Joe’s Blog – This is why we can’t have nice things!

Published: 29/01/2024
By Joe Wood 

This weekend, there seemed to be a collective effort by each game to one-up the fan stupidity, that the last game had seen.

As we all know, and most of us have now seen, either through being at the ground, watching at home through iFollow or the videos circulating on social media, one particularly aggrieved moron elected to take matters into his own hands and go and have a ‘conversation’ with the referee, Mr Hicks.

The clown in question was somehow, completely unchallenged for nearly 60 yards from one side of the field to the other. Usually with these sort of incidents, there is a Benny Hill-esque trail of luminous jackets losing their footing and following the offender like a game of pac-man.

However, this time, there was nobody. Not a soul was within 50 yards of the invader. It was left to the Port Vale bench, and credit to them, to deal with this truly elite level of knuckle dragging idiocy.

As the dust settled on the incident, everyone with a brain knew that this wouldn’t be the last we would hear of it, and sure enough within a few hours there was a statement from PGMOL and Port Vale condemning the behaviour.

Here’s the thing though, all that statement did was produce the exact response that you think it would. Many people replied with sentiments along the lines of “if your refs weren’t as s***e as they are, this wouldn’t have happened”.

Now it’s easy to say that reply is also moronic and not exactly helpful, and you’d be right, but it also does have some merit, even if not for the reasons those making the point intended.

There has been a noticeable decline in the quality of officiating in this country over the last few years. There may well be underlying reasons for this stemming all the way down to players behaviour at Sunday league level, but it’s hard to deny that there have been some truly baffling decisions throughout the pyramid.

The point that the replies are inadvertantly making is that this was almost inevitable.

Quick caveat here, when I say inevitable, I am not saying justified. That is a very important distinction and one we need to keep in mind when discussing this topic, that all of this comes under the overarching thought that what happened is utterly unacceptable.

Inevitable in the sense that public discourse surrounding refereeing performances has been so overwhelmingly negative for such a sustained period of time, that eventually someone was going to decide to do something about it themselves.

It just so happened that it came to a head this weekend.

And so league football took a back seat and we were transported back to the 1970’s on Sunday lunchtime, as the FA cup took centre stage as West Brom and Wolves fans collectively decided to set back English football 25 years by re-enacting Green Street. At one point, before the game stopping lunacy, there was a corner to wolves that Tommy Doyle was trying to take, and he was greeted in that corner by around 5 bottles of various descriptions being thrown from the stands.

Public opinion of football fans is low at the best of times, but to create these scenes when the game is on terrestrial TV, is possibly the worst outcome for football fans.

We often wonder why football fans are treated like animals, and why we cant have a beer in sight of the pitch, like other sports can. Well this is why, because dickheads like these spoil it for everyone, and we haven’t proven that we can be trusted as a collective.

I’ll probably lose a few people here, but I can’t think of anything more moronic than feeling the obligation to assault someone because they like the red team and I like the blue team.

Ban these idiots for life. Let’s make it better for everyone, and send a message that this behaviour is completely unwanted and unacceptable.

This is why we can’t have nice things.