Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Game Is Better Than Yours...


Rubbish, isn't it? Full of overpaid nancies who fall over as soon as look at each other, racists who constantly abuse each other and watched by baying mobs of knuckle-draggers.

Rugby League.

Now there's a proper game. Working class. Salt of the earth. Fans mingling together before, during and after games. Real tough guys knocking seven shades out of each other then shaking hands and going for a beer afterwards.

Last weekend, the actions of a couple of individuals brought the perceived gap between the two sports into sharper focus.

Luis Suarez was, quite rightly, roundly criticised for this feeble attempt to con his way to a penalty against Stoke City. Not the first time Suarez has been in trouble for what the football authorities call "simulation", or what you and I would call cheating.

Meanwhile, Paul Wood of Warrington Wolves was left to count the consequences of this particularly nasty knock to his "gentleman's area". Wood has found his story spreading from New York to Sydney as media outlets pick up on his bravery.

The two incidents have been held up beside each other as an example of how footballers are indulged poor behaviour that would not be stood for in other sports. As it was during the Olympics, footballers are taking a media kicking that even Ron "Chopper" Harris never dished out to the trickiest winger.

Not exactly the full picture though. Dig a little deeper, and you find that football doesn't have an exclusivity contract when it comes to badly behaved sportsmen or clubs.

Stuck away on the inside pages of the local press was the story of a couple of Castleford Tigers players accused of being part of a group which assaulted three men in Santa fancy dress in the early hours of Christmas morning. One of their number, a first team player of some promise, is back in court next month facing charges of affray and GBH. If found guilty, he faces a custodial sentence.

In April 2010, Melbourne Storm were found to have breached the NRL salary cap. No scandal there you might think, these things happen - accounting oversights and all that. Except that Melbourne got around the cap by maintaining a completely separate set of false accounting records. These got shown to the salary cap auditors, while the real ones remained hidden. In other words, they cheated.

There's a saying about people in glass houses. Some rugby league fans quick to throw stones in football's direction may be wise to consider just how big their windows are before they do.

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