Dougie Brimson. Author, screenwriter, serial moaner.
Like many people, I am a big fan of social networking and spend a great deal of time using both Facebook and Twitter to promote my books, carry out research and network with other writers. Unfortunately, I also spend a great deal more time talking rubbish with people I barely know, swapping jokes and looking at stupid video’s which is not good when I have deadlines to beat!
Surprisingly, one thing I don’t use social networking for is to follow football. The main reasons being that I don’t really care too much what is happening at any other club than Watford and certainly have little or no interest in the day to day trivia of players lives or for that matter, their opinions. More importantly, I find if far too easy to get sucked into arguments and being the type of person who has to have the last word, can find myself involved in pointless debates for days!
The whole idea of social networking online is actually quite ridiculous and like many things to do with the internet, is actually designed to waste time and avoid facing up to the realities of life. However, whatever you use it for or whatever you think of it, social networking does have real power. And central to that is the ability to spread or even occasionally, create news. In that sense, Twitter is pretty much unrivalled.
I mention this here because I have been busily writing something this morning about the John Terry saga which has given me a great deal of food for thought.
Now I don’t care much for John Terry or racists and if he is found guilty, he deserves whatever comes his way. He certainly shouldn’t be anywhere near the England team at the moment and if he were a true England captain, he would have made himself unavailable until such time as they investigations into his case had been concluded. The fact he hasn’t says enough about him to me to suggest he isn’t even worthy of the armband anyway. It doesn’t say much for his team mates either but that’s another debate entirely.
However, what has struck me as equally important is the fact that Terry only really fell into shit creek once the Twitterati got involved and that has massive implications for the game as a whole. For what we are witnessing here is trial by fan. And I for one, love this idea.
Let’s face it, we have all seen things happen in games which players have got away with simply because the referee missed them. And even though
they will have been picked up by the TV cameras and shown later on, we all know that thanks to the stupid rules relating to retrospective punishment it is extremely unlikely that anything will ever be done. But equally, like most supporters I am sick to death of the diving and the cheating that is ruining the game I love and if the authorities, the clubs or the players union won’t do anything to stop it even though they know it is wrong, then maybe pressure from the fans will finally force them into action.
Just as importantly, if through the use of social networking fans are finally able to interact more directly with players, maybe they won’t be so quick to feign injury if they know that they are going to have to justify their behaviour to the people who pay their wages. After all, embarrassment is the biggest deterrent known to man!
There will of course be those who think this is the very worst of developments but in all honesty, I don’t care. For too long now we fans have been forced to sit back and put up with the demise of fair play and if through social networking we finally have the chance to bring about a return to sportsmanship within football, that can only be a good thing for the game.
My name is Dougie Brimson; author, screenwriter and lover of all things blokey. This is my blog.
In the main, it will feature my opinions, provide the odd bit of advice or possibly be nothing more than a good rant just to get something off my chest but it might occasionally contain words and thoughts that are best described as provocative. As a consequence, please be aware that what you might read may not necessarily reflect the true opinions of the author but are instead, designed purely to illicit a response of some kind.
However, if you take offence to something you read or is inferred, too bad. If you know me, you should know better anyway and if you don't, please feel free to go elsewhere or better still, either email me to voice your concerns or simply leave a comment! I will always respond.
Either way... lighten up. It's only the bloody internet.
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