There is something about footballers that makes them spectacularly bad at fighting. Given the lack of invitation they need to square up to each other, you might think that one or two had thrown a punch in their time.
Yet, Duncan Ferguson aside, they fail even to grasp the basics. Look at the picture of Patrice Evra, right, playing pat-a-cake with a Chelsea groundsman. Just what on earth is he trying to do? Grind his assailant's face with the palm of his hand? And what's with the protruding tongue?
The Manchester United defender's dancing partner is said to be one Sam Bethell, a Millwall fan who reportedly spends his free time "drinking and reading books on football hooliganism". Which, as mower men go, makes him a modern-day Albert Camus.
Evra is far from alone in his pugilistic ineptitude. Scraps are playground standard at best, with protagonists pinching, kicking and occasionally chucking pizza at each other but very rarely landing a telling blow.
Zinedine Zidane claims to be from the 'hood, but surely if you're trying to hurt somebody you don't butt him in the chest? Way to avenge the grave insult on your family, Zizou.
And anyone who hasn't seen Luis Fabiano's legendary 'windmill' fight with Carlos Diogo should go straight to any popular video sharing website to discover why, 15 months on, the clip is still in ED's 'favourites' list.
Compare that to the game with the funny balls. In yesterday's Heineken Cup semi-final, Saracens prop Nick Lloyd unleashed a Calzaghe-esque flurry of blows to the face and body of Munster's Denis Leamy. The result? Yellow card. Perfect.
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Rio Ferdinand at least managed to strike somebody in the tunnel after Saturday's defeat to Chelsea. Unfortunately, it was a woman; a steward who got in the way of the Future England Captain's flailing limbs.
Mindful that Fabio Capello might have been watching, and that 24 hours earlier Fergie said it was Ferdinand's "destiny" to become United skipper, the Rio PR machine moved quickly to defuse the situation with this statement:
"I kicked the wall in frustration at the result as I have done in the past. Unfortunately a lady was stood by and I accidentally brushed her with my foot. I went back to make sure she was okay and apologised profusely. Credit to her she laughed it off and was very understanding. She said she wasn't hurt. I have arranged for a bouquet of flowers to be sent to her."
1- "As I have done in the past"?! So one of the most valuable and highest-paid sportsmen in the world makes a habit of smacking a concrete wall with his oh-so-snappable metatarsals?
2- "I accidentally brushed her with my foot." Now, Rio is supposed to be pretty good at kicking things, right? So to accidentally make contact with a lady when you are aiming for a wall is rather worrying, isn't it? He did not add whether he was going with his weaker left foot, but perhaps he should have tried a John Arne Riise-style diving header instead.
3- "I have arranged for a bouquet of flowers to be sent to her." Agent! Get some flowers to that woman! There, I've arranged for a bouquet to be sent.
In a way, Early Doors is encouraged by the fact that United could be so graceless in defeat. In an age where players give such little indication that they could care less about the result, it is strangely reassuring to see some short tempers and petulance.
Rio gets paid £120,000-a-week even if he loses, so if he were only in it for the money he probably wouldn't bother getting so worked up.
The incident rather caught some of the Sunday columnists on the hop, including Patrick Barclay, whose normally-sound analysis in the Sunday Telegraph was derailed by events at the Bridge.
Early Doors imagines Barclay filing his column nice and early on Friday, anticipating a relaxing weekend spent strolling around the Cotswolds, or possibly sitting at a fake kitchen table in Osterley arguing with other hacks on TV.
His article was entitled 'Rio Ferdinand matures into dream leader' and contained an impassioned argument that the United man should be the next England captain.
Rio's tantrum rather undermined Barclay, whose rhetorical bacon could not even be saved by swiftly-inserted quip about how his misbehaviour makes him more like Roy Keane.
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You didn't have to be Nostradamus to know that Cristiano Ronaldo was going to win the PFA Player of the Year award (in fact, the legendary late medieval seer made a bit of a howler by plumping for Emmanuel Adebayor).
The PFA insists on gathering votes a good month before the end of the season and handing out the awards smack in the middle of squeaky bum time.
Consequently Ronaldo did not attend the ceremony. Instead he came straight from an audition for 'You're The One That I Want', gelled of quiff and leather of jacket, to accept the award from the man who decided he wasn't worth a place in the side for United's biggest league game of the season.
And it was nice to see some recognition for embattled Spurs keeper Paul Robinson, who ended a difficult season by being named in the Championship team of the season at left-back. As a West Brom player.
With Juande Ramos preparing to splash £10m on some giant-handed Spaniard over the summer, the Baggies defender ensures there will still be one Paul Robinson playing top-flight football come autumn.
The Premier League team of the season continued a seemingly Stalinist effort to write Chelsea out of history, which could be difficult if they win the title.
The champions-elect (you just watch United stuff it up against West Ham) had no representatives, while the crumbliest, flakiest football team in the world had four - Fabregas, Adebayor, Clichy and Sagna.
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Time to pay lip service to those north of the border, where Celtic's 3-2 Old Firm win leaves them five points clear at the top of the SPL with three games to go.
Game over, surely? Well, yes, but the title is going to Rangers, who have three games in hand. The only problem for the Gers is that nobody seems able to agree when to play the extra matches.
The SPL have issued two fixture lists - one if Rangers reach the UEFA Cup final and another if they do not, the former scenario seeing the final round of fixtures moved to May 22nd.
Celtic, of course, would rather the season not be extended, thereby forcing their rivals to play five matches in seven days. For the "sporting integrity" of the competition, obviously.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: Avram Grant's wife Tzofit: "I really don't know what will happen next year. I also don't know if Avram knows. I've learned something important during the last year - not to make plans." Really? ED would have thought if Mrs Grant had learned anything important, it would be not to drink urine on national TV.
GOAL OF THE WEEKEND: Marcos Senna's remarkable lob from halfway for Villarreal against Real Betis that kept the Liga title race alive (just). A shame Sky missed the goal as it only showed the second half of that game, reserving the 6-7pm spot on its four channels for more Premier League analysis, Seamaster Sailing, Nottinghamshire v Ireland cricket and WWE wrestling.
FOREIGN VIEW: "¡CAMPEONES! ¡CAMPEONES!" To hell with the fact that Real Madrid haven't clinched La Liga yet, Marca wasn't about to waste its celebratory front cover. Mind you, a 10-point cushion with four games to play says Spain's most one-eyed sports daily probably won't be wearing egg on its face any time soon.
DISS OF THE DAY: The normally-reliable james_ssmith takes exception to the tongue-in-cheek 'Massive List': "Seems to have been a bit of naivety this weekend from ED. If you're going to have "massive" collocating with an FC name then you've got have "huge" or "gigantic" plus all the other syninyms you can think of. Then you might get an idea of which club has the biggest reputation if you really want an answer to this utterly pointless exercise." At least Early Doors can spell 'synonym'.
TALKING POINT: Early Doors is sure you have plenty to talk about from the weekend. Visited a nice stately home? Got that filing done at last? Thrown a punch at Patrice Evra? Share your experiences below.
COMING UP: Who could have imagined that Derby v Arsenal would count for so little at this stage of the season? Still, it's a chance for Arsene Wenger to give the kids a run out and compile a cricket score. Follow it LIVE with us from 8pm this evening.