Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mexican Fans make the Bleacher Bums look like the Little Sisters of the Poor

On Wednesday, during a blowout loss to the Phillies a Cubs bleacher bum tossed a beer at Shane Victorino. The incident resulted in a long investigation by Wrigley security and that ended in the gentleman who tossed the beer turning himself in to Chicago police today. I thought the whole spectacle was especially interesting considering it happened on the same day that USA soccer team was defeated in a particularly hostile environment in Mexico.
The USA team was subject to a great deal of abuse from the fans and one-sided refereeing throughout the game. There was one point late in the game where Landon Donovan was trying to take a corner kick while being showered with numerous beer cups and other items and behind him there was police holding riot shields trying in vain to keep the debris off of Donovan. During the game there was a great disparity in the calls with the US players receiving several yellow cards and the Mexican players were able to get away with whatever they pleased (I am not trying to be sour grapes, the Mexicans outplayed the US and deserved to win).

The main problem that I had with it, as Josh alluded to in his excellent post, was that the injustice was tolerated and expected. There is no accountability for the Mexican fans, and there is no repercussions for the blatant problems with the officiating. In the instance with Victorino and the fan, Lou and several other Cubs addressed the issue and apologized to Victorino and condemned it as unacceptable behavior. Juxtapose that with the much more serious issues in Mexico, there is no public outrage, no real effort to address it. The USA coaches and players barely even acknowledge it. They just go about their business and expect to get dumped on when they visit South American countries. I read in an ESPN article that when the US team goes to South America, they are not allowed to go anywhere except for their hotel and the field due to concerns for their safety. It is amazing how and soccer fans and Fifa in general get to operate in their own little world and go on and act however they want to when they are at the soccer stadium and have no consequences.

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