The similarities between the last day of the Premier League and year 12 'muck up day' are uncanny. The Circus explains.
Just like muck-up day
In a lot of ways, the final day of the Premier League season resembles the last day of year 12. Pranks are played on teachers, kids dress up in wacky outfits and/or next season's away gear, and there is always someone that takes it too far.
This year's culprit was QPR captain Joseph Anthony Barton (surely the Circus is not the only one giggling at that phrase) who returned to what he does best - ultra-violence on the football pitch.
In one of the worst displays of sportsmanship in memory, Barton was sent off for elbowing Carlos Tevez in the head (so far just a normal game of football for Barton), but on his way off the pitch he also saw fit to attack eventual match-winner Sergio Aguero and Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany.
Carlos buries the hatchet (in Fergie's head)
Such tumultuous times always bring out the true character of football's gallery of heroes and villains.
There are good winners, like Roberto Mancini: "Five minutes from the end I didn't think we could win this game. It was a crazy season and a crazy last few minutes."
And begrudging losers like Sir Alex Ferguson: "Everybody expected City to win, but they did it against 10 men for half an hour and with five extra minutes to help them. I congratulate City on winning the league. Anybody who wins it deserves it, because it's a long haul. It wasn't our turn today."
Then there is Tevez, who hoped the pain of defeat would literally kill his former boss at Manchester United.
How to apologise, part 1
Tim Cahill's last act of the season was a vain attempt to throttle Yohan Cabaye moments after Everton secured a 3-1 over Newcastle. The Australian's moment of rage, sparked by a sledge from Cabaye, earned him a red card. The Newcastle man didn't go unpunished, copping a yellow for his part in the unseemly scuffle.
After the match, Cabaye had the good grace to issue a statement, which read in part: "It was unnecessary and, regrettably, the result of frustration and disappointment, all in the heat of the moment. It is out of character and for that I am sorry."
In the face of such good grace, the Circus is not surprised that both clubs are willing to move on.
How to apologise, part 2
Cabaye's humility is laudable but it is nowhere near as entertaining as Barton's mea culpa via Twitter after his contributions to the bizarro world that was Etihad Stadium.
"The head was never gone at any stage, once I'd been sent off, one of our players suggested I should try to take 1 of theirs with me...Never worked but god loves a trier," he wrote after the match.
"Think a few people are forgetting Tevez started the fracas by throwing a punch to the head...?
"Right am off for a bit. Gonna enjoy QPR still being a Premiership club with all my team-mates. Cheerio people."
Barton went on to prove how much his head was not gone by unleashing yet another tirade at Alan Shearer, his former manager at Newcastle who now commentates for the BBC.
In the face of such bald-faced idiocy, the Circus will be very surprised if Barton is within shouting distance of Loftus Road when QPR gathers for the start of pre-season.
Super Mario's last laugh
From car crashes to prostitute scandals, from errant backheels to studs-up challenges and even that famous fireworks incident, Mario Balotelli's season has been anything but dull.
Now, with a Premier League winner's medal around his neck, Mario has a simple message for his critics: "A lot of people talked bad about me this year, so now they have to shut up and watch me."
The Circus will be among those happily obliging with Balotelli's polite request. Long may his madcap antics continue, and may Mancini and England's tabloids never tire of them. We at Circus Towers certainly won't.
The spoken word
"I want to say it is the best moment of my life but if I'm honest then I would say please never again this way. Miracles do happen in Manchester. Only this time it's on this side of the road." - Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany on the chaotic end to the Premier League season.
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