23 April 2011

A Rush of Blood to the Head: Of Brian Mullan, Broken Legs, and Forgiveness

"A rush of blood to the head"... Before it was a Coldplay album title, it was an English idiom. Still is an idiom, I suppose. Silly rock stars hijacking our popular phrases. Anyway, a "rush of blood to the head" basically describes when one gets overexcited or angry and, in a quick reactionary burst, does something silly (and oftentimes regrettable).

Colorado Rapids player Brian Mullan had a rush of blood to the head on Friday night. And it certainly led to regrettable behavior.

Upset that a foul was not called during the MLS match he was playing in, Mullan reacted by making a foolish, reckless, and altogether malicious tackle on a fellow player (who happened to be uninvolved in the original incident).

The photo above shows the result as it happened. The young, talented Steve Zakuani suffered a broken tibia and fibula as his teammates looked on in horror.

Immediately, the internet exploded in rage against Mullan's actions. The calls for punishment were swift and severe, with fans calling for anything from lengthy suspensions to formal criminal charges being filed.

The outburst is understandable, as we imagine that somehow our games, our sport, is safe from the nonsensical violence that plagues our society. And yet every so often we are reminded that the human condition doesn't politely remain outside of the chalk lines of a football pitch.

Fitting, I suppose, that it is Easter weekend. It is a weekend for forgiveness and remembrance that we all fall short of the standard and that we need Jesus to bring us back to wholeness. Steve Zakuani is a follower of Christ and I imagine that he will forgive his offender. Whether the rest of us will is another question entirely.

What is certain is that we all occasionally suffer a rush of blood to the head. Luckily, ours aren't placed on national TV for all to see and judge.

**Below is the video of the play. It is not for the squeamish. You've been warned.**

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