Saturday, November 20, 2004

DETROIT...ROCK CITY?

alright alright alright. i usually like to be original in these things, but at the request of YOU, THE READER, i'll do as you ask.

Disclaimer: Before i start this blog, i just want to say that in no way am i defending either the players on the fan in this debacle. both acted inappropriately.

I'm sure most of you know, but last night a fight between the pacers and the pistons broke out, which ended up with ron artest, jermaine oneil, and some others starting a melee with the fans in detroit. I hate to say it, but i kind of put most of (i'm talkin 53%) of the blame on the fan. Whenever these things break out i cringe when i hear players being referred to as "overpaid thugs."

lets go ahead and throw money out of the issue. just because the guy gets paid 500 billion dollars doesn't mean he's held to a higher standard of conduct than everyone else. the guy in the stands who gets paid $5 / hr should be held to the same standard as everyone else. if you don't think so..then GET REAL. that means that if players got paid $5/hr and the fans were makin 400 billion, you're tellin me you'd excuse artest for fighting because of what he made??? gimme a break.

It started off with artest giving a hard foul to wallace. wallace pushed back, theres some pushing with other players, artest somehow stays out of it and lays on the scorers table. things seem to be calming down a bit. things like this have happened a million times. then some fan, an idiotic FAN, throws a beer on artest AS HE CALMLY STAYED OUT OF THE FIGHT. this causes artest to charge into the stands, and the rest is history.

if fans would just stop throwing things and harassing players, we wouldn't be in this position. we woulda had some stupid shoving and pushing (lets be honest, it happens) and the game would have went on. but we've got these drunk idiots out of there, who think it would be cool to be the guy throwing the beer on sportscenter...or challenging the......excuse me??....challenging the 6'7" 300lb GIANT on the court to a fistfight???? gimme a break.

I don't excuse the players. There is NEVER EVER EVER EVER any reason a player should ever enter the stands or to even shove each other on the court. But fans just aren't held to the same standards. you throw something on the field, you should be not only arrested, but banned from the stadium if not multiple stadiums. theres no room for it. we've got to start holding fans accountable no matter how much they make. Whether its throwing stuff or even SAYING stuff. its called verbal assault and theres no reason why a person should be subjected to that, no matter how much you get paid.

As for reprocusions, the players should be fined RIDICULOUS amounts of money, and suspended for the season. you've got to set standards. the fans should be arrested and banned from the stadium. again, we've got to set standards.

Ughhh...theres probably a lot more to be said, and going to bed tonight i'll probably think of more to say, but i'll stop here. if i think of something else i'll edited this and add it to the bottom. and like always, please let me know what you think and drop a comment. It was a sad sad day in the NBA yesterday, and i just hope we can learn from our mistakes and fix whats broken.

G'night.
--JJ

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

My brother and I were watching ESPN analysts analyzing the situation last night and I must say...I agree with you on the fans (but then the players are also responsible) but then again I think Artest's reaction was pure instinct, I mean didn't it seem like he was minding his own business lying on the score table after the scuffle with Wallace and then all of a sudden that fan (blue baseball jersey with tan cap NOT the guy in black shirt) instigated the brawl by throwing the beer on Artest...and I just think the moment was heated and all...you know because of the scuffle with Wallace. LOL while they kept showing the clip on ESPN last night...my brother cheered on one of the Pacer flyers who sucker punched some fat Piston fan who was getting up all on his face (it wasn't in the stands but on the floor). But man I just hope there are some charges pressed against the fan who instigated it (its clear on the video who started it)

Anonymous said...

Oh woops Jeremy I (Lauren aka The Riot Girl) posted that comment above

J-Wild said...

I agree, there is never any justification for an athlete to go into the stands. The only justification I can think of is if a fan is physically harrassing a players family, and they are in immediate danger. Other than that, it is totally inexcusable. Ron Artest should have stayed on the court where the security could have protected him a lot better.

