By most metrics, Mario Balotelli is the most entertaining Premier League player. But the heavyweight title of Supreme Entertainer actually goes to his Liverpool teammate, dancehall connoisseur Daniel Sturridge.
Sturridge is one of those rare talents who clearly really enjoys and thrives in off-field settings. See a video including Sturridge doing non-soccer things, watch it. Several times. Here’s one his latest videos, done in collaboration with BT Sport. He has jokes and personality, a rare combination.
Have a watch and then meet me on the other side, where I’ll share some thoughts on the Sturridge Phenomenon.
1. Daniel Sturridge is in Clint Dempsey territory
Here’s how it happens. Player publicly embraces rap music. Media realizes player likes rap music. Player can’t avoid interview without being asked about rap music by people who seem to know nothing about rap music. The whole thing becomes annoying.
That’s where things stand with Dempsey.
Sturridge isn’t quite there yet. But he’s well on his way. He’s embraced rap music (and dancehall) in public, the media has realized this, and the volume of questions is increasing. But it isn’t remotely annoying yet, and he doesn’t seem that annoyed. In fact, he seems to be enjoying the ride, unlike Dempsey, who sometimes has a look on his face that says, “MOTHERFUCKER STOP ASKING ME TO DROP VERSES YOU CAN’T EVEN NAME FOUR RAPPERS” when being asked about the raps.
2. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can’t dress
*almost dies from laughter*
If you didn’t get to the end of the video, you missed the part where Sturridge calls out The Ox for being a terrible dresser. There’s nowhere to really go with this other than “that’s damn funny.” Saying that a teammate or family member or friend or enemy is is a terrible dresser is always funny.
I’d also like to hear more of Sturridge’s thoughts on Chambo’s dancing.
3. On a Tuesday
Sturridge singing Makonnen’s “Tuesday” is just funny, and his confidence when he’s wrong is something I admire greatly.
4. Awkward use of slang
Sturridge: “Come on, man, don’t try to front on me like that!”
And then the FRONT graphic plops on the screen. It’s awkward. I don’t need to say why but it has to do with editorial decisions. Oops.
5. Fashion/Swag critique
Sturridge: “This is my opportunity to put guys on blast.” It’s a sentence I need to hear from more players. But that’s why Sturridge is heavyweight champion. Because he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
Another hot line from Dan to Mams (Mamadou Sakho): “Cream the ankles up, Mams.” I died when I heard that. Maybe you won’t, but I did. It’s a miracle that I can type while dead.
I’m going to stop. If you haven’t watched the entire video, you should, because Dan is the greatest soccer player entertainment you’ll get in the English language. Full stop.