Before all you sockah fans throw a flare at me, just hear me out, alright?
After reading Tom Elliott’s sensible and thoughtfully constructed piece in today’s football-friendly edition of the Herald Sun, only one thing occurred to me as wrong with the whole thing: it just doesn’t go far enough.
So while roundball nerds like Vince Rugari might bemoan Elliott gracing us with his views on the not-so-beautiful-anymore game, I’m embracing our new overlord, and looking for ways to execute and improve on his suggestions.
Firstly, the name. While we are all patently aware that “Soccer supporters are possessed by many grievances and conspiracy theories,” some were probably less aware that “The correct name for their game is actually ‘association football’, a named coined in 19th-century England to distinguish the code from rugby football.”
It appears to me, then, a far cry for whinging soccer fans to try to claim the name ‘football’ for their own, when the name is clearly ‘association football’.
Furthermore, let’s put your historically-erroneous theories to bed about soccer being really, really old. Because our own football, AFL – the code you should probably follow in place of soccer – is much older. 1461 days older, if Elliott’s maths on the issue is to be believed.
So that puts you firmly in your place, as lower beings with a liking for base things like explosive maritime rods, internet forums and endless droning in a big herd.
With that established, let’s move on to the bigger issue of your conspiracies, which so often go hand-in-hand with the herd mentality shown on your online blogs, no doubt as you wield flares as you type your ill-mannered and poorly-spelt diatribes.
At this point, I’ll turn to Tom.
“Another big issue soccer fans have is an alleged vendetta by the so-called AFL-mad Herald Sun against their sport.
Nonsense indeed, Tom. But tell me, what is the purpose of a newspaper, if not solely to appease disciples of the roundball game?
“Through informing and entertaining, the Herald Sun’s main aim is to sell as many papers and online subscriptions as possible to readers.”
I understand now. How about a lecture on the basic principles of supply and demand?
“If lots of people become soccer supporters, then the Herald Sun will devote more column inches to it, even though in my opinion it already covers the code brilliantly.”
A fair and honest appraisal as I’ve seen; and sadly not one I could expect to hear from a soccer supporter.
Moving on then, with that particular nut firmly and squarely cracked, to the real issues at hand.
Namely, faking diving and expanding the goals.
Faking injury and diving for free kicks is the lowest of all acts in humanity. I’m sure if you asked Adam Goodes, roundly booed for his proclivity towards this very act, he’d tell you that he deserved every one of those sonorous taunts.
And why can’t something like not-racist jeering of indigenous players replace the organised and cogent singing of scary groups like the Red and Black Bloc? Don’t they realise their singing is un-Australian, and a stain on the game?
If not, it’s time to look at jail time, or at the very least community service, for every active supporter of soccer in this country.
Tom’s coup de grâce? The firm but insistent suggestion of removing two of the great obstacles to soccer’s success: the “silly” offside rule and the goalkeeper.
Such shortsighted people rarely have the vision to appreciate the wonders removing these frankly insulting stipulations from the game.
First of all, forcing someone to wear gloves and another coloured shirt is just plain discriminatory; but when talking to such a caste, how could you expect any different?
And secondly, if soccer people really think their game will take off in Australia, they need to realise what is painfully obvious to the rest of society.
Perhaps expanding the goals to, say, encompass the entire end of the field, and adding a stipulation that one must place the ball down over the line to score would help their cause?
Another option could be to add two, separate, smaller posts on either side of the goal, and allow players to stop if they catch the ball on the full. Now wouldn’t that be a spectacle?
But we’re talking to soccer people here. I’ve no doubt they won’t read a word of this, mainly due to the widespread illiteracy in their community.
So really, I’m wasting my time writing this.