There are those who say this was self-defense. Self defense from a cup? Please, Ron Artest escilated this by about 10 fold. If this had happened outside of a bar he would have been arrested and charged with assualt. Because of Ron Artest, Jermain O'neal and others are facing a suspension, fines, and possibily lawsuits because they had to go into the fracas to bail Artest out. It is foolish for someone to take on a 7 foot something 300lb person, but it's even dumber and more immature for an athelete to take on a few thousand in the stands.

kenny said...

Wow, where to start...
I think it's smart to break down the incidents one-by-one to get a clearer picture of how events unfolded. Artest fouled Wallace. It wasn't called and so Wallace pushed Artest...really, really hard. The benches cleared and a scuffle happend on the floor between players and coaches of both teams. The game was just about over, so the emotions were at their peak on both sides.

Artest showed everyone that he had restraint by removing himself from the scuffle. He layed down on the press table - which is something he should not have done. That is not the place for players. He should have either stood off to the side of the scuffle or sit on his bench. Laying on the home team's press table showed disrespect for the home team. You don't go to someone elses house and put your feet on their coffee table. It's cocky and disrespectful. Yet, by staying out of the scuffle he displayed a certain level of self-control.

Now you have this stupid fan who threw a plastic cup of beer on the exposed Artest. I agree that player salary is not an issue, but if you have reached the level of professional sports, than you have endured fans that hate your guts time and time again. A player at that level has been part of a team sport most of his life. Team sports at the Pro level are about respect, dignity, role-models and professionalism. Artest just exploded into the stands and attacked the first guilty looking guy he came upon. That showed utter unprofessionalism, undignified, disrespectful to himself, his teammates, his organization, the NBA and his fans. By Artest going into the stands escalated the entire event to another level altogether that it should not have done.

Now, a friend of ours says that it was self-control. He was only protecting himself. That's BS. A professional should have gotten up and walked away. Walked into the locker room. Now, am I dillusional enough to say that I wouldn't have done the same thing as Artest. Of course not. I'm just saying that was what he should have done.

Now, the idiotic fans who stepped onto the floor were just praying for a beating. No excuses for them. They were idiots who deserve whatever they got.

I'm glad the 4 players are suspended indefinetly and I truly hope the fans to blame are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

That's all I got.

Chris Ewing said...

3 Steps That Should Be Taken:

Step 1: Banish (fire) forever those who are currently suspended.

What would happen to any of us if we punched a customer, client, or fellow employee while on the job? Would the " he started it or was asking for it" defense work? I don't think so. No, you would be fired on the spot. As a employee of the NBA the consequences should be no different. These players should be able to play in other leagues, but after their actions they should not be allowed to still be an employee of the NBA. When you get fired, they don't let you come back 6 months later. Fired means you never come back. These players need more than a year suspension. They need to be forever banned from wearing a NBA "work" uniform.

For those who forget history I give you Jackie Robinson as a example of how the situation should have been handled. This is a man who was submitted to much more than a plastic bottle being thrown at him. This man was spit at, cursed at, called the n-word repeatedly, received numerous death threats on himself and people threatning to kill his family. Jackie Robinson never once stormed the stands or attacked someone outside the stadium. HE PLAYED THE GAME. He used his anger not for violence, but to make himself a better player. These players could learn a thing or two from reading a biography about Robinson's life and realize just how easy they have it thanks to incredible men like that.

Having worked for Shiloh I know that this event goes far beyond the court. The kids make idols out of these players and want to be just like them. I'm sure all of them would agree the actions of the players were right and they would have done the same thing. They would say," yeah, they needed to get their "hit-back", you can't look like a punk." It is so hard to teach the kids a different way when others would comend the actions you are trying to reverse. These kids need to see that there are serious consequences when you seek violent revenge. A complete expulsion from the NBA would do it.

Step 2: Stop slapping fans on the wrist

It is also time for the courts to up jail time and fines for such actions. If you started giving out serious jail time and 6 digit bonds, most people would get the message to sit down and watch the game. Fans need to realize freedom of expression stops when it becomes a clear and present danger to those around them. Starting a riot admist thousands would fit that defintion.

