There’s been a bit of a storm circling around Bradley Wiggins over the last few days. Not about the way he rides a bike, which is incredible, but more about a few dirty words he said to the members of the Fourth Estate.
Brad was asked but the doping rumours that swirl around on Twitter. His colourful response contained an F, a W and a big C bomb. I know. Shocking.
Since then he’s been lambasted by some, including my own colleague Mike Tomalaris who doesn’t like what he see’s as Wiggins disrespectful and boorish behaviour.
Sure, Wiggins choice of language left a bit to be desired, but his response was primal. A deep seated anger at those casting aspersions upon his work. Upon his very being. The bait was laid and he gobbled it up.
But give me a man who reacts with honesty and fire over one who trots out the same anodyne media quotes. Wiggins is honest, up front and speaks his mind. As someone who’s job is the media, I like this. He’s interesting.
Wiggins is a complex character. A deep thinker and a man prone to huge periods of self doubt, and dark depressions. One of his close advisors said that Brad called him a few days ago and asked him to come over to see him before the Time Trial as he had to talk to him about it. He also revealed the black periods following races, where Brad fails to cope with life away from the bike race.
Ego? No. Arrogance? No. If he’s guilty of anything its of trying hard to disguise his own insecurities. With the media he’s pugnacious but I feel it’s a sign of his own insecurities. And of having a slight potty mouth.
It’s a strange media landscape we live in. We bemoan the lack of characters in sport these days; how they are all media trained robots, but expect them to still entertain us, and be role models. Yet in this tour Peter Sagan has been criticised for celebrating wins, and Wiggins for speaking his mind.
Damned if you do.