At Liverpool Football Club, the ‘staggering witlessness’ phenomenon has actually been expressed as a collective.
Led by manager Kenny Dalglish (he may have been retired as a player these 22 years, but that is no guarantee of an escape from the dressing-room mentality), the Anfield squad brazenly demonstrated their solidarity with and support for team-mate Luis Suarez in the wake of his being convicted of a racially-motivated verbal assault on Patrice Evra, the Manchester United full-back.
Each succeeding attempt made by Dalglish to defend his player and the club in general simply deepened the hole he was digging, to the point where Evra was joined by the population at large as victims of wanton offensiveness.
In Scotland, the Hibernian midfielder, Leigh Griffiths, demonstrated uncommon nerve by refusing the offer of a one-match suspension by the Scottish FA’s compliance officer after a TV camera, unsurprisingly, had transmitted his execution of an obscene gesture in the direction of his own supporters in the wake of his scoring against Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup.
His appeal would bewilder anyone who saw the pictures of his behaviour, leaving witnesses questioning their own faculties. Perhaps, somewhere along the line, he saw old footage of the OJ Simpson drama and a fantasy was born.
It seemed hardly possible that the foregoing examples of dumbfounding self-delusion could be matched, but Aaron Ramsey, the Arsenal midfielder, made an attempt that resulted in his joining the others at the very summit of crassness. Ramsey, who also captains Wales, expressed his disappointment that his employers at the national football association had not consulted him on the matter of appointing a successor to the late Gary Speed as manager of his country.
This foisting of a rampant ego on the people of Wales is the more monstrous for the detail that Ramsey, who has yet to establish his credentials on the field, turned 21 just over two weeks ago.
He is obviously a boy for whom the phrase ‘too much, too soon’ might have been specifically coined.