing off steam and that he's been set up by the media.

Yes, the papers forced him to sit all night in the Altitude bar cavorting while back in Blighty his bride, the Queen's granddaughter, knits a horse. (No story here, folks ... just look the other way.)

Why do sports stars have to 'blow off steam' for the most trivial reasons - in this case a so-so 13-9 win against Argentina?

We'd the same sort of guff last year with the football World Cup - England were terrible because their grim old Italian manager would let them BOS. Win or lose, it seems there's always a lot steam to be gotten rid off.

Still, as we're always being told that "the lads" are "ultimate professionals" it makes you wonder why they can't BOS quietly in their hotel rooms - professionally.

Is it too much to expect a professional sportsman to keep his nose clean for six weeks and do the job they are fabulously well-paid to do?

'Fraid not. All that pent-up steam ... makes you wonder why they don't whistle like kettles when they walk.

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