Friction can be a drag

In the interests of free speech…just make it interesting

Football chant?

with 13 comments

We have a referee in the Championship with a thalidomide arm.
Are we allowed to chant “You’ve only got short arms”?


Written by jackshaftoe

December 3, 2006 at 5:02 pm

Posted in outrageous, quirky

13 Responses

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  1. Surely that should be “you only have one short arm”, which is at least accurate, although hardly any more astute than the original suggestion. What about “You can’t blow your whistle and take out a yellow card at the same time”? I think it has a certain zippiness to it. I believe it could catch on.


    December 4, 2006 at 11:04 am

  2. I agree the specifics of the chant could be better…but is it wrong? Non-football fans seem to think it is outrageous, but it seems to me that it is the same as “The referees a midget!”


    December 4, 2006 at 11:23 am

  3. This one had me confused and I struggled to justify it when asked why taking the mickey out of a short ref was any worse than one with a short arm, instinctively the fact that the ref had a thalidomide arm meant you shouldn’t take the mick but they’re both physical attributes after all. Surely it comes down to the fact that one has a stigma attached to it and it’s not very PC. I’m (relatively) short and my friends find it amusing to have a bit of fun at my expense but conversely the taller of them get similar treatment. So does it come down to the intent and the sensibility of the person with the ‘feature’? I know that when my friends mock me for being vertically challenged it’s done as a bit of light homour… and the comments are usually returned with interest. All good for us but the ref doesn’t have a chance to respond other than pointing to the spot to royally get revenge on the offending fans – and this incidentally is one of the reasons I hate the chant “we only get shit refs” when we don’t get the rub of the green’. Yet the chant ‘we only get short refs’ is a witty play on words. The intent here is different to ‘we only get short-armed refs’. So would it be OK if we could find a witty chant about thalidomide arms? Could a chant be witty? What does the ref think?


    December 4, 2006 at 9:10 pm

  4. Not PC but I figure, he’s a ref, he can take it.


    December 4, 2006 at 11:09 pm

  5. Are people who dont like the chant making a judgement call? Having a disabled arm is worse than being short? I’m not sure about this. I can’t imagine the pain and humiliation that short people such as P have to go through on a day to day basis. Surely it is wrong to mock people with this unfortunate disability?


    December 5, 2006 at 9:42 am

  6. You are all missing the point.
    Dont any of you know how difficult it must be to run around with one normal arm and one short arm.
    And even harder running backwards or sideways. amazing balance. amazing man.
    where does he put his whistle, when he has to give someone a card. surely his withered arm is no good for that.


    December 7, 2006 at 8:44 pm

  7. but is it OK to take the piss??


    December 8, 2006 at 2:23 pm

  8. It’s definately ok to chant, think about it, the disability clearly hasn’t had any adverse reaction on his ability to do the job (unless you class reffing the championship as a job done by shit ref’s) so therefore the chant could only be meant as tongue in cheek rather than as a direct insult to the quality of the ref.

    If I was a ref I’d see it as a more complimenary insult than the usual chants questioning his parentage/eye sight/decision making process as I clearly must be doing something right if all they can take the piss out of was my deformity….

    I would be a little concerned breaking up a fight though, don’t think that ref’d be much use at holding people at arms length…


    December 12, 2006 at 12:27 pm

  9. I think we all deep down agree that it’s a tad fucked for several thousand people to take the piss out of someone with a genuine medical condition.

    The following was found under ‘Dwarfism’ in Wikipedia…
    “According to the Little People of America, the human definition of dwarfism is ‘a medical or genetic condition that usually results in an adult height of 4’10” (147 cm) or shorter for men and 4’7″ (139 cm) or shorter for women, although in some cases a person with a dwarfing condition may be slightly taller than that.”

    With that in mind I suggest in future that before a match the referee is interviewed and measured by a representative of the fans to establish if he is a)shorter than 4’10”, b) slightly taller but still has a dwarfing condition, or c) just short. If c), we seem by consensus to agree it is ok to take the piss out of someone who is just short and the ‘affliction’ can be suitably mocked. However, if a) or b) are applicable then it would wrong to take the piss out of his height… try making fun of his face instead.

    As for the arm thing, a similar system of measurement and interviewing can be employed. If the arm is short due to a medical complaint again it’s off limits to piss-taking. Try looking for something else to chant about, for instance if he is Indian some sort of racial chant could be deployed.

    I hope I’ve been helpful.


    December 12, 2006 at 12:57 pm

  10. You might agree that it’s fucked up, but I certainly don’t, he’s putting himself in a position where even the best of the best get ripped apart, how can you have any sympathy for him. It’s like bar staff complaining of smokers causing them harm by smoking, if you don’t like it, don’t chose a job in that area, do something else.

    He shouldn’t be reffing anyway, aren’t ref’s meant to uphold “the long arm of the law”, he’s clearly unable to do that…


    December 12, 2006 at 1:15 pm

  11. Very drol! Unfortunately you sound like you’re using the she-was-wearing-a-short-skirt argument. Because people are ignorant/cruel enough to take the piss out someone with a thalydamide condition doesn’t justify it. The bar-staff can have ventilation units installed above the bars, he can’t have his arm sorted out. And I don’t see crowds of people standing around bars singing ‘You only cough when you’re working’!


    December 12, 2006 at 1:34 pm

  12. Anything chanted at a ref is acceptable apart from racial abuse.

    Anything chanted at rival fans is also acceptable in the ground and for the 90 minutes.
    The worst I have heard were songs sung to Middlesboro supporters around the time of the Cleveland Child sex scandal. The point is you use whatever ammunition you have, the more likely it is to cause offence the better.

    Lottery Loverat

    December 12, 2006 at 3:49 pm

  13. just for the record:
    we spent saturdays game chanting ‘rapist’ at the poor Leeds goalie Stack…although he was acquitted of the rape charges against him!
    fair…I doubt it…but who gives a…


    December 18, 2006 at 3:27 pm

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