Regardless, no foul was called on the play — and rightfully so.
However, another opposing forward — who acted like he was The Man all night — pushed me in “retaliation” for apparently punching his teammate (I guess?), who clearly took a dive to try to draw a penalty. So, I shoved back and started to walk back to the goal. He shouted vulgar insults at me three different times before I turned around and unleashed one of my own at him.
That drew a whistle and the ref threw me out of the game specifically for what I said. I asked if he had heard the three previous slurs directed to me and he claimed did not. How convenient. While that call was ridiculous and bogus, I’ll leave that for another column.
While sitting on the bench, I realized my outburst was more than just about retaliation toward some yapping clown. Years of seeing this disrespectful sporting behavior finally caught up to me and stared me in the face at that moment and I merely vented my frustration.
One teammate was able to fill in for me at goalkeeper and my team ended up winning in the final seconds. So, there was some sweet justice there, even though the fool who swore at me ran his mouth and played dirty the rest of the game without a word spoken to him by the crack officiating crew.
I am really disappointed with the direction behavior has gone within the sporting world, which is a reflection on today’s society, ultimately.
So, getting tossed from that game reminded me to shut my mouth, just play the game and the rest will take care of itself.
It’d be wonderful if everyone else followed that advice.
(Joe Sager is a sports correspondent at The News. He also has a small role in the new film, “She’s Out of My League,” which was filmed in Pittsburgh.)