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.

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15 Comments on What Kind Of Idiot Does This?

  1. I have found that in my 75 years that the so called sport fans that go off the end usually are the same ones who usually dpon’t watch the speed limts and push themselves ahead of people standing line for something also most of them are playing with a deck of 50 carda up stairs

  2. Muriel Daniels says:

    This will never happen, but I bet if all these “sporting” events were held without the presence of alcohol being sold or brought onto the grounds there wouldn’t be all these cases of violence and/or worthless destruction.

  3. Joe Vagott says:

    There are a few fans that go off the deep end,but you cannot blame all of them can we? That would be like the rv’ers that overnight at Walmart with all their camping equipment outside and someone saying if that is an rv’er I don’t want to be one.
    We have a few in every crowd.

  4. Dave K says:

    Nick: Prepare yourself & your Staff …You are going to get to meet some of these “fine RV’ers” again next week. The world is full of these mal-adjusted idiots. You have written about some of the real Prize’d ones before. LOL

  5. Andy G says:

    Hey Bad Nick, dont paint with such a broad brush here, not all of us sports fans act like this just not like every RVer sets up for a week stay at Camp WalMart or leaves “stuff” all over the dumpstation. Just my 2 cents on an otherwise great blog!!

  6. Llana says:

    “one sent me a nasty e-mail, saying that I had no respect for American traditions.”

    Geez, Nick! Anyone who thinks they are superior to you to the point of sending a nasty email simply because you admitted you don’t care for sports just really needs to get a life.

    Apparently, the TRADITION that says “live and let live” is one they don’t remember, or have decided is not applicable to them.

    “To each his own”….I guess they missed that TRADITION, too.

    “Take what you need and leave the rest.” That’s another old saying that I’ve always found useful. Your nasty emailer might want to give that a try some day.

    I don’t always agree with you, Nick, but I always respect you. Thank you for sharing your various adventures of RVing life with us blog readers.

  7. Tom on The Road says:

    Sports fans rampaging, teachers refusing to teach and schools closed as a result. Add crime getting worse in our cities and workers who can’t find jobs while families loose their homes. America is facing a debt that could bring us to our very knees. Anyone else a little worried about where we are and where we are headed? When “We” became “Me” it turned everything upside down.

  8. Dave B. says:

    Do you think alcohol was involved? The word “Fan” comes from the original word “Fanatic”. That kind of fits. I agree with Joe, you can’t blame all of them, it has to be just a small percentage that makes the entire group look bad. Gotta go now, they’re replaying the Superbowl on tv.

  9. Tom says:

    Nick, I Agree! It seems to me people that watch sports are wasting their life watching someone getting rich playing a game. Of course some people waste their life in front of the TV watching SOAPS. Whatever flicks their BIC.

  10. Diana says:

    I totally understand about not throwing every sports loving fan under the perverbial bus. I do not like professional sports because money has brought the games to their knees. We can no longer afford to take the kids to a baseball game because of the prices, nor do we want to expose the kids to drunks. Give me a small local college / high school game any day of the week, that is where I find great sports. Just sayin :)

  11. bucky says:

    I agree with you Nick, my buddies have always kidded me about the fact that I had no use for professional sports. If they had to count on my money, they would all be in the unemployment line.
    I was allways frustrated by my friends and neighbors who knew every player on the various home teams, but did not know anything about the local politician’s they voted for, who were picking there pocket..

  12. Gina Ellis says:

    Labeling people is an iffy proposition as a person can be many things at the same time. The folks you are talking about are not merely “fans”, but criminals who band together and let mob mentality rise to the forefront. They are emboldened by each other and do things that they would not dare do alone. So, if we’re going to label them, let’s call them by what they really are: criminals (and idiots).

  13. Kay Arnold says:

    I am with you Nik, I don’t care for the Sports nuts either. I used to go to baseball games in Tucson and was often repulsed by the fan behavior at the games. Yelling obscenities at officials with children present isn’t my idea of grown up behavior. Nor are the threats against visiting teams or other spectators. This is not uncommon but a regular feature at all sports venues. I gave up and stay home keeping my money in my purse. Then there are the antics by the players acting out and fighting, using drugs, getting arrested for assault of various kinds… why should I watch their performances and help get them more money ? To heck with it, I’ll read a book instead.

  14. Chris says:

    The only team I follow is my college’s football team. Why? Fun and good memories. Am I a fan? Yes. A fanatic? NO. Do I understand why people behave the way they do? No, and probably never will.

  15. Allan says:

    I am presently in my home base in Alabama. The Alabama fan that poisoned the trees was not lauded by others at Alabama University. The college came out denouncing the actions of this individual and many Alabama fans rallied together to raise money for new trees to be sent to Auburn in the spirit of “GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP” There are always going to be misguided individuals doing bad things that they seem to justify in their own minds. Let’s face it, some people have good hearts and some people do not. Unfortunately it is the people that do terrible things that always get the publicity. Often the news media thrives on the bad as being newsworty and sometimes even applaud their efforts as being justifiable.

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