Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sticks And Stones

Well, this is all a bit "he said she said", and if Lee Hendrie really did tell a disabled fan to "get up out of your wheelchair" that would be sick, but there are still a couple of points I'd like to talk about. When the guy says

"I called out to him: 'You're a professional footballer, you should be able to rise above it.'"

What ? Why ? This is the bentest thing in football. Fans give out the most horrendous stick to footballers, safe in the knowledge that they are hidden in the crowd, free from reprisal. Then if the player has a word back they report him. Now OK, I have told the odd opposing player where to go in the heat of the moment sometimes, it's a passionate game. But if he gave me some back I wouldn't go running to teacher.

And the other thing is, "You're a professional footballer, you should be able to rise above it" ? That sounds, to me, a remarkably unlikely thing for someone to shout out at a football match. Of course, here I must reference the case of Matthew Simmons, the Palace fan who was so memorably given the Hong Kong Phooey Chop by Eric Cantona. Simmons testified in court that he ran down from the 12th row to shout "It's an early bath for you Cantona !", when other witnesses reported his words as being more along the lines of "fuck off back to France you motherfucker".

Cantona was a mean son of a bitch, and he once scored a 99th minute goal that was instrumental in QPR's relegation from the Premiership. Nonetheless, you had to admire his swagger, and if you're going to be a bad guy, much better to be an out-and-out evil SOB than a niggly twat like say Robbie Savage. I'll always have a soft spot for Cantona, just for the picture of Simmons and the look on his face at the exact moment he realised that he wasn't safe in the crowd and that 14 stones of professional athlete was rocketing towards him studs first.

3 Comments:

  • At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    God, absolutely. Why is it so many fans suddenly become incredibly prim and proper the moment a footballer or - as happened in one amusing case in Scotland recently - a referee tells them to f*ck off? People spend the whole time abusing the poor bastards and then expect them to conform to a public standard of behaviour that everyone else gets to leave at the gate of the stadium. 'Tis sanctimony, I tell you.

    Cartman

     
  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Pete O'S said…

    Absolutely true. You might enjoy this story from this weekend's Heineken Cup.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/ulster/6292399.stm

     
  • At 10:49 AM, Anonymous pete o's said…

    Sorry, would have been nice if the whole link had pasted. Put 'Ulster' onto the end for maximum satisfaction.

     

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