In one of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld, George Costanza, a pathetic loser who lies and cheats his way through life, learns to cut his losses my immediately leaving the scene after a humorous remark – “leaving on a high note.” Why risk reverting back to your questionable and often problematic behavior, when you can escape leaving everyone else with a fond memory? Showmanship, the ultimate getaway.
In Turkey this past weekend, we were treated to such behavior by the manager of Ankaragucu, Ümit Özat. His club currently lie 13th in the league table, just seven points off the drop zone and fourteen points from a European place. Despite some impressive results, the fans have become restless with the manager and the stagnant form of the club, repeatedly calling for his resignation.
Facing Manisaspor on Sunday, Özat’s club desperately needed three points to silence the critics, and they conceded the first goal. However, a 42nd minute equalizer from Metin Akan gave the home side a breath of fresh air, and a chance for the manager to lash out. In complete ecstasy and rage, Özat threw his clipboard to the ground and punched the air in the direction of the ultras, which didn’t exactly go over too well. One maniac ran onto the pitch to attack the manager only to be met by a shuddering right hook. As if that wasn’t enough, Özat proceeded to river dance on the young man’s head connecting with two thunderous blows of the foot. Both men were ejected.
As for the game itself, Manisaspor scored twice in the 90th and won 3-1. Immediately following the match, Özat resigned as manager and left a love note for the supporters: “These dogs got what they want.”
And just like that, he rode off into the sunset with a 1st round KO under his belt and a claim to glory as the best departure by a manager on a high note. Nobody will remember the declining form of the club and the bad results. Only the animal inside him and his lasting mark on the ultras, a show of force and pride. Showmanship.