Here you go..
Have You Been Incited By Citizen Neville?
Monday January 23 2006
Let me incite you for a moment. Feel free to run amok in the streets and then blame me for inciting you to do it.
A 90th-minute winner in a long, tedious game against your most bitter rival is always a great thing. If now is not the moment for a bit of chest-thumping pride, a bit of 'f*ck you' p***-taking by a player, then when would be the right time?
So there's Citizen Neville, taking the pish out of Liverpool fans. It's all fair enough isn't it? After all, that's what you've been doing to him all game. But surely he's supposed to rise above that I hear. Isn't the deal that fans berate and abuse players who in turn smile sweetly and take the money home? Well at Middlesbrough that is certainly the case, except that we're berating our own players of course, but come on, think about this for a minute.
Football is still occasionally tribal and visceral, only occasionally, but Man United v Liverpool may well be one of the last occasions that it is. If you're seriously telling me that the Nevillista pumping his arms up and down, kissing his badge and angrily displaying his sparse Three Musketeers facial hair at you is going to legitimately cause you to do anyone else any harm, which is what I take 'incitement' to mean, then I must politely tell you that you are freakingly out of your mind, son.
And answer me this. Is it you he's inciting? Are you really going to leave the ground and kick off a fight because of Neville Neville's Gary's behaviour? And if it's not you who is liable to be 'incited' then who? Other fans? That'll be other less responsible fans than you will it? So what you're saying is you can't trust your own supporters not to kick off outside because Presidente Nevillo has flicked his 'tache at you.
He's driven them out their minds hasn't he? Driven them to the point of insanity. They are not culpable for their behaviour now - it's all Gary's fault...they've got a free reign to do what they will because they have officially been 'incited'. Let's be clear; that's what you're saying and in that case don't you think that you should be having a word with the nutter fans instead of laying the blame onto the player?
Christ, is that what you're saying when you run to the phones to complain? It's, and let me say this very slowl,y absolutely, utterly, totally pathetic. Stop saying it. Stop saying it now. That includes you Alan Green. Even though you're a Liverpool supporter, I expect better from you in particular.
It must be especially galling for the vast majority of fans who don't care about 'incitement' and are embarrassed by their fellow fans who whine about this sort of thing. I know that's the vast majortiy.
But where will this stop? It's a slippery slope. Do you want social workers on hand at the game to report how upset you are and this might make it more liable that you'll slap your kids around or something. Where does incitement stop?
Because you know, you're not just affecting these two clubs. You're affecting all of us fans. You are, by making these 'incitement' claims, directly responsible for the downgrading of football as exciting entertainment. Yes, you're culpable in the decline of the game as a spectacle becauseyou're giving the FA more reason to treat football like hysterical girls.
They've already outlawed the more expressive forms of player celebration, by indulging in accusations of incitement you're just handing the game over to the blazered old farts even more. You're directly responsible for the further emasculation of the game. Do you really want football turned into a polite sport where no one feels anything or shows any emotion just so you can indulge in the popular contemporary sport of "where there's blame. there's a claim"?
Don't you realise that of all the overpaid dancing monkeys on the pitch playing for Man United, only Citizen Neville really felt it in his heart? Can't you see that is actually a good thing? A player who feels his club to his core. Who takes pride in beating you. That's a really f***ing good thing. S***, I wish we had a bit more of that at the Riverside.
Regardless of who the player or club is, do you really want footballers to be emotional robots? It's shameful that anyone should want to take away The Neviller's right to lord yesterday's victory on his home ground for a minute. You've just got to take it. Your lot can do the same when the occasion arises.
All this talk of incitement is self-indulgent hypocrisy and frankly, if you can't take it, don't give it out. Is this what we've come to?
Football isn't reality TV you know. The performers can and should be allowed to talk back to you. You're not watching it on the telly where no-one can hear you scream. The question that needs asking is, do you really just want to hurl abuse and take the p*** out of a player for an hour and a half without it having any effect? Aren't you trying to put him off his game?
So when he kicks back a bit after beating you, have the good grace, the balls, the guts, to take your medicine from the man you have abused so merrily. Not to do so is just plain wet. Don't start ringing up the radio phone-ins and start weeping about it.
Are you going to tell on Nev to the police? Are you going to get him reported as a social revolutionary of some sort, able to 'incite' a crowd into violence at the twitch of his hairy lip? Do you want all of these authorities involved in our game further telling us what we can and can't do or say?
Maybe you'll want to sue him for emotional upset. It was so hurtful after all. Ah diddums. Why do you care what Neville says or thinks about anything anyway? You love him really, don't you. You do, you love him.
This is a nanny culture of wussy, pathetic, limp-wristed proportions and we should have nothing to do with it. You know what you should have done as Nev is kicking off - just call him a w***er, a f***-wit, anything you want and go home happy that you have done so. He'd expect it. He won't be reporting you for hurting his feelings.
It all made me love D'artagnan Neville even more. I for one wish we had someone who has such b***ocks and such pride and commitment to the cause at our club. I don't want it outlawed, made illegal, suppressed or punished just because some people in the crowd have found an excuse to be upset by it. It's one of the best things about football but if you do think he was wrong and think he really was inciting the crowd to, to, to do what I really don't know, then I in turn shall accuse you of inciting real fans into apoplectic anger at your girly behaviour.
Oooh, I shall scream and scream and scream and scream until I'm sick.http://www.football365.com/opinion/john_nicholson/story_174987.shtml