If I’m being honest, I probably shouldn’t be writing this right now. It’s a well known fact that you should never drink and drive, however a lesser known cautionary tale goes as follows: Don’t whip yourself into a Twitter frenzy, then write an article….
So after an evening of reading about how I’m a scumbag and I’m directly responsible for some moron lunging into precious little Jack, I’ve decided to vent a little to you, my beloved readers.
Firstly, I’ll give you my account of the ‘incident’ as I saw it. Well… I didn’t see it! Not at first.
I saw a scuffle and a crowd of players. I saw a puddle of Grease on the floor and heard the roar of the crowd. Naturally (in my derby day induced hyper state) I joined in the cheers, which admittedly grew louder as I realised a fan had gotten involved.
I instinctively assumed that some drunken lout had run on to flick the Vs at Grealish and whilst I’m a firm believer that fans belong in the stands, I was all for it in the moment. It wasn’t until a couple of minutes later when my phone flashed and vibrated, alerting me to the incoming video message.
My wife had kindly sent me the footage from Sky and as I watched, the true nature of events became clear.
To steal a few lines from the National press; it was HORRIFIC! SERIOUS! SHOCKING and APPALLING! That one fan’s actions single-handedly caused a part of football to die! I was dismayed!!!
Well… no, I wasn’t….
I actually laughed. I regret it now, but in the moment the thought that someone had run on and taken a swing at the most detestable man on the pitch was humorous to me. Perhaps it was more of a shocked sense of comedy and the laughter was borne of a sense of disbelief but whatever it was, my first instinct was to laugh.
Does my laughter condone such an action? Of course not. Does it mean I ever wish to see anything like this happen again? No, it certainly does not. But I once saw my mate fall out of a tree in Solihull and wet myself at that too.
He was on crutches for months but that fall remained just as funny.
So why am I telling you this? Well it’s all in the interest of honesty, since there hasn’t been a great deal of it since.
Whilst Lee Hendrie preached his disgust on Sky Sports and called for the game to be abandoned, fans inside the ground began a chant of “one punch, and he knocked him out”.
I joined in.
In fact that chorus line rang out throughout the rest of the game but interestingly each rendition became quieter and quieter. I, myself began to sing with less vigour as half time approached and by the time the lads headed out of the changing room for the second half, the song lost all appeal.
Derby Day is a whole mess of emotions. Hate, love, desperation, excitement, dread, there’s a whole cocktail of passion in there. As time ticked by and my brain sobered up, the laughter fueled immaturity had evacuated my consciousness and the reality of this moron’s actions set in.
I’ve heard the moron in question be referred to as a “so-called fan”. Well I reject this “so-called” nonsense. If he says he’s a fan, he’s a fan. He may not fit neatly into our ideal template of a Blues fan, but he believes his actions were a part of some twisted notion of fandom, therefore he’s a fan. Not a fan that will be attending too many games in future I hasten to add, but a fan all the same.
Unfortunately, like every club, we have our fair share of idiotic fans and local derbies seem to attract these scumbags like moths to a light-bulb.
This fan with the intelligence of a moth (and the right hook of one) is a deplorable excuse for a human being and it genuinely blows my mind that someone would ever think that running onto a football pitch mid-game to sucker punch a rival is a good idea, let alone an acceptable one.
A lifetime ban and short prison sentence await this specimen and as many have said, I sincerely hope he gets the book thrown at him. His gutless assault of Jack Grealish is genuinely one of the most disappointing moments in all my years of supporting Birmingham City and I look forward to celebrating any and all punishments that come his way.
That’s HIS way, not OUR way.
Now, the media being the media are fanning the flames of outrage as best they can with talks of 10 point deductions, closed stadiums and financial penalties. As expected they are over exaggerating their faux anger whilst tarring us all with the same brush.
Sky News even advised that playing behind closed doors may be “harsh on the law-abiding minority”
“Minority”?! I don’t personally remember running on the pitch and twatting anyone but in fairness I am getting old and my memory isn’t quite what it used it be.
Sky News have since changed this article and corrected it from ‘minority’ to ‘majority’ after questions were asked by Blues fans. Maybe it was an accident? Maybe it was a freudian slip. Either way, this rhetoric of “they’re all the same” is rife throughout mainstream media reports.
Dean Smith himself even suggested in a post-game interview that 15 000 cheering Blues fans are equally to blame. Of course we are Deano, I remember standing in the queue on Garrison Lane, waiting for my turn to run on the pitch!
Not content with blaming the entire Birmingham City fanbase for one man’s actions, one BBC journalist has even claimed that the “blame lies squarely with Monk”.
Admittedly I’ve questioned some of Monk’s substitutions recently but I honestly don’t remember the tannoy announcing “substitution for Birmingham City. Replacing number 4, Common Sense…. number 69, Fucking Moron”
As is common in football punditry these days; every goal is a worldie, every comeback is the greatest ever and every foul is a travesty. Exaggeration and hyperbole are part of the game and the media are experts in their field.
One man made a stupid decision that could have serious repercussions for the club he supports. ONE man. Reactionary, peer-pressured cheering is NOT a statement of support and to blame the masses for the actions of one man is preposterous; let alone blaming Garry Monk!
With that being said, we did cheer when it happened. If I dared to speak for the majority then I’d be no better than the media I’ve just slated, but I know the reason that I cheered and I dare say I’m not the only one that celebrated the slog. Rightly or wrongly.
I just wish we’d own it. We hate Grealish and in that moment the incident added to the drama of the day. Both sets of fans are now paying lip service though with Witton pretending they’ve never seen such a shocking event whilst Blues fans try to claim that they were actually cheering the police that arrested the thug.
Again, I have no right to speak for anyone else but there were a LOT of cheers and numerous rounds of the “one punch” song. Let’s not try to alter the narrative after the fact. I don’t doubt that some fans were indeed cheering the arrest but c’mon…
In the same vain, Witton like to give it the big’un at every opportunity. They’re not above singing songs about Tracey Andrews or launching flares onto player-filled pitches. They have numerous pitch invasions in their history and aren’t shy of a scrap (even if it is usually with each other).
This nonsense claim of “what if he had a knife” equally applies to the two V*lla idiots that ran on and confronted Baggies players recently.
Their ‘holier than thou’ response to Sunday’s events is just as ridiculous as us pretending we were all instantly appalled by them. I don’t remember seeing them denounce Dion Dublin as quickly as we disowned this weeks idiot. At this point it’s probably worth pointing out that a Witton fan WAS caught with a knife inside the ground a few weeks ago. Butter wouldn’t melt…
One knobhead swung one punch at one player. In the heat of the moment, many of us thought it was funny. As time passed, reality dawned and Blues fans took to social media to separate themselves from the thug and praise Greasy’s reaction to the punch. These are the facts as I recall them – everything else is fluff.
Though I do not condone the event for a single second, I still hate Grealish with a burning passion and I’m not about to print off the photo of Blues players helping him to his feet whilst linking arms and singing Kumbaya.
The pitch invader does not represent me and I am not responsible for his decisions. Neither are the rest of St Andrews. The punch happened, and we’ll be punished so let’s deal in facts, not emotions and drop the Post Punch PR campaign on both sides.