Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Men Behaving Badly

DH plays in a recreational soccer league for men over 25 (though the average age is probably closer to 35 or 40). You would think by that age that people would be calm and laid-back enough to have a fun and friendly game.

You'd be wrong.

A few days ago, during the game before DH's, a bench-clearing brawl broke out. Can you even?

Apparently, a player kicked the ball and it came pretty close to another player's head. The second player thought the guy did it on purpose, so he shoved the guy. The guy shoved him back. Now, usually that's where it ends. The guys would get sent off and play would continue. But, I guess a third guy was up for a fight, because he came running from half-way across the court and shoved one of the players too.

Of course, this escalated things, so punches were thrown and at one point there were 4-5 guys kicking a player who was lying on the floor.

Isn't that absolutely appalling? I mean, seriously...this is a middle-age men's recreational soccer league. A lot of the time there are families there watching. How in the world does this kind of thing even happen?

I'm slightly worried that DH will continue to play in this league in the summer. Yes, the league won't be letting those players back in, but this isn't the only altercation he's witnessed. There's constantly 1-2 total jerks on each team who seem like they're looking for a fight. A lot of players - be it from having a lack of ability or from just been aggressive in nature - are overly physical and go after the guy rather than the ball. One guy, who was a goalie, got his hand broken and wasn't able to work for weeks because some other guy took a run at him while he was grabbing the ball.

It doesn't help that the refs in the league don't seem to call many fouls, which means players start getting frustrated and will take more of an aggressive slant to their playing (because if the other guy/team can get away with it, then they should too). But, I still don't think that should excuse this type of disgusting behavior.

Yes, there are times where it's appropriate to be competitive, there's nothing wrong with that. But when it escalates to crap like this, especially when it's supposed to be "just for fun" and a way to get some exercise, it makes me embarrassed for the human race.