In a blog post titled Stupor Bowl Sunday on my RV blog a few weeks ago, I wrote about how little interest I have in organized sports. A lot of readers agreed with me, but a couple expressed a different opinion, and one sent me a nasty e-mail, saying that I had no respect for American traditions.
I guess what turns me off the most about organized sports is not the games themselves, but rather just how stupid the fans can become during and after a game.
Last June, Los Angeles Lakers fans celebrated the team winning its first championship in twelve years by vandalizing businesses, destroying a news van, and throwing rocks at police. At least a dozen injuries were reported before the riot was quelled. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense, your team wins so you destroy some businessman’s property, set fire to cars, and go on a rampage.
In March of last year, 27 people were arrested in a celebratory riot, following a University of Maryland win over Duke University. Hey, what the heck, it’s just harmless fun, right? Well, not if you were one of the property owners who had their homes and businesses damaged in the “party.”
In November, there were riots in San Francisco when the Giants won the World Series. Again, property was destroyed, fires were started, cars were damaged, and passengers were even pulled from autos and beaten by the crowd before police ended the riot.
These were not isolated incidents. We’ve seen the same thing after college and professional ballgames in Michigan, Boston, Detroit, and in other cities. What kind of an idiot does this?
If you think it’s just goofy college kids hyped up on testosterone and victory, think again. News coverage of these events often reveal that participants are in their 30s, 40s, and even older.
Even when they don’t go to such extremes, sports fans can do some incredibly stupid things. Remember the news footage last year of the baseball fan who snatched a foul ball away from the young boy who had caught it, and handed it to his own son? Or the Philadelphia Phillies fan who spit on, and then vomited on an eleven year old girl at a game last year?
In Auburn, Alabama, 62 year old Harvey Updyke Jr. has been charged with first-degree criminal mischief after he allegedly poisoned two iconic oak trees at Toomer’s Corner, a popular place on campus where Auburn University fans gather after a game. Updyke, who claims to be a retired Texas State Trooper, bragged about the crime during a call to a radio talk show. It was apparently Updyke’s way of expressing his displeasure when Auburn beat the University of Alabama in last year’s Iron Bowl, the traditional meeting between the two teams. Auburn and the University of Alabama have a long standing football rivalry.
Updyke is reported to be a dedicated University of Alabama fan, who named two of his children Crimson Tyde Updyke and Bear Bryant Updyke. He also reportedly wanted to name another child Ally Bama Updyke, but the girl’s mother mother refused to let him.
Again, what kind of an idiot does this? We’re talking about a grown man who killed two healthy, century old trees, because he was pissed off about a football game?
Yeah, those are some great traditions those sports fans have. When I see stories like this, I’m glad I’m not a fan.
Tags: Auburn University fans, baseball fan, college sports, Crimson Tide, Duke University, football game, football rivalry, foul ball, Giants won the World Series, Iron Bowl, Los Angles Lakers fans, oak trees at Toomer’s Corner, organized sports, out of control football fans, Philadelphia Phillies fan, professional ballgames, respect for American traditions, riots in San Francisco, RV blog, sports riots, Super Bowl Sunday, University of Alabama, University of Maryland, unruly sports fans, vandalizing businesses