What is it that turns normally sensible, rational and caring human beings into snarling, abusive monsters?
If, like me, you have attended children’s football matches and watch the antics of the parents, you will know what I mean.
It’s not quite, but nearly as bad as the professional game, where you get knuckle draggers like the cretin who attacked Jack Grealish at the Birmingham City v Aston Villa game.
I am on my second stint now watching kids’ football. Now watching my grandchildren, male and female, after many years watching my two footballing sons and yes, my netballing daughter, and at a recent game saw a parent completely lose it.
The veins in the neck were throbbing, eyes bulging, face going puce, hurling insults at the ref and encouraging little Johnny to maim his opponent, permanently if possible. The dads were just as bad.
This is one area where there is no sexism, both genders behave like slavering pitbulls when their offspring are concerned. They believe there is no line they shouldn’t cross. I remember some moron, a well-heeled moron, saying he took exception to people telling his children off for misbehaving on a plane. “I’ve paid for their tickets, they can do what they like.”
Football authorities have been tearing their hair out over the behaviour and have introduced measures like moving spectators behind ropes and limiting the size of pitch and length of games.
But some people who are the first to condemn criminals, football hooligans or kids just because they are wearing hooded tops, think their borderline criminal behaviour is acceptable in the name of supporting family.
These hooligans are no better than the yobs who hurl seats at other fans in football matches and are a disgraceful role model for their offspring. Just like the football hooligans, they should be banned for life from any kind of football.
There’s a big difference between impassioned support and behaving like a thug.
One of my rants provoked quite a bit of reaction. I was accused of being a second rate hack. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but some would say calling me second rate it a bit of a compliment.