If only it was possible to repeat some of the stories of crowd abuse that occur in Australia. It’s the verbal stuff that is amusing, of course, not so much the golf balls and other objects that are thrown from the crowd.
One New Zealander recounts a match in Sydney when a particularly persistent spectator called his name, over after over, for almost an hour while he fielded on the boundary at third man.
Eventually, his patience and curiosity gave way and he turned towards the crowd and made eye contact with his heckler while the crowd around him went quiet. A well constructed, single sentence followed in which the spectator described some unimaginable act that he had perpetrated with the player’s wife the preceding night.
The crowd bellowed with laughter and even the player in question could not hide a small smile, safe in the knowledge that he had, in fact, enjoyed a quiet meal with his betrothed the previous night.
It was hard sledging alright, but it made people laugh. And he had worked for over an hour for his moment of ‘glory’. Was it acceptable?
Perhaps the criteria for judging such unsocial behaviour should be whether there is an element of humour – or an attempt at it.
Spitting in the opposition captain’s face is just downright not funny.
What a shame it had to happen here. Give the guys a hard time, for sure, but be creative. Otherwise, it just looks like we can’t take being hammered on the field. It’s difficult watching the national team getting stuffed but it is important to remember that they are being stuffed by a very, very good team who deserve a lot of respect.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.