Gag ruleI was amused to read the match report of yesterday's English Premier League (EPL) soccer match between Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers. The match finished goalless but three penalties were awarded (two to Sheffield Utd), all of which were saved by the goalkeepers. It's not surprising that there was controversy in this match. Blackburn is the dirtiest team in the EPL and United's Neil Warnock is one of the two most obnoxious managers in the league.
The reactions of the two bosses:
Warnock: "Obviously I thought ours were penalties and theirs wasn't."
(Obviously. We can't expect managers to be intellectually honest.)
Blackburn manager Mark Hughes: "We are pleased that the two penalties have not cost us because I think the decisions were poor."
Both managers thought the ref got it wrong on every key decision (except the ones that went in their favor).
Referee bashing has been endemic in all sports since forever. But it seems to be getting worse.
It's ironic because the culture of English soccer PLAY is one of rough, rugged, macho tough guys. But the EPL's managers are some of the most obnoxious snivelling whiners in all of sport. It baffles me why English fans turning on players who are crying babies but say little about EPL managers (well British ones anyways; they readily go after a certain Portugese one) who pull the very same crap.
This is disturbing because English soccer is unfortunately the biggest influence on the American soccer culture. Fortunately, this garbage hasn't plagued Major League Soccer too much. Let's hope it stays that way.
The EPL, like most big soccer leagues, requires managers or coaches to talk to the media after games. But since more and more bosses have nothing to say except the ref cheated them, maybe rather than mandating such press conferences, the league should ban them instead.