When was the last time you swore on your daughter’s life?
For that matter, when was the last time you swore on your own life or anyone else’s life?
I can’t remember the last time I did but I was probably lying.
Especially if I swore on my own life.
It’s one of those telltale signs, isn’t it?
It’s very Macbethian, isn’t it? “The lady doth protest too much.” does she not?
Not that anything ever comes of it.
I’ve yet to hear of someone being struck down by lightening because their life has been put on the line in a bid to convince others of their innocence or honesty.
It’s the last act of a desperate man that’s meant to make us think “If he’s willing to swear on his daughter’s life, then he must be telling the truth.”.
In a reality it’s just an immature Get Out of Jail card for anyone in a fix.
My hamster ate my homework. I swear on my mother’s life, it did. That kind of thing.
That’s exactly why Harry Kane has been mocked for swearing on “his daughter’s life” that the ball brushed his shoulder as Christian Eriksen swung his goal bound free-kick in to the box.
For someone who shows so much maturity in his play and his responses to questions off it, such an answer seemed beneath him.
I even winced a little as I expected the stock answer of “I think I got a touch on it but it doesn’t matter who gets the goal, as long as the team wins.” to come out of his mouth.
Perhaps this is it.
Perhaps him veering away from the holier than thou, ultra professional Kane that we’re all familiar with is why appealing to the dubious goals panel seems so petty.
My first thought was of Eriksen.
To the naked eye of those watching and to the the officials too it looks like an Eriksen goal and most teammates would just let it slide but how would you feel if one was fervently trying to deny you the goal and subsequent bonus?
Okay, so he’s hardly taking the food out of the mouths of Eriksen’s kids, but still, there’s being competitive and there’s risking team harmony for the sake of a touch so faint we’re going to need cricket’s snickometer to come to a decisive conclusion.
Initially, I was in a agreement with those screwing their faces up at Kane and thinking “Really? You’re taking it this far?”.
Like a kid threatening to take his ball home unless you award him the goal.
Then I thought again.
What could have made him, Saint Harry of Spurs, act like this?
What is it that has driven him to look so desperate? Whatever you want to call it, it’s the very same thing that has taken him where he is today, above everyone else and alongside the greatest goalscorers ever to grace English football.
I baulk a little at his declaration that scoring goals is an obsession but that says more about me as it does him, just as all of us who scoff at lodging an appeal to wrestle that goal from Eriksen.
It touched me, therefore it’s mine.
In all fairness, despite the prepubescent protestations, I do believe him when he says the ball touched him but I think differently about it now.
That behaviour has to be there, ingrained in him, otherwise he wouldn’t have even scored that first Premier League goal, never mind squabble over what potentially could be his 103rd.
He may not seem to have the nasty streak that Shearer possessed in a physical sense, but he is every bit as ruthless, and to expect him to behave in a reasonable manner in situations like this would be unreasonable in itself.
This all draws back to conversation with a friend about the troubles former footballers have adjusting to to real life after football.
It would lead to a much healthier football afterlife if we could keep a barrier between work and home, to become professionally schizophrenic.
It’s just not that easy to be Dr Jekyll without being Mr Hyde too.
It’s what drives the great on from the good.
I’ve noticed it in friends whilst we’re playing games. Whilst in Denmark, I loved playing mini/crazy golf but I had to stop playing because the games became so tense.
I wanted to go there to have some fun.
What I didn’t want was to have a bead of sweat trickling down my temple as I lined up a putt to make sure the game was still all square going on to the last.
Whether you win or not is not as relevant as long as the will to win and the disappointment of loss is still there.
Once that competitive edge dies away, you’re loser whatever the final score.
So all Harry Kane’s reaction proves is that he is still a winner and success and money hasn’t blunted it.
His reaction just proves that he isn’t like me and you and that is a good thing for him.
Sportsmen and women aren’t always rational and when they are are single-minded as they are, what we see as irrational makes perfect sense to them.
What difference does it make us whether the ball hit or missed Harry’s shoulder?
Not a great deal.
What does it make to Harry if he’s on 102 or 103 Premier League goals?
It means everything to him and that’s why he’s on course to legendary status at Spurs and we are both doing what we are right now.
One man’s desperation is another man’s desire. It just depends who you are and how much you want it.
Whatever it is you’d like in your life, if you wanted it as much as Harry wants to score goals, I’d guarantee you’d get it.