The late Jack Gibson while commentating during a NSW and Queensland State of Origin game in Brisbane said: ‘‘They’d boo Santa Claus this mob.’’
Gibson was referring to the parochial Queensland crowd giving it to the NSW players and blowing up at the referee when a decision went against the Maroons.
Booing has been around in the sporting world for many moons. And will continue to be around.
The booing issue arose in the media last weekend in the Australian Open tennis final when superstar Rafael Nadal left the court for treatment and was booed by sections of the crowd when he returned.
Perhaps they were unaware why he left the court in the first place and maybe the chair umpire should have announced the reason why Nadal left the court.
The Channel Seven commentators said the booing of Nadal was disgraceful.
But how can you stop booing? You can’t legislate against it at sporting events or control what’s in the mind of fans.
Wally Lewis was booed by NSW fans during his reign in State of Origin.
Heckled, screamed at, jeered at, Wally copped the lot.
English cricketer Stuart Broad copped it in bucketloads this summer from the Australian crowds, he was booed loudly when he took the field in the opening Ashes Test match in Brisbane.
Broad said before the tour he expected it after earning criticism from the Australian players during the Ashes series in England for not walking when he clearly edged a catch to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin in the Trent Bridge Test match.
And come to think of it, we may have all booed opposing footy teams over the years as part of the parry and thrust in rugby league.
I must admit I have booed some rival teams when supporting my mighty Dragons over the years or giving some stick to opposition players from the grandstand. And also to the referees.
Listen to the crowds while watching AFL games on television, especially when fierce rivals Carlton and Collingwood play and you will hear both sets of supporters booing and jeering.
I’m afraid booing is here to stay.