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Red and blue collar crime

WaiBOP United 3, Southern United 0
Waikato Stadium, January 14 2016

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WaiBOP victories? Oh, they are soooo last season. Sure, before 2014/15 I had never seen one in my life, but now I’ve seen HUNDREDS of them! How predictable they are, how clichéd and almost monotonous! Whatever happened to those romantic, glorious, 94th minute capitulations we used to know and love so well??? Oh how I yearn for the good old days…

Just kidding of course.

Those bad old days do seem like such a long time ago, but the feeling of trepidation they instilled in me doesn’t seem to go away. Like a previously abused animal that still flinches every time a human comes towards it, I almost tiptoe into most WaiBOP games – half expecting to be entering into a nightmare. Even on days like this one, when disaster seems unlikely.

Southern United fans probably know what I mean only too well. The Deep South have suffered from summer football like no other region. Many put it down to Dunedin being a university town that doesn’t have a lot of talent to choose from between semesters. But whatever the reason, they have struggled in the ASB Premiership for the past few seasons or more and most fans of other sides mentally put three points in their team’s column before they even play Southern. But this is WaiBOP we are talking about, so anything is possible.

There were good omens for me though! The last time I saw a Waikato team play an Otago team at Waikato Stadium, I was standing on the grass bank at the Southern end as a 16 year old watching the home side win 40 points to 5 to claim their first ever national rugby championship. The match was memorable – in a way that only rugby games can be – for famous Waikato thug Richard Low gouging an opponent’s eye.

Fortunately on this occasion the most heinous crime perpetrated by a member of the home team was when criminal mastermind Ryan Tinsley committed the ghastly offence of celebrating a goal by lifting up his shirt to reveal a t-shirt containing a happy birthday message.

Tinsley was very fortunate indeed to only get away with a yellow card for performing such a horrifying act. If it had been up to me, I would have put him in the stocks for a week and made him watch ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ on endless loop.

Seriously football, I know the rules are the rules but can we all just agree that this one’s a stupid bloody rule and ignore it? Of all the things in our game that make you want to tear your hair out, this is the thing we choose to care about?

After the match, quite a few people commented about the copious amounts of player swearing being picked up by the television microphones. Now, I’m no prude, but isn’t that against the rules of the game too? While we are pedantically following the rulebook, how many yellow cards were dished out for that?

Yeah, yeah, Tinsley should have known better but the whole thing is still daft beyond measure.

Anyway, WaiBOP won and won easily. In fact, they won by three goals which is better than Auckland City managed! The JAFAs defeated the same opposition by only two goals four days prior. That makes WaiBOP United a better side than Auckland City! Didn’t I tell you not to worry about this game?

Categories: NZ Men's National League

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

3 replies

  1. Yeah, the t shirt thing isn’t exactly crime of the century but the “slogans on t shirts” thing has been a bookable offence for a fairly long time now, so I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy. Bottom line is that he put the t shirt on under his shirt, knowing that he was gonna lift his shirt to show it and knowing he’d be booked for it. If he didn’t know then it’s another fine example of players not knowing the Laws Of the Game (blog material there!).

    As for the swearing? All I noticed last night was that there was a lot, an awful lot, less than there was in the WeeNix v Waitakere game earlier in the season. I’m probably in the minority but the swearing doesn’t actually bother me that much, especially during last night’s game. I do concede, though, that I’m from Glasgow, where F and C bombs can be used to construct an entire sentence on their own, so what do I know!

  2. But surely whether it bothers you or me or not is irrelevant. The laws of the game say both slogans and swearing are yellow card offenses, right? How come one gets policed and the other doesn’t?

  3. The Laws Of The Game mentions “Offensive, Insulting or Abusive language and/or gestures. So, if the referee does not consider the swearing and the context the language is used in to be any of those things, then, in his opinion, no action is necessary. “Swearing” would be a red card offence anyway, not yellow.

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