I Lose, Your Fault.

"We have understood how things go - it has all been decided. They have decided to give the world championship to Schumacher and that is what will be." So speaketh conspiracy expert Renault boss Flavio Briatore and his sexy tan on Italian television.

Whenever something like this arises it's always fun to consult history to help decipher a pattern and arrive at some form of truth. History leaves its footprints.

Throughout the 90s teams complained about the alleged abuses of Ferrari. In basketball, the Detroit Pistons thought the "league" was out to get them when paranoia set in their locker room. Argentina had similar thoughts during the1990 World Cup. I guess in some team work better at the sub-atomic psychological level. It helps them to play better under a 'us against them' scenario.

In the end, all this adds up to is strong suspicion. And you can't take suspicion to court right? Right.

In the case of Ferrari, the suspicion that gave way to conspiracy makes little sense. Especially considering McLaren had outright dominance for over a decade with Ayrton Senna prior to Ferrari taking over. Booms and bust. Booms and busts). Once the facts escape people who get their butts kicked the only thing they can fall back on is the 'unsportsmanlike' behaviour of their opponents.

Maybe Briatore's comments point to another reality.

In the 80s, my elite soccer team was very talented. Raw but not coached properly. We knew this. We would often lose to lesser teams that were far more physical and organized. We had every excuse in the book. Now that I look back in hindsight we had no one but ourselves to blame. One thing I learned is that no one has the monopoly on such an elusive concept as 'sportsmanship' in professional sports. We would often point out what the other guy was doing but turned a blind eye to our own indiscretions.

Watching millionaire cry babies behave like pampered sore losers is a lot to digest. Ferrari kicked their asses and there has to be some sinister plot to explain this. If I lose. it's gotta be your fault. It just has to. I'm waiting for Michael Moore or Oliver Stone to make a movie profiting from this.

Of course Mr. Briatore took back his foolish comments and claimed it was a 'joke.' Which it possibly was but in these days where conspiracy theories run rampant who knows anymore?

Renault's top driver and reigning world champion Fernando Alonso, for his part, felt he needed to speak out and told a Spanish sports paper that Michael Schumacher was "the most unsporting driver in the history of F1.' Slap me if I have heard this one before. Just a couple of weeks ago former world champion Jacques Villenueve claimed that history would not remember Schumacher.

An astonishing assertion to make. On the contrary, With 90 plus victories and a possible 8th world title along with his win at all cost attitude, Schumacher will, and I'll take a stab here, be remembered for the ages. It's ole Jack who will be pushed to the back pages of F1 history. Possibly even Alonso.

They speak of sportsmanship but their own comments cab be interpreted as unsportsmanlike.

The sports landscape is filled with die-hard winners from Vince Lombardi to Pete Rose. From Maurice Richard to Ty Cobb - to name a precious few. In F1, Ayrton Senna had the same desire and will to win as Schumacher yet people choose to forget this.

All this does point to a larger general malaise in modernity doesn't it? We've heard how accountability and responsibility are all but forgotten words waiting to be rediscovered. We have been conditioned to think that the best isn't really the best anymore. That the truth - or your version of it - is not the truth at all. That excellence is built on the backs of others. 'Society' is a convenient scapegoat these days. "They have all the money" is a popular excuse. Yet, how do you think Ferrari and by extension the New York Yankees and other great teams made money? By reaching the pinnacle of their respective sports that's how.

No. I am not daft to the point of naivete. Of course, corruption exists. Of course, it is possible that sports are rigged. The world is filled with questionable men of dubious distinctions. However, there is a fine line between a healthy skepticism and a outright paranoia.

Flavio and Fernando should give Dr. Phil a call.

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