Posts Tagged ‘Manchester City

11
Feb
08

An Undeserved Pat On The Back

This past Sunday marked the 148th Derby in the history of Manchester football – a rivalry that has been talked about to death in the last few weeks (sidenote: ManU – Liverpool > ManU – Man City).  It’s always a good game, and there’s some real enmity there.  This month’s fixture at Old Trafford was especially notable in that this past Wednesday marked the 50th Anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, a tragedy that was, indeed, felt on both the red and blue halves of the city thanks to the death of Frank Smith, former City goalkeeper.

Let’s be blunt: if you follow English football, especially if you follow United, you’ve heard about this.  This is not a eulogizing post, so let’s move right the fuck along, shall we?

There has been much celebration all over the football media today about the impeccable behavior of the “traveling” City supporters during the much-ballyhooed minute’s silence that took place at Old Trafford before kick-off.  City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson didn’t hesitate at all to heap plaudits onto his team’s fans for, essentially, shutting the fuck up.

Am I the only one who sees something tangibly wrong with this?  Believe me…I’m all for hatred.  I’m no hooligan wannabe, but I do think the modern game is too sterile.  I celebrated and sang about how Croydon isn’t really London (alone, in my room, watching the teletext feed) when Charlton did the double over Crystal Palace this past Friday.  I’ve decided against dating girls simply because they are Chicago Cubs fans.  But honestly.  There is a big, fat, fucking Magnum-drawn line between sporting hatred and class.

Let’s run with the Cubs-Sox analogy for a minute here.  Let’s say, in some freak accident, half the Cubs team happens to die.  In this next season’s interleague game, a minute’s silence is observed.  I hate the Cubs.  Hate.   Hate.  Would I say anything?  Fuck.  No.  Why?  Because this kind of thing transcends sports – it’s a matter of human respect and decency.  I don’t care if you’re some meatheaded lager-swilling lout from Macclesfield (I apologize, I couldn’t think of any City-supporting areas of Manchester offhand), if you can’t possibly keep your trap shut for a minute just because the young men who died fifty years ago wore a different shirt than your boys…then there’s no hope for you.

So, congratulations, fans of Manchester City.  Congratulations on, uh…being human?  Normal?  Maybe I’m missing a key component of English football psychology here, but the fact that so many people are visibly elated by this is trouble.  Have we really slipped that low?  Or am I just a better person than I give myself credit for?

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