Goalie Penalized for Kindness to Cat

November 28, 2009

By Cole

Being a sports-loving cat can can get you in trouble in Croatia. When a stray cat wandered onto the field of a soccer match (they call it “football”) in Sebenik, the goalie for the visiting Medjimurje Cakovec team, Ivan Banovic, carried it to safety and put it through the fence under the scoreboard.

Then the referee penalized Banovic with a “yellow card” for leaving the field without permission.

I’m wondering what the stupid referee expected the players to do with a cat on the field. Trample it to death, kick it for a goal, or hit it with the soccer ball?

Even though Banovic’s team lost 0-1 to Sebenik, fans cheered for him the rest of the game to register their approval of his kitty kindness.

Maybe some soccer fan can tell me what a yellow card is. Does soccer have different colored cards for different penalties? Do players collect the cards and trade them? Do their uniforms have special pockets to hold the cards while they’re playing?

Instead of throwing flags, just imagine American football referees — I mean real football, with the flattened-out ball that bounces funny — handing out cards to naughty players.

Not to miss a chance for product placement, Hallmark could provide the cards, inscribed with poignant verses reminding players of their neglected mothers and moving them to tears, causing even more time-outs and extending already-interminable games into all-day events.

Referees’ flags would become hankies for weeping tight ends, and teary commiserations would be shared during huddles, which would be renamed “support groups.”

Somehow, I think cards would take all the fun out of the chasing and tackling, although all the male bonding would probably cause a marked increase in butt-fondling.

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