The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Lack of Perspective

Bristol City have a debt to the spirit of the game

Right, let me get this straight: Bristol owe a debt to the spirit of the game which produced Chelsea in the ’70’s, Red Star Belgrade in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s, Argentine soccer riots, Millwall Nazis, the Liverpool fans who tried to tip over an ambulance transporting an injured opposing player from the grounds, the Honduras-El Salvador Football War, the Heysel stadium disaster, Lazio Nazis, Spanish fans making monkey noises at Samuel Eto’o, Roy Keane deliberately trying to cripple opposing players, constant diving in every serious league world-wide, Roberto Rojas pretending to be hit by a flare in order to steal a World Cup qualifier, the Zidane headbutt, Franco’s support for Madrid, sectarian rioting and deaths in Scotland for Rangers vs. Celtic, constant coin-throwing from every fanbase in Europe and God knows how many other examples of stupid football behavior?

For my money the fool writing this article has committed a far worse offense than Bristol: he’s demonstrated an abject and disgraceful lack of recognition and perspective on the subject he’s chosen to write, and thus both wasted his readers’ time and contributed to a collective pattern of public ignorance about the history of the sport. That’s a hell of a lot more damage than one goal here or there in a second-level league match can do. If I were as jittery and self-absorbed as Fifield I’d demand that he resign for his sins against the game, but fortunately I have enough of a clue to recognize that this sport has been surviving foul play and whining fair-play obsessives alike since Mudpatch FC first kicked a pig’s bladder across a field towards Back-of-Beyond-United’s end in the middle ages. This too shall pass, no matter how many moist sweater-cosseted schoolboys bemoan it. The best part is that even the Guardian’s often demented commentariat have shouted this column down with an orgy of practical objections, proving again that it’s all of the people some of the time or some of the people all of the time, but not both.

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August 17, 2009 - Posted by | Other Soccer |

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