Now, it is the opinion of some individuals that England has been unfairly singled out as a center for yob activity.
After all, it was British newspapermen that first coined the term “football hooliganism” (as a side note, the word “hooligan” has a slightly dark undertone of anti – Irish sentiment, having risen to prominence due to the sensationalistic and quite often xenophobic habits of the popular British press. Imagine if American tabloids regularly used the term ‘niggardly’… except that the word ‘niggardly’ has no etymological connection with any racial epithet, and most American journalists don’t know that word, or many others, and finally because the American press has felt the chilling effect of habitual political correctness for so long that even the most brazen of the right – wing papers would balk at doing anything that could be construed in any way as racist, for fear of a long and debilitating lawsuit and the resulting negative publicity).
Where was I? Oh yes, the English Disease.
Basically, it’s partially true and partially hype, like any other Big News Story. The hysteria over rising juvenile delinquency in the 1950s turned into hysteria over protests in the 1960s, but then there were a few slow news days before punk rockers and Thatcher – era jingoism gave the Fleet Street hacks plenty of fuel to fan the flames (and now we’ve got online slots to demonize! Yay!).
Toss in the usual pinches of xenophobia and political party conflict, and you have a go – to story for a newsie without inspiration. Re – visit the story enough times, and not only does everyone just accept it as true, but they actively start making it true — and then make it even worse! Then journalists actually have real violence and mayhem to report on! How easy is that?
If I had more room, I would relate this phenomenon to the current situation regarding Internet gambling, at online casino USA and elsewhere. But I don’t.
So yes, there really are football yobs. Two kinds: the small, isolated, incidental incidents that are more or less bound to happen at any large social gathering where two opposing factions face off… and the more sinister kind that has more to do with violent subcultures and organized crime than it does with organized sports. But neither one is as much of a problem as the media wants you to believe, and neither one has much to do with football, per se…
This of course is just my modest viewpoint on the matter. Some will feel that I have judged too harshly or say that I need to just take it easy but that seems like it is just the worst way out of a situation like this.