True, he has behaved despicably. Yes, he's got form for being deeply unpleasant. And it goes without saying that he represents the kind of weasel, untouchable arrogance that people think of when they think of Premiership footballers. He's a walking stereotype. He's not the victim in all this, as he was responsible for his choices. Not only that, but he attempted to use big-shot lawyers to try and hush it all up.
Bearing all that in mind, though, let's climb down from that high horse for a moment. Amidst all the self-congratulatory "justice has been done" articles in the News of the World yesterday, what was the substance of the actual story that demanded such a huge legal fight? A married man has had an affair with a colleague's partner. I don't think this is the first time in history it's happened, unpleasant as it is for those people involved.
As I said during the Tiger Woods saga, we don't really learn anything new by all this. I would appear to be in the minority by thinking that people are entitled to their own privacy during these times - though of course that would mean everyone wanting things to stay private. Clearly, someone wanted this to go public, and I don't think it's beyond realms to suspect that a little bit of money has changed hands at some point, via Max Clifford and associates.
Maybe these stories shouldn't be banned altogether by some kind of restrictive law; maybe I am wrong on that one, if there's a danger it could be used by those in power to shield themselves from genuine scrutiny. But then, that would suppose that newspapers actually do a lot of genuine scrutinising rather than just mucky kiss-and-tell stories about famous people, which add nothing whatsoever to our understanding of the world. Might it not be enough to hope that they could be outnumbered, by better stories that are really in the public interest, rather than just detailing the sex lives of the rich and famous for people to pore over on a Sunday morning? It might be too much, I think. And let's not forget, for every celebrity endorsement-gatherer like Terry, there will be hundreds of Mr and Mrs Nobodys, whose privacy could be invaded at any time, if the tabloids - and others - deem that it's necessary. That's the price we pay for our brave boys of the fourth estate having the freedom to write about people having sex with each other.
And yes, Terry is England captain, but what he does in his private life won't really affect his ability to call heads or tails, or hand over the England pennant at the start of an international match. I don't think the parents of the England mascot will demand that someone other than this person who has had an affair holds their son or daughter's hand while they go through the tunnel at Wembley. At least I don't think it will. It's stretching it a bit far to complain about an 'England crisis' just because the skipper has had an affair. Terry was made captain by dint of the fact that he could shake hands properly and was so good at football that he's a shoo-in for pretty much every game, not because of some moral probity which has now been found to be lacking. (I realise that in this view I find myself in agreement with Rod Liddle, but these things happen. I'm sure it would upset him as much as it would me to find we are pointing in the same direction on this issue, if he knew who the hell I was.)
True, these celebrities do court positive coverage by appearing in those ghastly magazines and inviting us into their lovely £3million gated mansion complete with toilets the size of swimming baths and giant pictures of themselves scoring goals plastered all over the walls. And I daresay they do make a bit of money from the odd bit and bob of baloney here and there - Terry's appearance as 'dad of the year' has been cited as evidence that we had the right to know about this affair, for example. But as I said about Tiger Woods, no-one sponsored him just because - or even because at all - he was a clean-cut family guy; they did so because he is the second best golfer in all history. With Terry, it's the same - the vast majority of his endorsements have come about because he's a highly talented footballer, not because of the now-proven-to-be-wrong perception that he's not the kind of bloke who'd have an affair with a fellow England player's partner. The sponsors didn't seem to mind when he roared abuse at Americans after 9-11, though; if they didn't have an inkling he wasn't an all-round stand-up citizen then, then they were being slightly naive.
I'm not saying Terry isn't a ghastly human being, because it appears that he is. He's not committed any crime but he has not exactly acted with a whole world of decency. But in our delight at another sporting personality's fall from grace, let's not clutch our pearls too tightly.
I wish, instead, that we didn't find out about these stories at all. Not because they didn't happen, but because there are so many things out there so much more worthy of talking about. So many more deserving scoops, which might really impact on our lives in a meaningful way. They say you get the press you deserve. Do we really deserve this?