The first deliberately kicked the second, a sharp side-swipe to the back of the shin on a bit with no protective guard. The second, in pain but not that much, rolled round hollering but mostly unheard over the yells of the crowd.
The third ran up, waving his red. He’d seen exactly what happened, even from 50 yards away, with a perfect line of sight. Besides, he knew there was a history between the first and second, had been keeping an eye on them.
The fourth was livid, jumping up and down on the sidelines, gesturing and demanding the first be removed. He knew better than to move any closer, even though the strain of holding back was evident in his face. The tension began to drain as three took out a pencil and began to write down the names of one and two.
Then he gestured that one was to go. Despite protestations and swearing he did so.
Fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth were gathered around two, variously supporting and chiding him. He was a victim of a vicious bully and overacting an innocent accident. The shagger of one’s wife, therefore a dirty cheat and the subject of a miserable smear campaign by several national papers.
The ninth took a penalty and wasn’t angry at first. Not until the tenth moved a fraction too soon and got his fingertips to it. Tenth was a bit angry about the sending off, momentarily cheered by the saved, then much more angry when they had to do it again.
The eleventh owned half of the field and all of the ground. From the plush box he couldn’t see quite what happened, but the large screen, instant playback showed him what he’d missed. He calculated how many weeks’ wages the fine should be.
There were hundred, thousands even, of irate, irritated and fed up people watching. But the twelfth was angrier than any of them because he was the only one who dropped the sausage out of his hot dog when he jumped to protest with the rest of the crowd.