So, Kentucky wins the NCAA Basketball Championships.
Crowds go wild, players hug each other, family members and fans. One fan tries to rip the shorts off one of the Wildcat players but it turns out she is just helping him keep his balance as he celebrates.
Celebration carries over to fans at home in ol’ Kentucky. Gun goes off, man gets shot in foot. Doctors amputate said foot.
Moral? Wildcat’s championship equals losing a leg – I think I’ll remain an Oregon Ducks fan, thank you very much.
Don’t get me wrong: Guns are good. They allow for the hunting of meat and the bonding of red-blooded Americans over a case of beer down at the quarry.
They allow for a home to be defended against intruders and for war to be fought and won – or lost – and possession is allowed to any, and all, law-abiding citizens of the United States of America.
What they aren’t good for is celebrating a team’s championship, no matter the venue.
How stupid do you have to be to use a gun to celebrate the victory of your high school/college/pro team?
Sure, celebrating the end of a violent conflict by discharging weapons into the air – where said weapons were used to end the conflict, I’ll give you that, but guns? Idiocy.
Of course, the imagery is the same no matter the conflict. Think if you will of pictures from the end of various conflicts: war, guns thrust into air; hockey, sticks thrust into the air; football, helmets thrust into the air; baseball, gloves and hats thrown into the air; basketball, ball thrown into the air.
All very similar and very understandable when committed by those involved.
Some say there is a lot of psychology involved in understanding rioting and violence following championship games, but I call foul.
There is no need to understand psychology to realize that if you take alcohol out of most situations (at least those involving sporting events) you won’t have riots.
Most arrests during the riot after the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2010 NBA championship were alcohol related.
The riots that followed the Montreal Canadiens 1993 Stanley Cup victory were initiated by drunken fans pouring out of the stadium and into the streets.
Of course, Canadians aren’t always the best of fans. In Vancouver, they riot even when their team loses – for example the 1994 and 2011 Stanley Cup championships. Fans rioted following both of those loses and did over 2 million dollars worth of damage.
According to Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard, “Sports are the most common cause of riots in the United States, accompanying more than half of all championship games or series; almost all occur in the winning team’s city.”
Well Kentucky, you won and you lost. While the championship is yours, your fans decided that shooting each other would be more fun.
I was confused, too, by the end-of-game announcement that Wildcat freshman Anthony Davis – a likely first-round NBA draft pick – was named Most Outstanding Player. He shot 1-for-10 for just 6 points.
Yeah, yeah, I’m sure his 20 rebounds (four offensive, 16 defensive), six blocked shots, five assists and three steals helped him get the MOP nod, but c’mon. Ten percent shooting from one of the most highly touted NBA prospects since King James? That’s horse puckey.
Doron Lamb contributed more to the game offensively with 22 points, three rebounds and three assists. In fact, he led the team in scoring with almost a third of the total team points.
Way more valuable than Davis. Of course, Davis had an off night and Lamb was hot.
I guess it all depends on who the fans will riot for.