Experts today have heralded the emergence of English football from its malodorous cesspit following the dramatic cardiac arrest suffered by Bolton Wanderers’ Fabrice Muamba at White Hart Lane last weekend.
In scenes that shocked the world, fans reacted to the player’s collapse with what appeared to be genuine empathy, exhibiting the basic human decency that was thought to have been extinguished in the moral vacuum of modern football.
Fans spokesman Geoff Grunt was quick to praise the Tottenham Hotspur supporters who bravely managed to resist hurling abuse at the suffering Trotters midfielder as he lay apparently lifeless on the pitch.
He said: “When Fabrice collapsed, everyone immediately expected a barrage of effing and blinding.
“When the supporters, to a man, reacted with the sort of natural concern that any normal human being would exhibit in the situation, we were both flabbergasted and delighted.”
He continued: “Football fans are generally assumed to be jaundiced, narrow-minded morons. After all, fans here at White Hart Lane hung effigies of Sol Campbell when he left to join Arsenal and ritually sing songs about Arsene Wenger being a paedophile.
“Arsenal fans in turn recently took to chanting about how they wished Emmanuel Adebayor had been among those slaughtered during a fatal shooting in Angola.
“Clearly these are the actions of subnormal fools. Yet Saturday’s events showed that football fans can, in extreme circumstances, react to events with a modicum of dignity and compassion. This demonstration of an ability to act like ordinary citizens of civilised society deserves nothing but the highest praise.”
Players too have been commended for their reaction. PFA spokesperson Archie Basildon agreed that players deserve plaudits for not reacting in the spoilt, pig-ignorant way we’ve come to expect of them.
He said: “When Muamba went down on the pitch with nobody near him, not one player ran towards the referee waving an imaginary yellow card in an attempt to get him booked for diving. Not one. I think that shows the kind of progress we’ve been making.”
“Most people think that footballers are stupid, selfish malcontents totally separated from the real world. Of course some players try to buck the trend, like Frank Lampard and his Latin GCSE – or Joey Barton, who watches the occasional documentary on TV and professes to study philosophy, yet is unable to spot the implicit irony when, as a columnist for the Big Issue, he derides squatters as “smelly bastards” and “rats” and threatens to release wild beasts upon heroin addicts seeking shelter in the building site where he’s renovating another of his many homes.
“If that’s the best footballers can offer in way of brainpower then who would’ve been surprised if a player had run up to Muamba and screamed “f**k you and f**k your heart” in the manner of El-Hadji Diouf to Jamie Mackie last year? Yet the players reacted with a level of anxiety for their fellow man’s well-being that’s almost completely unprecedented, apart from that shown by pretty much any normal person who’s ever seen someone suddenly stop breathing.”
He added: “We can only hope they’re rewarded for it. I’m not saying knighthoods, but…”