Saturday, July 20, 2013

Calm Down, Everyone, It's Only A Game!

I am probably one of the last commentators to weigh in on this ageing news story, in which a July 7th soccer match in Pius XII, Brazil, ended in the stabbing of a player by a referee and the drawing, quartering and head-on-a-sticking of the ref by incensed fans.  When I got around to looking up the story on Google, I was more than a little surprised to learned that that was an AMATEUR soccer match, with NOTHING riding on it.

Except the players' lives, I guess. 

Was there anything special about Linda Abreu, the player who took a knife in the ribs after being kicked out of the game?  Or about Octavio de Silva, the guy who ended up in pieces on the field?  PROBABLY NOT.  There may not have even been a special beef between the two of them.  One thing I know for sure is that if there is a afterlife and they 'went into the light together,' da Silva and Abreu are probably STILL disputing that play, citing the crowd's reaction and their own violent deaths as evidence for their respective positions on who was right.  It's human nature.

Let me note that just two days before, on July 5th in Las Vegas, Nevada, a riot broke out on the field during a soccer game between Club America and Chivas, involving bottles used as projectile weapons, flares and lit matches thrown onto the field, and the deployment of ordnance normally intended for Independence Day festivities.  The oddest thing about this incident is that the two teams were Mexican, but for some reason they were facing each other down in the United States.  Unless the fans were also bussed in from Mexico, I find it remarkable that the crowd was able to get so upset about a shoving match between two players they may never have seen before in their lives.

Discussing the Pius XII debacle with a colleague yesterday, she asserted calmly that "Brazil is a very dangerous place to be," as if this were just a typical day in that country.  OK, then how do you explain the one in Vegas?


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