Fresh from yesterday's verbal punchup, Porky Parry is back for a second round on the Bodugi Blog. Porky Parry has placed his football bets for this weekend on the Bodugi social betting big game. Remember to get your picks in early and Punt with Porky on the Bodugi Big Game
The Premier League haven’t gone far enough in deciding to abandon the hand-shake at the Chelsea v QPR game on Sunday. It was the only sensible decision but now this ridiculous weekly ritual should be scrapped altogether. The whole of the world was ready to tune in to see John Terry become the world’s first player to suffer the ignominy of the “double-snubble”. After the infamous Wayne bridge humiliation in which he first suffered the “fresh-air” hand-shake he was set to be flapping his right hand around again this week-end as Anton Ferdinand was also going to blank him.
I don’t know why the Premier League insisted earlier this week that the ceremony had to go ahead. Just from weighing up the attitudes of the two men involved, it was clear that the potential for another explosive incident was massive. It was only when it became clear that Ferdinand had been legally advised not to shake his fellow defender’s hand that the concession was made. Many doubt, though, that the QPR defender would have extended his hand anyway – and if we could all see that then the Premier League should also have been able to figure it out.
Now, the eradication of this potential flashpoint should be the conduit to remove the pitiful ceremony altogether. This is for two reasons. Firstly, it emerged from an era when politicians were seemingly looking at ways to change human thinking and the phrase “political correctness” grew up. This phenomenon included things like banning children from dancing around maypoles in their villages in case the pole fell over, and restricting firemen from rescuing people from shallow ponds about two feet deep unless they had been thoroughly “water-trained”.
For some reason football decided to get in on the act. But secondly, and much more practically, the hand-shake of peace has become the most effective weapon of aggression. All a player has to do these days to express his angst with a member of the opposition team is to refuse to extend his arm. Cue for pushing and shoving in the line-up, unrest amongst the crowd and an instant back-drop to the forthcoming game of a snarling, heated encounter radiating ill-will before a ball has even been kicked.
It could get worse. For instance in the Luis Suarez – Patrice Evra snub, the allegation from Suarez was that Evra didn’t extend his hand far enough for it to be physically possible for the two men to engage. But then Evra reacted with agitation at what he claimed was a snub. So, from the intention of goodwill you’ve got a tinder-box situation, that could potentially be stage-managed. When will the first full-blown bust-up occur during one of these line-ups which could quite easily lead to the referee having to issue yellow or red cards before the game has even kicked off? I accept that the hand-shake was introduced with the best will in the world to promote harmony. But it’s imposing a false set of emotions on the people concerned. These are footballers playing at the very highest level and they have finely-honed competitive instincts. You can’t subdue that. A matador doesn’t pat the bull on the head before engaging in combat. You can see how ill at ease footballers look when they walk up and down the “line of respect”. They’re completely disinterested and what passes for a hand-shake is, most of the time, a low-level high-five.
A football game should start with the away team sprinting out of the tunnel to give the majority home fans the chance of a good-natured boo. Then the home team emerge onto the pitch to the mass joy of the home crowd. Don’t we all remember those days? It created the perfect atmosphere for the match ahead. The hand-shake is rubbish and should be abolished. Mark Hughes, QPR’s manager has called it “pointless” irrespective of his own players’ involvement and every professional footballer I have ever spoken to on this subject has agreed.
Talking about handshakes, I've made my selections for the Bodugi Big Game on Saturday, and it'll take a football punter with real skill to beat my selections. Click on the button below and get involved, or leave me a comment and let me know if you think we should wave goodbye to handshakes on the pitch.