A season of bizarre depths and lackluster play reached an all-new low as Chelsea star Eden Hazard was seen kicking a ball boy intent on smothering a ball to waste time.
Yahoo! Sports reports on a moment when time-wasting, an oft-used ploy of gamesmanship, was taken to a whole new level, and not even from any player on the pitch.
With about 20 minutes to go in regulation against Swansea, and the score 2-0, Hazard moves to get the ball from a ball boy whose job it is to corral balls and get them back to players to speed the play of the game.
I know, it sounds like a fairly easy job description that comes with rare and brief power, and this ball boy was seemingly intent on utilizing it.
He holds the ball and drops to the ground quicker than Didier Drogba the moment the 22-year-old midfielder touches him.
Instead of getting the attention of the referee, like he should have, Hazard does what any insane footballer would do; he kicks the ball boy.
This is a case of two wrongs making for a horrible scene.
The Belgian star was shown red and sent off because, you know, the league looks down on people being violently kicked.
If you thought that was the end of the lunacy, shame on you.
If that is indeed his account, it seems the ball boy was prepared to make his mark in the game.
For their part, Chelsea FC reacted with amazement in a tweet (since deleted) which served to anger fans who saw Hazard completely in the wrong, a well-warranted reaction.
Has football gone mad? Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) January 23, 2013
The kicked and the "kickee" were backstage making nice with what I assume was some fairly awkward handshakes and bro hugs, via BBC.
As for making sense of all this, good luck.
Chelsea seemed like a franchise ready to embark on a grand journey following their amazing Champions League victory last year.
Since that time, they have changed managers, squandered a solid lead in the Premiership and recently bowed out of the domestic Cup.
The beginning of the month saw them drop points to last-place QPR and the tail end sees them embroiled in a bizarre fracas that should further slide this season into the realm of the wholly forgettable.
Let's continue by saying there is absolutely no reason for Hazard to lay a hand, foot or any appendage on a ball boy.
As a needed addendum, with the allegations hinting at the kid with the ball, there is no reason he should have extended his scant power to include owning precious moments of time.
Hazard will be punished, because he needs to be. Chelsea will continue to be a powerhouse laughingstock, as is warranted.
Now let's get back to the good old days, when it was players who tried to waste time, and did so by faking horrible injuries.
Ah, that would be splendid.
Hit me up on Twitter for a different kind of time wasting.
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