Saturday, November 26, 2005


Bothersome Booing

George Best, then. How to view him? Should we view him as a footballing genius, or as a 'drinker with a footballing problem?' Well, I don't know. What I do know is that the absurd minutes silence policy met with an unfortunate, but highly predictable, result today.

I simply cannot fathom the point of these enforced one minute silences before every game. Man Utd are doing it twice - that's reasonable, he played for them for his best years. However, what is particularly loony is that these were held all over the country. What relevance does the death of Best have to the game between Rochdale and Shrewsbury? Or the game at Canvey Island?

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool and Leeds fans booed during the minutes' silence. This is sad and regrettable, but the fact is that it was totally predictable. I don't know why silences were held at games involving these teams because of that. It may be sad, but it's human nature that the die-hard fans and hooligans are going to not care overmuch about a player who most famously played for their bitter rivals.

The referees at these two games cut the silence short to 20 seconds, folowing FA instructions. Somehow, it seems to me, that only compounds the disrespect.

Ultimately, football is about competition, and while at times like this, when a really good player dies, such partisanship can become rather hateful, it is also a more pure form of this that keeps the game alive. I'm all in favour of silences and respect - but just at the teams the player played for, that's all.

A minutes' silence at Sunderland, before their game against Birmingham. Really, why?

well minutes silences in football are usually held as a mark of respect to the player obviously and to mark the loss to the game. So i don't disagree with that really. Its a shame that Best's lifestyle will overshadow his playing days for many people- but as he wanted to remembered for his football i think the tribute was appropriate.

As for holding them at liverpool matches etc and the inevitable booing... i would say that not everyone booed and many fans would have welcomed the opportunity to pay their respects (probably). Not all peopel who go to football matches are that ignorant surley!
There was a minute's silence at Sunderland to mark the passing of all decency from the game. The fact that Birmingham are in the Premier League defies belief. I mean, honestly, really, how did this happen? Not only are they there, but they have been for a while. Maybe their games are so uninteresting that they haven't attracted enough attention - maybe not many people know about this disgusting infringement on all the things we hold dear.
Happy - fair point. I was going to say that it was a minority of supporters, but I wasn't at the games and I didn't want to say anything that would then be proved false. It looks, however, like it was just a small number. Which is good.

Graham - is this soreness at your terrible record against the Blues? Have you, in fact, even beaten them once while they've been in the top flight?
Yes! Thrashed them last game!
That must have been a very proud moment for you. What's that now, one and four?
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