When it comes to facing off against opponents that you simply cannot beat, there is death and little else that can hold such a lofty reputation in battle. There is, however, one other inevitable aspect of life that eventually affects everyone and Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier tried to step into the ring with that unstoppable force yesterday.
Despite his best efforts to fight it off, Dier succumbed to the beast just like billions of others have.
Final result: Intestinal distress KO over Eric Dier.
During his squad’s Carabao Cup match against Chelsea, Dier was minding his own his business when he had to go. Like bad...really bad. Despite the game still going on, Dier bolted from his spot on the pitch and made a beeline to the dressing room in hopes of relief.
Look, EVERYONE knows that feeling and EVERYONE understands the urgency of the situation when you get hit. You are minding your own business and then it happens...out of nowhere. The feeling can only accurately be described as if you unexpectedly took a flaming spear to the gut.
That’s right...a flaming spear. It is the ONLY way to describe that feeling and Dier, well yeah, he knows it all too well by now. It is, by all accounts, one of the worst and most helpless feelings you can have...no matter where you are.
Running in the park? DEAR GOD!
So imagine, the instant sweat on the brow of Dier when that feeling hit in the middle of a Carabao Cup game. He likely knew it was bad...really bad. The stages of this feeling are nothing short of a horror scene and Dier likely raced through them all on short order:
- Stage 1: Confusion — Wait, what’s happening? Oh no, this is bad! Why me? Why now?
- Stage 2: Uneducated bravery — I can fight this. I just need to hold off a little bit longer to be in a more advantageous position.
- Stage 3: Realizing you are dumb — There is no fighting this! Find a solution.
- Stage 4: Absolute panic — You start to conjure up scenarios for an “exit plan” that you would NEVER consider in a normal circumstance. Shirts, socks, pizza boxes...everything is in play.
- Stage 5: Aborting any previous mission (including Cup games!) — At this point, there is only one goal and that is to find a place to “extinguish the flame.”
- Stage 6: The reality of the situation — The remorse when the trigger is pulled.
- Stage 7: Temporary relief and the hope — The optimism that this is a one-time occurrence.
- Stage 8: Regret — There is always regret.
As for Dier, he handled this situation with aplomb. He had some humor about it, but wanted everyone to know the dire reality of the situation.
“Everyone can imagine,” Dier told the BBC after the game. “I am okay, but that was a first for me. There was nothing I could do about it and when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. Some things you can’t stop. I don’t know if Jose understood what I was doing to begin with. I told Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Toby Alderweireld as I was going off, I simply had to go. I was struggling with stomach cramps, it had got too bad.”
If anyone captured the reaction of Hojbjerg and Alderweireld, it could easily become an Oscar-worthy short film.
More, Dier might have told a couple teammates, but he didn’t fill Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho in on what was about to go down. So what did Mourinho do when he saw Dier quickly, but gingerly, exiting the pitch? Mourinho chased Dier back through the bowels of the stadium and into the locker room. What was the purpose of that jaunt? Emotional support? If there is EVER a time that someone needs “alone time” it may be when dealing with a flaming spear.
For its part, Tottenham Hotspur acknowledged the oddity of situation and embraced the real unsung hero of the game:
Anyway, if you learned anything from this roll around the bowl, it is that you should always FEAR THE SPEAR.