Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Scare Quotes

Says Ben Mathis-Lilley of Slate, inquisitively: "When was the last time you remember your co-workers, your parents—anyone except Bill Walton—talking about the NBA in November? “Never”, I answer. The “public outcry” that has occasioned last week’s brawl between a few, defenseless Pacers, of Indian, and a slew of inebriated Detroit Pistons fans has been laughable, to say the least. “Protect the fans!” they exhort, while disregarding the “players” (read: human beings) ultimate recourse: personal defense.

It seems, or at least it has become, an operating maxim that any Joe Public—and Jane, for that matter—has an inalienable right to taunt, tease, and, if the mood should strike them, toss beer cups at the animals in the cage. Any incredibly inhuman and unruly response from the animals (read: “players” or human beings) is received with moral opprobrium—save for that particular incident at a White Sox’s game when, again, drunk fans accosted and then proceeded to attack an umpire; those fans, who were soundly beaten by the “players” (“White” Sox’s) deserved what was coming to them.

Granted, Ron Artest has had numerous disciplinarily problems with the league and great difficultly keeping his wits about him, however, I’m not certain how this makes him less likely to do what he did? The fan, I suspect, knowingly threw that cup of beer determined to elicit such a response from Mr. Artest; they call that provocation in the law: it’s a statutory aggravating piece of inference that goes to motivation and intention.

So where am I going with all this idle chatter? Give me a second.

Charely Rosen, a poor man’s Shakespeare, misses the point, saying “Hey, guys: Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fanatics is part of the job description”. Yet at some point I honestly believe that human nature must take the fore. Imagine this: cornered in the clutches of a mass of faceless, hostile fans, you attempt to extricate a wayward teammate who’s lost his cool. When, all sudden, a blast of cool, human fists begin to shower the back of your head. Do I a) stand there in the melee and suffer the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune? or b)—as Charles Barkley so aptly put it (I’m paraphrasing here)—turn around and punch someone?

Ron Artest was out of control, the fans were out of control, and the Pacers who joined the fracas were protecting themselves—well maybe not that Jermaine O’Neil slow-mo punch; I’m not sure if they(Media Whores) actually bothered to play it in real-time.

Therefore, if it weren’t plainly obvious where I stand, let me reiterate: Notwithstanding Ron Artest’s meltdown, the fans, as well as the Piston organization, are to blame. In the opposing teams crowd, being ever so aggressively pummeled by some obstreperous fans, those Pacers that engaged in fisticuffs had every right to. So garbage like this, “Artest proved himself too weak not to fight a hapless civilian. Count Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal in the same misguided category”, which passes as journalism, is proffered out by “the” hapless punditry, with no relent. Charely Rosen should really go back to the tape and see that it wasn’t “a hapless civilian” but rather “a “few” supremely idiotic fans”. The defense rests.

1 comment:

Jonathon Combs said...

Hey, Great Stuff. I'll be back to read often.