Sunday, 29 January 2017

All’s fair in footy

We have the same grossly insincere pretence that sport always encourages a sense of honour, when we know that it often ruins it.
G. K. Chesterton - What’s wrong with the world? (1910)

Many years ago, Son played for a local junior football team. I went along to help with various jobs which have to be done for each match including putting up the nets, running the line and on the whole I enjoyed it. It was an experience as they say, but what I also recall too well is the cheating. There was a lot of that. I’ll give one example, but there were many more.

Towards the end of one season Son’s team were due to play an away match against a much weaker team faced with the possibility of relegation. We arrived at the ground and hung around the changing hut waiting for it to be unlocked.

Members of the opposition team were also hanging around the changing hut, including four remarkably big lads who looked a little furtive. We didn’t remember them from the previous encounter and there had also been stories about this team playing over age players. Those big lads certainly looked over age.

After a while the referee turned up but fortunately he wasn’t just any referee, he was the League Secretary doing a spot check on ineligible players. Oh dear. The four big lads quietly legged it and Son’s team won as expected. All part of the rich tapestry that is junior football.


Sam Vega said...

"There are quite enough real causes of trouble already, and we need not add to them by encouraging young men to kick each other on the shins amid the roars of infuriated spectators."

(George Orwell)

Anonymous said...

Given any opportunity humans will cheat, lie and take the p%^s. Legislation deliberately? takes this fact into account until the abuses have been long standing and egregious. As some law lord said - 'the greatest difficulty writing legislation is building in the loopholes'.

wiggiatlarge said...

We live next to the local recreation ground/sports centre, when the junior teams, under tens, play they put up a "respect " barrier to keep the parents of the pitch, bizarre that the youngest and that includes girls have to be protected from the antics of pushy parents.

James Higham said...

As always, this set off a train of thinking and this is too small a space to recount an incident I once had that way. Yes, it's endemic.

A K Haart said...

Sam - plus young women now.

Roger - yes, motive and opportunity are all it takes.

Wiggia - the parents are much worse than the kids in my experience. They don't want to lend a hand either, just stand on the touchline and bellow.

James - a post in the offing?