I was motivated to write this article on the back of a comment from RedandBlack regarding the recent ‘red card’ handed out during the Highlanders versus Sharks game on Friday night.
There’s some irony in his nom de plume, but that’s neither here or there at the present time.
The real issue, for me, is the effect a ‘red card’ has on the game for not only the aggressor but the also the receiver.
Suffice to say we’re all in this together. Not physically but metaphorically.
Now, I’m not in any way saying the ‘red card’ wasn’t deserved. I’m saying the very opposite. What was the offender thinking? Was he thinking at all?
Or was it just the ‘red mist’ clouding his judgement at the moment of impact?
And… that was some impact eh?
Frankly, it could’ve cut short (substantially) a very successful career.
Shocking. Dumb. You should know better. And that’s not what our game is about.
Off you go I say… and prepare to have your backside severely smacked when you go and front the judiciary. And he has – four weeks to sit on the sidelines and think about what he has done.
So, therefore, only a little consideration should be given to the offender. Only he knows whether it was a deliberate action, or not, but methinks, in this case, not.
And you’d have to be a complete tool if that is your game.
Hence, in this case, let’s go with the ‘it was stupid, reckless, and I’ll accept the judiciary’s findings while pleading that I won’t do it again.’
So what about the aggrieved? Surely they can sue someone?
No, not likely.
And hopefully, seriously, they’re really alright, and can play another day. And as the window of opportunity, in this game, is way too short due to its physicality.
But what about the viewer?
I don’t know about you but when this happened I thought: “there goes a game that should’ve been great.”
And when I say ‘game’ I mean a fair contest between two rivals with the same amount of players on the field.
I’m all for yellow cards, where the offender gets 10 minutes in the naughty chair, but red cards have a totally different dynamic on the game. And I would presently go so far as to say they render the ‘game’ over.
There are exceptions, but a man down will probably change the game for all the wrong reasons, and as a viewer it diminishes my interest in the game from that point on.
So here’s a thought… why not send the ‘red carded’ player from the field, have a 10 minutes ‘yellow card’ period?
And this is the clincher… after that elapsed time put a ‘bench player’ back on the field so that there’s even numbers again?
If the attacked player is your best player you may think how is that fair? He’s now on a stretcher sucking deep on the green whistle.
But my view is it’s a team game, and a good team will overcome this.
It’s a game people, meaning that it should be basically fair in the number of contestants on either side.
Don’t worry about the ‘dirty players’ as they won’t last long, and if you’re overly concerned about this, then my advice would be they are very much in the minority anyhow, and hence will be found out eventually.
A game with one side having one player, or two, less is not a game. It’s some sort of joke on the viewer.