Step 3: Stop serving mass quanities of alcohol

I don't know how this one would work. Maybe if they only stocked enough beer for glass per fan instead of enough beer to get entire nation of China drunk. Again I don' know how to work it out, but something needs to be done if order is to restored at sport events.

kenny said...

Chris,
I agree completely with all three of your steps, but unfortunately we're living in a world where step 3 is pure fantasy. Beer sales drive beer advertising and advertising gives these stadium owners, team owners and players mega bucks. The beer levels will never go down without the help of new prohibition laws. I don't think prohibition worked out too well the first go-round. :)

jch said...

The fines were handed down. Did you see what they got? Artest is done for the season but the players union will come to his aid and Artest will be back before the season is over.

Kenny, please don't throw in stuff about Artest not needing to lay on the scorers table. It shows that you know nothing about the sport of b-ball. The scorers table is used in all sorts of ways for the players. It's part of the game. Artest was not doing anything wrong in laying there.

I guess the bigger question at stake is whether or not we should hold these guys under the same standard we expect to hold ourselves. In other words, do any of you know Artest's life story? It's quite disconcerting. I've seen a little quip on where he came from, etc and it ain't pretty. Does that excuse his actions or does that mean that he is able to get away with more? No, not necessarily but it does allow us a new perspective and it gives us a reprieve for being a bunch of small, upper class white guys who were born with silver spoons in our mouths.

kenny said...

I'm not an upper-class white guy Joe and I don't claim to have ever played basketball in school like you. However, I think I'd put what little money I make on a wager that the official rules of basketball don't include the many uses of a scorer's table, such as "May be used as a cot for players avoiding a bench-clearing brawl" or "if wearing proper footwear, may be used for players to dance the Irish Jig during timeouts" or "may be used for players to display their latest rap CD and other non-NBA-related merchandise."

Joe, the scorer's table is NOT part of the game.

kenny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jch said...

Kenny, your own words betray you: "I don't claim to have ever played basketball." Which also indicates to me that you probably aren't that big of a fan either. Is there an official rule concerning the table? Probably. But there is an official rule on how fast you drive too but we break that rule and the law allows us to break it ever so slightly. This isn't supposed to be an argument about the scorer's table but it is a sign that a bunch of, okay, middle class white guys are talking about a subject that, while interesting, don't have much business saying anything authoritative.

kenny said...

This is now the second time you've made the conclusion that just because other people do something wrong makes it "okay." You said it up on the 4th floor on Sunday and you just said it again in your rather weak, "speeding" analogy. You assume that I'm not a basketball fan because I didn't play the sport? I'm sorry Joe, but my words have not betrayed me. I stand by every letter.

The really interesting thing is that you latched onto this one detail about the scorer's table to pick on me about. It wasn't even my main point...

Oh, and I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth either. Another assumption you're wrong about.

Joe Hays. Wrong on Artest. Wrong on Kenny. Wrong for America.

Brown Sugar said...

well, i never saw the video clip yet, but from reports i've heard, i dont' think anyone took the high road and everyone involved should be punished extesively. being a guy who has rather good self control, i can honestly say i don't understand how you loose that much control. I may have had a sheltered life with a good family, but i dont' believe someones messed up background is an excuse. he should get the correction that he needed years ago. i do belive in second chances however, but i'm not sure when that chance should come. it was dumb for wallace to push back, but i do not believe artest took the high road by laying on the scorers table. that seems a bit cocky but that's besides the point. if he was serious about keeping the situation calm, he would not let a cup of beer cost him millions of dollars...i do believe that the fans and other players who involved themselves are equally stupid and desearve severe punishment. I may have more disrespect for them then artest himself. Nothing good is ever accomplished by getting involved in someone elsed problems. it's so stupid to start fighting others who had nothing to do with the original scuffle. at least he was provoked in some way. now i'll be quite