Cards on the table - Wayne Rooney probably shouldn't be starting football games for England or Manchester United. Just to make it clear where this is coming from.
That being said... the reaction to The Sun's story - released over two days, so you know they've got massive boners over it - has gone too far. In fact, it went too far the second that it was given more than a shrug, and it's just snowballed since then.
If you've been fortunate enough to miss the story, here's a quick recap: Wayne Rooney went out and got drunk.
Seriously, that's it. There was no 'on the eve of a match' angle, he didn't do anything illegal, he didn't get frisky with anyone, he just... got drunk. A week before his next match. And is taking a hammering for it. He isn't even doing something really irritating, like using increasingly shortened sentences to make a point.
It's very hard to see what the issue is, from any conceivable football angle. Is he still going to be hungover on Saturday lunchtime? Even if he went on the weekend bender of all weekend benders, that's not happening.
Is he going to exacerbate his little injury niggle while he's out? Not likely - if you were feeling cheeky, you could probably even point out that he's sitting down in a bunch of the pictures which have come out. Not going to strain anything there.
Is dehydration the worry? Is The Sun, perhaps, springing this story because they're concerned that Rooney's going to stumble into a table leg and stub his toe, putting his status in question for upcoming matches?
Probably not, no. Much more likely, this is just puritanical nonsense - aiming at the moral panic audience base who beg for a return to the non-existent days where footballers were robots, and had no lives off the pitch.
There are - to be fair - a couple of things which should probably be brought up when Rooney meets his life coach next. Crashing a wedding party while wearing your England jumper and polo shirt? Have a look at yourself, Wayne. That's poor form, on so many levels.
The choice of red wine, too, probably should have been given a bit more consideration. That's going to be an ugly hangover, and some weird-looking sick in the morning when that stage of 'the day after' kicks in.
Also? He went out with Phil Jagielka. Is there a single man in the England squad who seems like a less interesting night out than Phil Jagielka? Go out and play a platonic third wheel to Eric Dier and Dele Alli; or have a few with the Liverpool lads. Head off to get John Stoned. Go and racially abuse a tourist with Jamie Vardy if you have to, but for the love of god, do something interesting.
Actually, on second thoughts, maybe don't do that last one.
The only people who have any real reason to be irritated are - perhaps - England and Manchester United's sponsors, for whom Rooney isn't projecting a very 'on-brand' message. On the other hand, who cares?
The only possible reason that this could be a 'real story' in a football sense is if Rooney were to have a real problem with incidents like this - in which case, splashing it around the front and back pages would continue to be a terrible way to deal with it.
Look, we all get it. The Sun are raging against the death of print media by doing what they've always done - selling a few papers with some unfortunate pictures of someone, accompanied by some 'quotes' from 'unnamed sources'.
Still, it's slightly better than bitching about Raheem Sterling's mum's taps. Baby steps.
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