SOCCER has lurched into another of its hysterical spasms.
The first really icy blast of winter leading to a weekend of fixture chaos and some people are bleating: "Let's call the whole thing off."
Sorry, but these emotional outbursts don't impress me one bit. And I hope, too, that the Football League will show enough wisdom not to succumb to them either.
To cut out the bad weather months would, in my view, amout to 'soccer suicide'.
I hesitate to spotlight the old 'telly' influence again, but, alas, if the League should fall for this idea it will be the beginning of the end for Britain's No1 winter game.
Make no mistake, the Saturday afternoon fireside 'Grandstand-brigade' would increase in their thousands, moreover the majority would take a lot of winning back to their old habit.
Rugby League and Rugby Union camps, I fancy, would also rub their hands gleefully at the prospect of winning over a few converts.
What is happening to soccer?
Have the namby-pamby types forgotton that this is a winter game? I sometimes wonder seriously when I read the views of some of soccer's so-called wise men.
This is, of course, no new problem. I agree that conditions are often shocking at this time of year and also that quite often games are played on pitches which reduce play to a farce.
It would not be a bad idea, I feel, to consider changes in that direction and particularly in that complex question of when and how games should be called off because of the weather.
But, on the other hand, with the game already in a precarious state as a crowd-puller, to implement a complete shut-down for two months would be courting disaster.
Call off soccer in December and January and inevitably they would find that those months would be free of ice and snow and regular matchgoers would be angry about all those lush, green pitches lying idle.
The thought of maintaining summer soccer pitches is enough to make groundsmen commit hara-kari!
And what nonsense is being talked about spectators not liking to go to football matches in December and January.
What short memories some of the critics must have.
Have they forgotton that the FA Cup, the greatest money-spinner of them all, is and has been throughout its history played in some of the worst weather conditions of the year?
If conditions are bad and dangerous for players by all means postpone games, but the important thing however, is to give spectators adequate notice and obviate the kind of chaos which can easily occur.
Let's have more of a commonsense approach to these matters and less red tape.