Sports make us a lot of things.
They make us irrational, they make us emotional, they make us stupid. And lately, they make us assholes.
Thursday night, a UCSB student became enraged that opposing coach Gib Arnold of Hawaii dare disagree with a referees call and charged the floor to give him a little what for. The ridiculously bandana-clad gym-class hero made it across the entire court and got nose-to-nose with Arnold before and assistant coach and several Hawaii players stepped in. The student was later escorted from the arena and arrested.
The incident serves as the latest example of a burgeoning new culture of the stands where the outcast is the one who isn’t boozed up, isn’t shouting a string of vitriolic obscenities, isn’t looking for a fight, and isn’t under the delusion that they matter as much as those actually participating in the game.
The one who is actually there to watch the game.
First it was Jeff Orr’s berating of a teenager, then it was a college student celebrating a win by fist-fighting a member of the opposing team’s backcourt, and now it’s this shameful hooligan, to say nothing of the now more run-of-the-mill absurdity – the female heat fan flying the bird inches from Joakim Noah’s face or the countless examples of fans shouting or throwing or brawling in and from the stands.
Remember when being a fan just meant that you rooted for a particular team? Remember when we went to games, shut up, and watched? Or, at the very least, went to games, didn’t harbor hatred for everyone in a different color jersey, and did our best not to fight them.
When we weren’t such assholes?
Those were the days.
Author: Joseph White
Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at Joe@noticketsports.com.