St James’ Park Brawl: The ugly side of football

Football is a game. But it is more than a game. In the game of football, anything can happen–from beautiful passes to woeful tackles, from a golden goal to an agonizing miss, from jubilant cheers to scornful boos, from moments of celebration to moments of sorrow. There are a lot of things we can learn from football, because we see the spirit of men depicted in there. Football is an allegory of life.

In life, there are people who fail but never fail to try again. In football, there are players who fail to deliver a pass but never stop passing the ball again. In life, there are people who lose out but fight back. In football, there are players who concede a goal only to be encouraged even more to score. In life, there are teamworks. In football, there are eleven players in a team. In life, there is the spirit of camaraderie. In football, there is the spirit of comradeship.

But things do not always turn out to be what you would like to see on the pitch. Just as it is with life, there are disappointment, mistrust, hate, or anger. Like what happened last Saturday, 2 April 2005 at St James’ Park when Newcastle United entertained Aston Villa, we saw the ugly side of football. Towards the final minutes of the second half, two Newcastle players started to throw punches at each other, until they were ushered away, but not without ripped jerseys.

It is saddening to see such thing happened in a football game. For we might have said, “Isn’t it just a game?” But then, a game is also a part of life. For now, then, let us hope that those two players will get along again. Afterall, they are teammates.


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