Now I don't want to harp on it, but then again, when the shit hits the fan these days, and it's been four long years of being absent from the big stage, how much more can the NSL get blamed? For so long the proponents of the A-League and the new way of things have said that we are not the same, that there is no relation. And when the going gets good, and the crowds are big, and the sponsorships roll in, and the rivers are made of chocolate, it's all due to their good work and isn't lovely that we've moved on form the bad old days of the old NSL.
And yet, when violent acts occur in the stands in the A-League - and they have occurred with such an alarming frequency considering the 'main cause' was removed - then one has to wonder what perhaps is the real problem. And maybe, just maybe, it was never really an ethnic thing, because that's gone now. Perhaps it was just the usual and sadly most common reason for it all, a bunch of probably drunk, well 'ard thugs, who view getting into a bit of biff at the soccer - or the cricket - as part of the experience.
But that problem can't be dealt with until there is acknowledgment made that the common denominator is not ethnics tensions but mostly young men on the piss who don't object to violence. But if that acknowledgement is made, then as a consequence all sorts of other inferences will have to be made. That the pigeonholing of NSL-era violence more than a touch of a racist and xenophobic dimension to it. That the fist shaking of so many years was not at what is now edging closer to boys being boys, but rather at the horrible ethnics and their foreign game. But I don't see that happening in the near future, or even a distant one. The FFA and media will refer back to the bad old days, and the ones responsible for the argle barhgle and their looking the other way contemporaries will smile and say, at least it wasn't ethnic.