Shortly after Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea yesterday, their team bus was attacked by an as-of-yet unknown assailant, who cracked the bus’ front windshield (as pictured here) with a thrown bottle. No one was hurt, and United continued their short trip across London to the train station and following trip back to Manchester.
Let’s be clear here. I’m not exactly going out on a limb when I say that it seems obvious that a Chelsea fan, or fans, was responsible for this. There would be no real motivation for anyone else in this instance to hurl something at a moving vehicle belonging to Manchester United. Yes, there’s a possibility that it was just a random act, but come on, let’s be serious.
There is a rivalry between United and Chelsea, of that there is no doubt. United have won the last two Premiership titles after Chelsea had won two in row before that. United beat Chelsea in a shootout in last year’s Champions League final. They battle for big-name signings all the time, including the much-debated controversy regarding John Obi Mikel, who eventually went to Chelsea, in 2005. Rio Ferdinand, hardly a model citizen, and Patrice Evra got involved in heated exchanges with Chelsea personnel the last time United visited Stamford Bridge.
These two teams don’t like each other. Their respective fans really don’t like each other. I get it, believe me. With that said, however, there is no excuse for what happened yesterday. None. There can be no justification for it.
What many fans in England, and more so in other places, to be fair, fail to realize, or at least don’t want to embrace, is that soccer is just a game. That’s all it is. It isn’t life and death. No matter what happens in one particular game, the world will go on. Life doesn’t stop for soccer. It’s a game. It doesn’t need to be taken as seriously as it is.
If people worked as hard in their daily lives as they care about “their club”, this world would be a better place and those people would be better off. They have a bad habit of living vicariously through a team that plays once a week and vastly overpays their players and overcharges their fans to watch those same players. They don’t realize that for the most part, the club doesn’t care about the fans half as much as the fans care about the club.
I love soccer and the Premiership very much. It’s entertaining stuff, and there’s so many stories and so much quality to talk about every week. But that’s all it is to me, and that’s all it should be. It hasn’t yet and will never cross the invisible line to where it becomes life and my sole drive. I don’t count the days until the next time a game is played. I don’t get through the week only looking forward to the weekend when my team plays. That’s not how it should work.
Whoever is responsible for yesterday’s event needs to get over him/herself in a hurry. There’s more to life than soccer.
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