Earlier this week a guy at The Public Apology’s competitor site, The Roar, wrote a column about booing. Something along the lines of ‘don’t boo the players, blah blah blah, morons etc’.
If I’m honest, I have to admit I didn’t read the entire article – authored by Cameron Rose – because I was watching WWE on TV and got distracted by when the crowd in the arena started booing John Cena talking about wrasslin’. Unable to control myself, in pure Pavlovian canine fashion, I immediately stopped reading Cameron’s article and started booing at John Cena on the TV. I was alone in my apartment booing at an inanimate object and you know what? It felt great.
A few days after Mr Rose’s article came out, Peter Fitzsimons, one of my personal heroes, jumped on the Boo-ndwagon© and also wrote a column supporting the idea that booing was for morons*. Now, I’m not a church-going man so I normally fill the gaping spiritual hole with whatever gospel the bandana-wearing one writes each week, but this time he’d lost me.
What have we come to as a society when these high-falutin’ sports media types, these self-appointed group-think thought police, tell me that after I’ve paid almost half my weekly wages to attend a sporting event I’m not allowed to vocalise my discontent with a few timely bellows? What are they going to try and tell me next? That I’m not allowed to cheer my players on because it would be unfair to the opposite team not to receive an equal level of support? This is political correctness gone mad!
I don’t know about you but when I was a child I used to be encouraged to let loose with a bit of a spray every time I was at the footy and it wasn’t just at the players either. My old man encouraged equal opportunity booing so whether it was players on the other team, my team, referees, touch judges, cheerleaders, mascots, a fat bloke carrying four beers trying to get through to his seat; it didn’t matter. If they stuffed up doing their job than 8-year-old me was right there letting them know about it by giving them the big Booooo right in their face.
You might think to yourself: as a kid that’s alright, he’ll grow out of it as he matures, he’ll learn to be an adult and understand that sometimes people make mistakes and that there’s no reason to unleash a torrent of abuse at them. Well you’re wrong! I haven’t grown out of it and I’ve barely matured.
If anything I’ve taken what I learnt from an early age at the footy and started applying it to everyday life situations. If I’ve forked out my hard earned for something then in my mind I’ve just bought the right to express my opinions however I like. For example, I went to Subway the other day and had to boo a 12 year old Subway artist until he’d given me an appropriate amount of lettuce and was in tears. And why shouldn’t I? I paid for that right!
Let’s be honest, without people like me everyone would sit at the footy and give polite golf claps when someone scored or did something spectacular. Without people like me the players wouldn’t know that they’d done a good thing by rubbing an opponent’s face in the dirt or hitting them with a swinging arm. Without people like me the refs wouldn’t understand that they were the bottom feeders of life and didn’t deserve to be on the same hallowed turf as the players. Without people like me going to the footy would be the same as sitting in the Members’ stand at the cricket.
Is that really what you want?
So you know what, Cameron Roses and Peter Fitzsimons’ of the world, I don’t appreciate you trying to censor my beliefs. I don’t appreciate your efforts to stymie real, honest, guttural, primal, raw contributions to the national sporting debate. I know Andrew Bolt would be on my side on this issue and I’m planning on writing him a letter to ask if I can go on his show to raise public awareness of the importance of booing.
We need to nip this call for censorship in the bud before our Australian freedoms are impinged on. If we give in to people like you on an issue like this it’s only a matter of time before I’m being told what I’m allowed to wear and where I have to sit.
Just so you know, Messrs Rose and Fitzsimons, aka the sport-thought police, at this very moment I’m sitting alone in my apartment at my laptop writing this and booing at you. So I ask you, who looks like a moron now?
By Brin Paulsen
* While Fitzsimons may be this writer’s personal hero, this is not a sentiment shared by the rest of the TPA editorial team. We really cannot stress this enough.