Heckling is as much a part of our national pastimes -- football, baseball, and everything in between -- as peanuts, beer, and the encouragement of obesity. Heckling's integral. It's cathartic. And when done properly, it's clever, inoffensive, and harmless. Everyone gets the picture.
For as enjoyable as heckling is, it shouldn't go any further than that. Same goes for coaches. There are certain lines you can't cross. Yelling is OK. Getting personal is not. Punching? We're going to go ahead and put that on the "inadvisable" list, probably right below calling in a bomb threat to the stadium. Um, bad idea:
Comercial, a team in the interior of Sao Paulo state, was losing 1-0 to Catanduvense when Santilli entered the field to remove a ball which was out of play in an attempt to speed up play, and on his way back to the bench he shoved an opposing player into the ground. After referee Flavio Rodrigues de Souza ejected Santilli, the coach once again charged onto the field, arguing with Souza before completely losing his cool and delivering a right-handed punch into the referee's chin, Globo TV showed on Monday.
His own players immediately removed the coach, Pedro Santilli, from the game, escorting him to the locker room before he could deliver any more right crosses. Fortunately, there's video of the incident. And it's ... well, it's kinda disappointing. That right hook could have been a lot more devastating, you know? If you're going to punch a ref, for God's sake, get in a good punch. Make it worth it. Commit to it.
Or, you know, don't punch refs at all. Probably better if you don't.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.