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The era of rage

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

We see it on the highways. It’s becoming more apparent in politics these days. Video games and television shows depict and glorify this side of human behavior. We’ve witnessed it escalating over the years at children’s sporting events. Outlandish behavior at the college and professional level is frequently on display. More and more it seems rage is confused with passion these days.

You might recall about 10 years ago a parent killed the coach of his son’s hockey team after a practice scrimmage. The father was so frustrated by seeing his son take an elbow to the face that he confronted the coach and a struggle ensued. The father ended up hitting the coach several times in the head while he was down, resulting in the coach’s death.

Now we have a teenage soccer participant, playing in a recreational soccer league in Salt Lake City, who didn’t like the foul called by the referee. Instead of walking away and letting it go he choose to blind side the ref while he was writing down the foul, punching him in the face. The teenager was playing goalie during a game when the ref issued him a yellow card for pushing an opposing forward trying to score a goal. The effects of the punch did not take effect immediately but shortly afterward the referee became dizzy and began to vomit. When police arrived, the teenager was gone and the referee was lying on the ground in the fetal position. The referee laid in a coma for several days then passed away.

Surprisingly this wasn’t the first time the referee had been assaulted during a game. The ref’s daughter told police she and her sisters begged their father to stop refereeing because of the risk from angry players, but he continued because of his love for the game.

Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@newmarketpressvt.com or dan@denpubs.com.

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