By now a large part of the global population has heard about the shooting of Mark Duggan by Police in Tottenham, London, England and the ensuing riots/looting/chaos. Not to restate the obvious, but the whole mess is tragic and unnecessary. I’ve always thought of London as a moderately calm city (despite giving us the literal Riot Act). Sure, there have been a few incidents over the past couple of decades, but things have been pretty good during this first part of the 21st Century.
Timing, it is said, is everything, and this current mess is no exception. While Tesco and JD shops are being looted by BlackBerry toting miscreants in hoodies and sweat pants (seriously, can’t we have some moderately fashionable riot wear?), the rest of England and a good chunk of the world is gearing up for the start of the English Premier League this coming weekend. Now, with a nation in turmoil, the next big news is whether or not the season will actually start on time. The friendly match between England and Holland that was slated to take place at Wembley as well as a couple of Carling Cup matches have been cancelled, and the Football League and the Premier League are frantically trying to figure out what to do in light of current safety concerns.
Here’s the thing, though: angry footballers could be a more formidable concern than the current looters.
Something tells me that we have the potential to see some of the worst nastiness surrounding hooliganism that hasn’t been seen since the 1980’s. This has the potential to get very very ugly, and all we can do is wait and see what happens.
Update (Friday 5:30AM CST)
Well, it looks like the general “go ahead” has been given and the EPL is going to take it one match at a time. What this probably means is that Queens Park Rangers will get to play their first EPL match since 1996 while Tottenham vs. Everton (at “epicentric” Tottenham) will probably be postponed until a later date. What is wild is that outlying communities such as West Bromwich, Liverpool, Birmingham and even Manchester are up in the air because the idiocy has seemingly spread to them to some degree. Here’s hoping to a relatively smooth weekend that doesn’t screw up the table too much.