Brawl between the Pistons and Pacers....
I have long grown weary of the antics of some of our professional athletes. To me, quite a few that come to mind are, over-paid, uncouth, arrogant, delinquents that think that the whole world revolves around them. I suppose that it is the adoration that fans of professional sport shower upon them that reinforces this idea that they are somehow "heroes" for what they do on the court, or on the field of play. In my opinion, the only "heroic" professional athletes are the ones that distinguish themselves both on, and off the court. More often than not, all the news that we hear about a professional athletes prowess off the court entails, violated women, brushes with the law, and drugs and alcohol. To be fair, this doesn't necessarily portray a large percentage of athletes, but this is what we hear about the most.
Following the brawl between the Pistons and Pacers, there were many people that were calling for immediate charges against some of the players. Ron Artest, and Jermaine O'Neal primarily. The reason being is that people feel that their level of aggression went so high that they went into the stands and attacked fans...attacked the fans? I think quite the reverse happened. Although I am not a fan of Ron Artest, and I thought that his lying on the scorer's table was both contemptuous and juvenile, I also note that the fan that threw the full cup of beer and ice into his face struck first. My reaction, and probably the reaction of most sane people would be at that most to point the fan out to security. At the least, shake off the liquid, and laugh when you are relaxing in your multi-million dollar home that night. But, Artest decided to pursue the fan and went into the stands.
Bad mistake on his part.
Detroit, not a city known for kind and jovial denizens, has a peculiar brand of fans that can be found in such havens of spectator angst as Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles.
The fans reacted...as Artest took out the punk who threw the beer at him, another fan rushed him. O'Neal, being the dutifully unthinking teammate went to Artest's rescue, and leveled a fan that was closing in on him. At this point fans were hurling bottles and other objects onto the floor, and were actually running onto the floor to confront the players. At this point, Jermaine O'Neal, despite being a basketball player and not a boxer was awarded the "power punch of the night". He runs toward a fan who had stepped on the court, and caught him with a viscous right to the jaw. Another fan stepped up toward another Pacers player and was summarily dropped like an Oak Tree.
Those big, bad, NBA players at it again. Well yes, but what the hell was a fan doing running on the court. I may be biased, as I don't really follow a lot of traditional American sports, (I am a big soccer fan), but it seems to me that the most avid and rabid fans of professional sports are those people who live vicariously through the athletes they worship. More often than not, they seem to be the kind of people who had absolutely no athletic ability of their own. Yet, they seem to be the authority on all these athletic. My question is why, as an out-of-shape, probably inebriated slob of a person, would you attempt to provoke, confront, or assail a professional athlete whose body has been conditioned and tweaked to the maximum of human ability?
I say that the players ought to get the typical fines and suspensions for fighting, no more, no less. I also say that Ron Artest ought to get more time for laying on the scorer's table, and going into the stands after the jerk that threw the beer. Jackson needs to be double-fined, for just generally being an asshole. O'Neal ought to get more fines and time for his wildness. But I think the fans who ran onto that court, or threw something at players ought to have charges brought against them. Instead of remaining spectators, they sought to insert themselves, if only for a moment, into the world of professional sports. And to me, they crossed the line.