Fighting in football – do it properly or don’t do it at all
Hayden Shaw’s fed up with namby-pamby handbags and players feigning injury. Why not let them settle their differences the old-fashioned way, THEN deal with them? It’s a fair point…
How is it that modern day footballers are able to find the strength to batter people both in and out of nightclubs and pubs, but when lightly tapped in the face or chest on the football pitch they go down clutching themselves like they’ve been sprayed with acid?
In the old days of football a scrap was a scrap. Now it’s just embarrassing. I’m not saying that violence is big, clever or cool. But handbags definitely are NOT. In fact they are far, far worse.
A lot gets said about footballers having responsibilities as role models, and that extends to fighting on the pitch. They shouldn’t do it. At all. Kids shouldn’t be seeing their inspirations resorting to violence. But that’s a very idealistic. If footballers are going to resort to violence they should at least make sure they aren’t showing kids how to get their heads kicked in. If I tried a headbutt in Sunday League like the one Bacary Sagna attempted against Zabaleta last week I would still be in a coma now.
15 years ago I was at a school camp where I witnessed someone attempt the ‘Crane Kick’ made popular by cult film the Karate Kid. Ours wasn’t a very rough school so this boy made it out alive. But he mistakenly thought that because the kick had made uber pussy Daniel win the tournament, it would make him hard. If kids go around thinking a tap on the face is going to get them through a fight they are in serious trouble.
I love watching football, I also love watching UFC, but I hate wrestling. I would rather football and UFC stayed separate, but I’d also like players to stop provoking each other and then play acting like douchebags, because having to explain to your girlfriend that he’s not hurt he’s just a pansy makes you feel a little bit of shame for your sport and a bit of regret that you didn’t watch the rugby instead.
If I was earning a modern footballer’s wage I’d pay a tough as nails, ex SAS nutter to train me up. Not so I could hurt people, but because the Bourne films are awesome. With all the back flips and cartwheels in celebrations these days scraps on the pitch should be like a Jet-Li and Jason Statham mash up. Nani trying a triple backflip mega kick (I made that up) whilst Scholes punches Heskey in the throat, kicks Petrov in the knee and elbows him in the temple whilst choking Ashley Young with his snood. It would be carnage. So maybe it’s a good job they aren’t like me and spending their money on martial arts training.
One thing is for certain though: for the number of conflicts to drop something really needs to be done about the wind up merchants. For almost every Zidane there is a Materazzi, someone winding his fellow pro up so much they snap. Should Zidane have smashed his head into Marco’s chest? No. But if I said those sorts of things to someone in the pub I’d be expecting carnage.
I don’t know if there is an answer to this, can you book someone retrospectively for being a bit of a knob? There’d be a LOT of bookings. Well maybe do it the way they do in ice hockey, you start a fight, you see it through. Materazzi wants to slag off Zidane’s sister, mother, barber or even his choice of boots, fine, but be ready for a brawl and a double sending off. Maybe then you’d get less of the provocation, and if not at least the fights would be better.
You can follow Hayden on twitter @elhaydo