Sunday, May 31, 2015

Right place, right time

Works in sports journalism long enough and things do start to look and sound samey. The same old events come around every year or few years, athletes say the same old things, and even the controversies become old hat – most likely because they stem from the same underlying conditions or the same old main players.

Even the photos – one of the sports section's great advantages over other sections (hi, business friends!) – start to look the same after a while. So many variations on "Player X vies for the ball with Player Y", "Victorious Player celebrates triumph", "Losing Player wallows in dejection" and "High School Senior bursts into tears at the end of their athletic career". They're still good shots, of course, and are a boon to the section. It just takes a little something extra to make you go "ooh".

So when that something extra comes along, it's good to celebrate it.

The second leg of Scotland's promotion/relegation playoff was yesterday, with Motherwell hosting Rangers after winning the first leg 3-1 in Glasgow. Motherwell won 3-0 at Fir Park to avoid relegation from the Scottish Premiership, condemning 54-time Scottish champions Rangers to another season in the second division. That may soon be the least of Rangers' worries, what with their ongoing and dramatic financial meltdown.

After the match, though, the focus was not on what happened during the 90 minutes or the uncertain future of Rangers. Instead, it was the actions of Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni, who snubbed an attempted handshake by Motherwell's Lee Erwin before kicking him in the butt and punching him in the face. Mohsni, Erwin and Motherwell's Fraser Kerr were sent off in the fracas – and yes, players can still be sent off after the match finishes – and Motherwell fans invading the pitch only added to the chaos.

Television images of the brawl were limited to a wide shot due to the lack of camera coverage at Fir Park. Fortunately, Getty Images photographer Jeff Holmes was in the right place at the right time.

Well done, Jeff. Those are the kind of shots that help bring a sports section to life.

Oh, and particularly poor timing from Mohsni. His Rangers contract is up at the end of this season, and given the taste he left in his club's (and Erwin's) mouth, it's safe to say he'll be looking for a new employer soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment