Don’t blame it on Dennis

by Mystical Mike

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Not to Wise?

If Robbie Savage has the most appropriate name in sport, who has the most unfortunate? Dennis Wise?

The overheard conversation between a former referee and a comedian this week. Given the standard of the humour it was obvious to anyone listening the referee made the quip.

Now I’m not one to mock a name, (I have an older brother with the middle name Gresham) but maybe our old referee has a point about Mr Wise, being unfortunate?

Sure the name’s not his fault, rather his parents, but what about the treatment dished out of late to the once diminutive midfielder unfortunate?

Well what’s the competition? Take a look around the world of grassroots at the moment and there are plenty of unfortunates propping up their clubs. There are chairmen, without cash, without grounds and without council support who us fans demand take us higher in the league.

There are caretaker and inexperienced managers, without cash, without players without support, but face demands of promotion or staving off relegation. Then there are volunteers taking on positions which quite frankly deserve knighthoods rather then just a quick pat on the back given all the flack they get on a daily basis.

The other week I had the pleasure to speak to goalkeeper Anthony Hall at Walton and Hersham who was forced to play a game with a broken foot because there was no one else. Now, that’s unfortunate.

In the same way Dennis Wise does not deserve some of the levels of abuse hurled at him of late, it is time perhaps for a reality check on our treatment of people connected to the world of football. Most at the level I support are volunteers, who madly do it for the love of the game, and the sad state is such that the more vociferous the abuse the more likely it is that their positions remain unfilled once they are gone.

To me, the largest threat to grassroots football at the moment is the fans. Yes, we have every right to complain when a team underperforms, when dodgy decisions are made, but do we really have cause to argue about the direction of a club unless we’re willing to get mucky ourselves?

One last thought, while we’re on the subject, a Mr Death, is often the man in black at Non League Games and takes plenty of stick for it, or how’s about sparing a thought for the somewhat average Olympic athlete, Kim Yoo Suk. Imagine running up to take a jump in the pole vault with that name? Although of course we’d welcome him at Melbourne Park, the home of both quality football and athletics.

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