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Tweets of carnage after Sheffield Wednesday v Millwall game made me cringe
4:14pm Tuesday 28th August 2012 in Millwall
MILLWALL columnist MATT LITTLE this week highlights a downside to Twitter after the social networking site was used to spread unfounded rumours of widespread disorder following Millwall’s 3-2 defeat at Hillsborough on Saturday.
I HAVE really had to motivate myself to write this blog this week.
The events of the weekend were so predictable it is boring just thinking about them.
I wasn't able to make it to Hillsborough but I followed events via Twitter and Lions Player, and even though I was 200 odd miles away I could see that last minute sickener a mile off.
It could have all been avoided though.
By most accounts we looked pretty decent before we swapped the slick passing game that saw us see off Peterborough midweek and slice through Wednesday to take a 2-1 lead for unthinking hoof-ball.
This was meat and drink for a club recently used to the rigours of League One and allowed Wednesday to build up a head of steam.
Dave Jones even commented on setting out to stop our passing game.
Well, we did it for him.
It sounded like we went out in the second half to protect, rather than increase, our lead.
I just hope we can learn from this and make sure this match will be remembered as one of those entertaining and open games that sometimes go for you, and sometimes go against you, rather than as a signifier for the rest of the season.
More depressing than the last minute loss though was the even more predictable ramblings of the home fans.
Fallen Yorkshire giants really should come with a health warning along the lines of 'Be prepared to be bored to death'.
Talking to Leeds and Wednesday fans is like getting stuck on a table with the office bores at a wedding - you have to nod and smile at every utterance which confirms how brilliant they are.
However, we must be even worse wedding guests because rather than nod and smile, we knock back the booze all night and eventually end up laying one on them in the car park.
If you read Twitter in the aftermath of the game, you'd have thought the arrival of 1,300 Millwall fans is the most exciting thing to have happened in Sheffield since the premiere of The Full Monty.
Although to be fair, having lived in Sheffield for two years I can see how it might be in the top five events of the last decade at least.
I'll always remember telling my parents I was moving to Yorkshire, my mum couldn't believe I was actually going to live among northern people.
To her credit she did visit though, although her summary was that it was a “bit depressing”.
Anyway, by the end of the night Twitter had turned a smashed tram door into an epic tale of Viking-esque destruction.
Not that I want to trivialise vandalism, but the medieval lynch mob mentality which exists on the internet is just as ugly and destructive.
According to these roving reporters, Millwall fans had pushed a police horse on top of two children, attacked a teenager who, depending on the righteous verve of the Tweeter, veered from being pregnant to blind or/and deaf.
We also attacked an old man on a mobility scooter, or in some reports a disabled boy, later changed to a girl.
It wasn't confirmed whether they were carrying a box of kittens to their nan's hospital bed or not.
Basically, we were scum and it was a shame we were still around to cast a shadow on the otherwise beautiful game.
Which is odd, well, for me anyway, having lived down the road from Bramall Lane and just off of the notorious London Road.
Odd because I'd never seen so much football related violence in my life as I did when I was living in Sheffield.
And I've been going to Millwall since the late 1980s.
In fact, one of the very rare occasions I've seen fighting on the pitch was at Hillsborough a few years back when home fans, upset at being relegated, gave a few celebrating Palace fans a slap live on the BBC.
So if the righteous of Twitter want us 'kicked out of the league' then I imagine they'd want Wednesday fans hung, drawn and quartered for that.
And if our minor excursion caused such disdain among the natives, then the Sheffield derby must have really calmed down because the last time I was in the city for that, my mates and I were locked in a pub in the city centre for over an hour while the police tried to separate warring factions.
This was before the invention of Twitter in the early 2000s though, so there was no platform for us to get into a hysterical state of public outrage, we just got quite drunk.
Sheffield pubs are excellent.
Oh well, as I say, it was all very predictable.
Although one thing I certainly wouldn't have predicted was for the country's least congenial force, the South Yorkshire Police, to go to the trouble of issuing a Tweet to clear our name of horse killing, shop window smashing and wheelchair bashing.
I guess miracles, like last minute defeats, do sometimes happen.
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