By now you’ve heard of Uruguay’s Luis Suárez who, during a World Cup match against Italy on Tuesday bit opposing striker Giorgio Chiellini. This is the third time Suárez stands of accused of biting an opponent, which would indicate that he’s something of a punk. And if these weren’t enough, in 2011 while playing for Liverpool, Suárez was fined and suspended by the Football Association for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra during a match.
One of the things that’s annoying about soccer is the utter lack of on-field policing of players by players. Although Suárez is an extreme case, there are plenty of punks in soccer who continue to be punks because, well, why wouldn’t they be? There’s no fear of physical retribution. The Washington Post has a piece explaining the psychology behind Suárez biting, but there’s a simple remedy for that, and it’s one that the National Hockey League but not soccer can provide: negative reinforcement.
In game one of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, Vancouver Canucks winger Alex Burrows helped himself to a bite of Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron:
But hockey players have long memories, along with a very simple philosophy: This aggression will not stand.
Which is why during game three, Bruins big man Milan Lucic seized a perfect opportunity to not only physically retaliate against Burrows the biter, but by putting a finger in his face to mock him for pulling such a dick move in the first place:
Biting is nothing a shot to the head and some relentless taunting can’t fix. Clearly, soccer has been unable to correct Luis Suárez’s behavior, so maybe the only way to fix this is for him to put on some skates at Bruins training camp. The only downside is that if Suárez were ever to bite Milan Lucic, the city of Boston would have two star athletes facing murder charges.