A couple of weeks when I got to my office desk I started my day work as I normally do. Check the emails and then look at social media to see what I might be missing in the world of sports. It didn’t take me too long to get completely disgusted. I saw a clip of a young man at a Division III school take the cheapest of shots to another player who had just hit a three pointer.
Fitchburg State’s Kewen Platt charged into one of the corners after Nichols’ Nate Tenaglia hit a three point basket and punched him in the face well after the ball had left his hands. It wasn’t a late close out. It was a simple act of aggression.
I spoke with a co-worker about it who suggested that maybe trash talk played a role in the decision to do such a disgusting act, but even that is no excuse.
Sports bring out emotion in the players, coaches and fans. No one can deny this fact. Players give every game everything they have in their body. After this past weekend seeing Iowa State and Baylor get into a pretty good sized fracas, it has me thinking more and more about fighting in sports.
How many times have we seen bench clearing brawls in baseball over a pitcher beaning an opposing batter? How many times have we seen basketball players jawing at one another only to really start barking with the technicals flying? How many times in football do we see rivals get heated after a couple of plays?
Tempers flare in the sports arena and there isn’t a whole lot that can be done about it. However, it takes a different turn when punches are actually thrown.
I’m sure we’ve all seen refs attempt to defuse a situation but fail to as we did on a couple of Saturdays ago with the already mentioned Iowa State and Baylor thrown. When looking at what caused it, some of the blame was shifted on the refs by fans because of what happened two plays beforehand.
Baylor drove Iowa State running back David Montgomery out of bounds, pushing him into the water cart which drew a 15 yard flag for roughness. Baylor did that on the Iowa State sideline as the entire team seemingly wanted to start throwing down at that moment.
Then just a short time later, Hakeem Butler was blocking a Baylor defender as the two tussled to the ground, and the Baylor player looked to not want to let go of Butler. That set the entire incident off as Montgomery and Baylor’s Greg Roberts began to square up with Roberts throwing a couple of punches as he was trying to jump over the referee.
I had never seen cops come out onto the field to stop a fight from getting worse. Of course no fight in sports history is probably as bad as the Malice in the Palace back in 2004 when the Pistons and Pacers of the NBA started fighting fans and each other.
I wish I could put my finger on what causes such emotions to flare as a player, but I was generally not good at actually playing the sports as I found out in middle school so I preferred to arm chair so I just don’t get it.
There is no way to stop it from happening as suspensions rarely stop it from going on again. It horrifies the fans, or amps them up, and even the emotion of a game can spill to them. How many times have we seen the headline of a fan beats up another fan?
I can think of recently about the World Series of a fan dying after getting beaten in the parking lot. We, as fans, get as emotionally invested in the game as the athletes do but we are there for the enjoyment. There should be no violence among fans, and yet, we see those headlines too often.
Admittedly I was ready to throw hands after seeing the Iowa State and Baylor fight because it amped me up, but it shouldn’t. We are shown violence every day on the evening news and it spills over to the sports we love to relax and watch.
Unless it’s UFC or boxing - then violence is just inherent to what they do.
Emotions spill over in life and in sports. However, letting it affect your team as it did in the young man’s case on the basketball court, he is suspended and banned from campus, or on the football field, an athlete’s decision affects everyone involved on the team.
Just remember those silly anger techniques you learned from terrible TV shows to stop trying to fight someone. If it works for regular people, than why not athletes and sports fans?