By Kevin Koczwara
Craig Bellamy is in the news again, and he is not getting the attention he deserves for his play, but rather his conduct.
If you haven’t heard already, let me catch you up. Bellamy slapped a Manchester United fan in the face after the fan ran on the field and was taken down by the proper authorities. Bellamy decided on his own the make a point with the fan. But was it such a bad thing? Is his action for once good taste rather than bad taste? Remember the rumble at the Palace was started by a thrown cup. And this year has not been the best for athlete and fan interaction.
For once maybe Bellamy’s reputation is getting the best of him (this is the “Nutter with the Putter” we are talking about here), but he was in the right here. Fans need not be allowed on the field of play, and need to know there will be consequences for their actions. Bellamy should be forgiven for his action, and there should not be any police investigation– what investigation? we know he hit the man.
I wish more athletes pulled something like this. As a fan, I hate when people run on the field and try and make a star of themselves– how arrogant are you that you need everyone to see you on the television being a fool? (By the way I know I am blogging and think you care about what I think and that is ironic).
What is so wrong with a player stepping in and making a fan look like a fool? Sometimes people need to be woken up, and anyone who interferes with play on the field deserves what they get.
It is dangerous to have players always relying on security to protect them from drunken fans. Most of the time security does not react in time, they are slow and not always aware. Sometimes it is int he best interest of the game for the player to step-up and tackle an interfering fan. What Bellemy did was set a standard–if you overreact and enter into a players work space, then you shall know it. And during the game Manchester United players had coins thrown at them and it was in Bellemy’s best interest to take on a fan who entered the playing field. People need to realize that players are people too, not just robots for entertainment.
They have feelings too. Racial slurs and hurled objects have no place in sports. Fans need to watch what they say, and what they do during a game. Taunting players is perfectly okay, in fact I endorse it. But somethings are better left unsaid. And some fans should think their actions through, or they may get slapped.
I am not saying that players should go into the stands or interact with fans in the stands. I am only saying that each should know their role and stick to it. Fans pay to watch, sing an cheer. Players get paid to play. And if a fan wants to get on the field, they need to get fit, practice and try-out.
On Michael Owen
I said he would be worth his price tag when he was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson. And he proved me right this weekend when he scored in stoppage time against Manchester City. Now the goal has been controversial in its own right, but the Manchester Darby will bring Owen’s name to fame in Manchester and in United fan circles (hard thought to swallow as a Liverpool fan).
If Owen can keep up his form he will have more of an impact than most summer signings. He is a goal scorer and Ferguson brought him in to score big goals, in big games. Watch out, he could be fit to go finally, and that could mean hell for the rest of the Premiership.
Kevin Koczwara can be reached at email@example.com. Check out his other blog Feel Da Beat on all things in his life and yours.