I found this article interesting and if you are not interested don't bother reading.
It seems that sporting violence is everywhere and not just in football stadiums, as some would believe.
An apple-pie world of self-delusion
The Americans blame "sports terrorism" on those nasty British soccer fans, says Steven Wells. Perhaps they should try looking a little closer to home
Wednesday September 29, 2004
Over in the USA the sight of British bobbies smashing the living spit out of the pro-hunting lobby was greeted with amused amazement.
"It's a good job they don't give those guys guns - they might get violent!" chortled John Stewart, host of top satire programme The Daily Show, over footage of Plod hammering the posh. Stewart then ran the footage again - but this time with a soundtrack of a high-pitched upper-class English accented "Hallay!" each time a truncheon cracked skull. The studio audience roared with laughter. I scratched my head.
Americans know that there are only two sorts of Englishmen - soccer hooligans and posh folks. Soccer hooligans have cockney accents and support Manchester United. Like Daphne's brothers in Frasier. Like the gang led by Vinnie Jones in the movie Eurotrip.
And like the family in Do Shut Up, the Brit-sit-com to which Homer becomes addicted in an episode of The Simpsons.
"If they're not having a go with a bird," he tells Bart, "they're having a row with a w****r."
And the posh folks? Well they play polo, marry fairy-tale princesses and hunt foxes. Which is why America is confused. Folks who hunt foxes (they know from having watched Mary Poppins) are posh. And posh people rioting does not compute.
Of course the number of rugby shirts worn by the violent mob provides the key to this conundrum. Anybody who has ever lived in a town or city where rugby union is played knows that rugby players are, on the whole, frightfully unpleasant people. And only an ultra-liberal idiot would seek to distinguish between the militant wing of the pro-hunting lobby (who have been beating seven shades of fox-crap out of the poor old crusty hunt saboteurs for decades) and the honking, drunken, be-blazered rugger mobs who terrorise our more genteel country towns every match-day evening.
Indeed, it would not be overstating the case to state that the savage mob who attacked the police outside Parliament are the direct political and class descendants of the rugger-scarf sporting Oxbridge scabs who helped break the 1926 general strike. They are, in short, the scum of the earth.
The Battle Of Ruggerloo has drawn attention to a familiar and peculiarly English double standard. A bunch of Oxford Blues wrecks a pub and it's youthful high spirits. A gang of Oxford United fans kick over a litter bin and it's the end of civilisation as we know it. Oh those silly, snobbish, class-ridden Brits.
But hang on. The double standard might not be as uniquely British as we think. As the American football season gets underway, the USA will soon be once again gripped by one of its regular moral panics about sports hooliganism (or, as I have heard it described - "sports terrorism" - I kid you not). As well it might. Because sports hooliganism is as American as McDonald's apple pie. A quick Google will turn up scores of stories about riots and arrests at basketball, baseball and football games. Howling mobs at college games tear down the opposing team's goal-posts and are only driven back by the judicious use of night-sticks and pepper-spray. And this happens every year. Again and again. All over America.
Just last month a televised eating competition between two college football teams in Salt Lake City degenerated into a full-scale fist fight. And hardly anybody noticed. And this month two Pittsburgh Steelers fans were found guilty of the manslaughter of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers supporter. I found the story buried on page three of a local newspaper.
And soon lazy sports hacks will start collating these stories and conclude that the people who must take all the blame are - can you guess? Yes! Those horrible English soccer hooligans.
"After a three-decade long presence on the distant shores of Great Britain, the hooligan has arrived kicking and screaming on the American sport scene," rants a US Stadium industry newsletter.
"We don't want it to degenerate into the soccer fan hooliganism issue that has plagued European sports" rambles William Lester, general manager of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission in Minneapolis.
And so on. And on and on. Year after year. The same panic. The same articles. The same deranged and massively self-deluding conclusion. The truth is that the USA has, and has always had, a sports hooliganism problem at least as bad as that of the UK. But, of course, when Budweiser-stoked American college students go nuts, that's not hooliganism. Or even sports-terrorism. No, that's, er, something else entirely. Apparently.
Meanwhile, back in Blighty, the badly battered pro-hunting rugger-buggers are planning a re-match. I say: tool the bobbies up with horsewhips, replace the police dogs with rabid vixens and let's really make a match of it.
An apple-pie world of self-delusion