Oval Ball Good, Round Ball Bad

18 02 2015

This evening a tweet from “Rugby Pigs” floated on to my timeline;

wpid-wp-1424285975528.png

I have to agree with their tweet, if anything “SAY’S IT ALL” it’s the bringing together of two photos. All young football fans are anti-social yobs and all young rugby fans are cherubic darlings, just look at the words.

The logic is quite literally flawless. It’s a well know fact that you can’t move in football grounds without treading on foul-mouthed three year olds and it’s another well known fact all hooligan firms have names like “The Accrington Freelance Troubleshooters (Under 5s section)” and “Prestatyn Preacher Patrol Under 6s”. Ipso facto all football fans are scumbags, especially the kids, especially the kids.

Far be it from me to argue with the clear cast iron logic of the computer generated art but it’s another feeble example of twitter humour. I’ll concede that football can cause people to “lower their inhibitions slightly”, so there may be a microscopic speck of truth in the joke, but how many six year olds, never mind the six year old Feyenoord fans, act is this way on a regular basis? Then to juxtapose this idea with the impeccably Americanised behaviour of an official mascot. Tsk tsk.

The annual seepage of vomit flecked philosophers on to the streets of Cardiff suggests that rugby fans might not be the paragons their stereotype suggests. Some people even go as far as to claim that rugby fans are “as bad as scumbag football fans” nowadays. The false dichotomy need detain us no longer. Let’s just say that some football fans are idiots and most rugby fans willingly vote Conservative and cheer while their mates drink cocktails of frothing bodily fluids and leave it at that.

Let us return to the joke. If there was a choice between guiding my six year old towards one of the two behaviours it’s not an easy process to deal with. On the one hand I wouldn’t encourage them to publically insult other people with hand gestures. On the other hand I wouldn’t encourage unthinking displays of excessive national pride. There’s probably a middle ground between the two.

If the author of the joke finds something palatable in a child’s exaggerated expression of a national anthem that celebrates the continuation of feudalism he’s probably not the sort of person I want to spend time with. While we’re at it, what’s with the metaphorical clutching of the heart? This country, as Partridge might say.

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