SPORTS TALK: That time when going to a soccer match in Iran was considered bravery

by James McCarthy- May 5, 2018

You ever cut into a durian fruit? I haven’t but from all accounts, I’ll take a pass, especially after reading about what happened at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

It all came to a head on April 28 when students in the school’s library alerted the staff about a rather pungent gas-like smell. Thinking there was a gas leak, the library was evacuated and police were brought in to investigate. The culprit? A rotting durian fruit in a cupboard. Better safe than sorry, right. Sure.

Anyway, on to other things that could be a hazard to your health, like attending a soccer game in Iran:

This is bravery!

You and I can attend any ticketed event we want to simply by buying a ticket. No problem. In Iran, though, that’s not so easy for women.

The BBC published a story on May 1 about five women who disguised themselves as men so they could go watch a soccer game on April 27 between Persepolis and Sepidrood. Think about that – disguised themselves to watch a soccer game in person.

Titus O’Neal will live forever in the annals of wrestling blooper lore after his entrance at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia late last month. photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Now, there’s no official ban on women attending sporting events in Iran but they are often refused entry, even if they have tickets. Check out the time Iranian women were told they couldn’t come in to watch Iran’s World Cup qualifier against Syria last September, even though Syrian women who showed their passports were given the warm welcome to attend and enjoy the game.

One of the women who was interviewed by a newspaper in Iran said this was the third time she had pulled off the trick, using a different disguise each time. Another of the women was quoted as saying that male fans in the stadium realized that they were women eventually and they didn’t seem to have a problem. Was it worth the risk, she was asked? Of course, she said.

They didn’t give their names and that was perhaps the smartest decision they made. Could you imagine the crap-storm they would face if their identities were ever made public? The best part of this, though, is the embarrassment this caused the authorities. Women slipped in to watch a soccer game and sat among men, the bloody nerve of that lot. You know the authorities are probably considering genitalia checks now to make sure none of those female heathen try that trick again.

Hasn’t been the best of times for Iran lately, especially since Mossad managed to steal tens of thousands of documents relating to their nuclear program right from under their noses. Heads will roll.

That’s some next-level trolling

The Washington Wizards are out of the NBA playoffs thanks to the Toronto Raptors but the Washington Capitals are still around and the Washington Nationals did their bit to cheer them on.

The Nationals had a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this month and sold tickets in the lower level of their games against Pittsburgh at the very reasonable price of $10.57. Ticket buyers could use the code NOGOAL to buy the tickets.

Now, you’re wondering why the decent price and why the code. Well, if you’re an astute sports fan, you will know that the Capitals are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in round two of the NHL playoffs. In Game 2 of the series, Pittsburgh had a goal called back at 10:57 of the third period which would have closed the gap to 3-2. The Capitals went on to win, 4-1.

Get it now? And you thought the Wendy’s Twitter account was the most creative and troll-rific one out there.

And finally …

Good Idea: Making a grand entrance at the Greatest Royal Rumble.

Bad Idea: Titus O’Neil making his entrance at the Greatest Royal Rumble.

The superstars of WWE made their way to Saudi Arabia for the Greatest Royal Rumble event late last month and it was quite the show, considering the Saudi General Sports Authority laid out close to $200 million to bring it all together.

If you’ve never seen how a royal rumble match goes, it’s similar to a battle royal except instead of having everyone in the ring at one time, two wrestlers start and wrestlers enter the ring every two minutes after that until everyone has entered. The winner is the last wrestler who hasn’t been thrown over the top rope with both feet hitting the floor.

Titus O’Neil was part of the Greatest Royal Rumble match and entered at no. 39. And it was an entrance for the ages.

O’Neil built up a head of steam, sprinting toward the ring but tripped on the mats outside the ring and ended up doing a baseball slide, nearly putting himself underneath the ring itself. I watched it because we have the WWE Network at our house (I have kids) and I had to do a double-take. It sure didn’t look like a set-up.

The commentators were losing it on-air and Vince McMahon, owner of WWE, apparently laughed himself into tears watching it backstage along with the rest of the roster. And because McMahon is a capitalist, you know he wasn’t going to let this one go without some play. There’s now a shirt being sold with the words Rumble, Stumble or Slide on the front and I just might pick one up if I knew O’Neil was going to get a cut of the royalties. He’s the inspiration behind it, after all.

WWE has even made fun of it by putting a video up with different camera angles of O’Neil’s face plant, letting him know that he will live forever in the annals of the all-time greatest sports bloopers. Check it out because it’s worth the laugh. Live T.V. – isn’t it grand?

Until next time, folks …

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