If you are even a sometime follower of Aussie Rules, you will know of Big Bad Barry. If not, well, you are missing out. Aussie Rules, well, rules!
For those of you not in the know, Barry was formerly a member of the Sydney Swans, he had a reputation for having a short fuse, and hard fists. After 1 suspension too many for violence, he left the Swans, and shifted to Melbourne, and the Doggies.
Today, I was watching the North Melbourne/Western Bulldogs game, and Barry was copping it sweet. And he kept his temper.
Now, I am in no way a fan of the sort of violence that Hall showed himself to be capable of. I have seen it all too often in my working life - that sudden explosion of rage, a punch landed, bruises and broken bones, followed by sincere, and ultimately meaningless, remorse.
To be fair to Barry, I think he was genuine in his remorse, he simply hadn't matured enough to learn to control his temper - it happens, people mature at different rates. By no means a stupid man, and by all accounts, a lovely bloke, he just had to learn to count to 50 before making a fist. And 100 before throwing it.
Today, he showed that he had learnt, maybe not enough to avoid a report, but enough to not start throwing at the first sign of annoyance. To be totally fair to him, he took a lot more than many people would. And when he did respond, it wasn't with fists, he did as much as was needed to get himself safe.
His opposing player spent - I have no idea how long all up - but in 30 seconds, I saw more than a dozen slams of an elbow, shoves, and shoulder slams to the back. Barry took the lot, shoving away a hand, moving off, not even looking at the guy. I was thinking that this fool needed to meet Big Bad Barry, he was being a total twat, and then it happened. Barry did the nana, and applied a solid headlock.
End result, 6 reports from the altercation, which in the end, involved other players. I will be seriously disappointed if Barry Hall gets rubbed out for his part in this. Yes, he did step outside the rules, but he has the right to feel safe. He was tying his shoelace, out of range of play, and copped a knee to the ribs from his opposing player. His focus was on tying his shoe for crying out loud!! He didn't see the guy coming, he was attacked off the ball, responded, and is reported. WTF?!
As he said after the game, being niggled is part of the game, particularly with his reputation, but there is only so much bullshit that anyone should be expected to take. This was above and beyond. I for one, think that he did nothing more than anyone else would, or should. In fact, he did less than I would have.
I am particularly disgusted with the North coach, who said that the player did nothing wrong, his job was to upset the forward and he did that. TOOL!!!