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Premier League: Stop Elder ‘Water Torture’

August 27th, 2018 · No Comments · English Premier League, Football, London, soccer

It rained in London yesterday. Not just a little. A lot.

Steady, pelting rain nearly the whole of the afternoon. And especially during the Crystal Palace-at-Watford match, staged in a London suburb.

The players were soaked. The officials were soaked. The fans, those of them who stayed in seats not covered by the partial roof … also soaked.

And perhaps the most prominent soaking of the match?

That of Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace coach and at age 71 one of the oldest people in the stadium.

Hodgson stood in the open and was doused. Water ran off his head and arms. And it struck me as something not far off from “elder abuse”.

English football should come up with a law.

Every coach age 70 or older, no matter how proud or stiff-necked, should have a kid with an umbrella standing next to him.

Making sure a 70-something old guy does not stand in the rain for two hours.

Soccer is not like cricket or baseball, where games are halted when the rain comes up. “Football” just keeps playing, even when the rain is intense, and coaches apparently are required to stand in it.

To show solidarity, or something. Or to show that they are suffering just like their players. Though it is not the same — guys running around hardly feel the rain, after the first few minutes.

Coaches in their 70s … even when the rain comes in not-cold weather … it’s not healthy for them to stand there and be doused.

But there will be matches this season in England and elsewhere in Europe, where it will rain or even snow, and standing in it will be a health risk for everyone in the stadium, but especially for old guys who are coaching the team.

I would prefer coaches of any age get under cover, when wet winter weather comes calling, but we know they do not, even though they could (as our grandmothers would say) “catch their death of cold”.

I would think it would be easy for each team to find a doughty young man who could wear a hooded, waterproof jacket, and make sure the manager is safely under a brolly.

Hodgson looked … pitiful. Miserable. Waterlogged long before halftime, his face scrunched up in a clear sign of discomfort.

Let’s put a stop to this. Get our senior-citizen coaches out of the rain!

A man on the high side of 70 who has the energy to coach a Premier League team … let’s not further test him with water torture. Get that man a bumbershoot and some youngster to wield it.



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