Fights, brawls, stupidity

Ok, this has to be one of the strangest days in sports history. First, the Pistons’ fans and Pacers get into it in a heated game. Then, to top it all off, a brawl broke out at the Clemson and South Carolina game. What is with these people?

In the first fight, it’s hard to blame anyone but Detroit’s fans. Yeah, I know Ron Artest will get blamed for the whole thing because nobody likes the guy, but look at what actually transpired. Ron Artest fouls Ben Wallace hard. Wallace shoves Artest. Artest walks away! Artest has had a few flagrant fouls in the past, so you know that the Pistons were trying to entice him into a fight. Then, Artest backs all the way up to the scorers table and lays down (I don’t get that, but he did it) and while laying down, a fan throws a cup at him and hits him. Artest takes off after the fan and the rest is history, so to speak. No, I don’t condone what Artest did, but I can understand. If you’re going to throw stuff at people, be prepared to defend your actions. Just because you’re a fan (and a stupid one, at that) does not shield you from consequences. I don’t agree with the commissioner’s indefinate suspensions of O’Neal and Jackson. They went in to get their teammate out of trouble and got cheapshotted over and over from drunk fans. Maybe he’s just waiting to watch the footage, but I’d bet they get as big of a suspension as Artest.

The second fight has a two-fold blame. The initial fight is completely the fault of the players. Have some respect for the people you are playing against! The brawl that ensued across the entire field is the fault of the security at the game. It was kind of amusing to see armed sherrifs and police officers trying to break up the brawl by jumping on guys twice their size who were wearing pads and swinging their helmets. Is there something wrong with this picture? I know this may sound fanatical, but if that were me, I’d pull my gun, fire a few shots in the air, and get the football players’ attention. Perhaps that wouldn’t have worked, but perhaps it would have woken them up.

What’s wrong? Who’s fault is it? I don’t know if it’s a question that’s easily answered. In the first case, alcohol had a major factor; this was seen earlier this year when fans got into it with the L.A. Dodgers and Texas Rangers. Are we suddenly coming to the realization that alcohol impairs judgement and that judgement is a good thing to have when dealing with people you don’t like (opposing players)? I don’t know if banning alcohol at games is the way to go. I mean, it might mean that people would go to a game to actually watch it rather than get drunk and create trouble. Who woulda thunk it?

In the second case, I think you need to train people to head things like that off before they get out of hand. Coaches need to let players know that if they go out on the field for something like that, they will be benched, no matter if you’re Joe Nobody or Joe Namath. Security also needs to know that if things get out of hand, they can give the refs a hand. I don’t have a definitive answer and I’m probably leaving things out, but from my vantage point that’s how I see it.

4 Replies to “Fights, brawls, stupidity”

  1. you seem to be missing the point, when you say:

    "Are we suddenly coming to the realization that alcohol impairs judgement and that judgement is a good thing to have when dealing with people you don’t like (opposing players)"

    why would you not like opposing players? it’s not alcohol that’s at fault, it’s the perception that just because there’s some competition, that there is something inherently wrong with the opposition.

    time and again we see this, whether in sports, politics, or even among hackers.

  2. "I know this may sound fanatical, but if that were me, I’d pull my gun, fire a few shots in the air, and get the football players’ attention."

    Thank god it wasn’t you then. Warning shots are illegal in most areas these days, a bullet flying up into the air eventually has to come down. In a stadium with 70k people in it, there’s a decent chance it’s going to come down and hit someone.

    Placing the blame on the security guards for the brawl is ridiculous. That’d be like burning your house down by leaving a candle lit and then blaming the fire department. The brawl was started by Tigers and Gamecocks fans and the blame is totally on their shoulders. And I say this as a South Carolina fan, so it’s not like I have a vested interest in seeing some of my players get suspended. 😉

  3. Brian, while I agree with your point that the fans are mostly at fault for the Detroit/Indiana incident, I must also argue that Ron Artest is *almost* equally at fault. Immediately after the cup was thrown at Artest, he then had a choice: (a) attack the fan(s), hoping he can figure out who it was (b) ask security to take care of the person(s) responsible. Clearly (b) is the better response here and the point is that he had a choice to act civily and he did not. I just saw tonight that he was suspended for the rest of the season and I think that is totally appopriate. Players should *never* head into the stands, just as fans should *never* enter the court/field, and there should be severe repercussions for anyone who breaks this rule. Unfortunately, what I didn’t hear today was what the NBA plans to do about finding the fans responsible. If idenitifiable, these fans should be dealt with just as severly, if not moreso, than Artest.

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