Sunday, June 20, 2010

H-Double O - L-I-G-A-N spells Hooligan

Remember in fifth grade, when the teacher went to the faculty lounge to Hoove two KOOLs in fifteen minutes to get away from a room full of fifth graders? And the time the new guy, just moved in from Jarrettsville, brought in a magazine with pictures of nekkid women and everything? And then the teacher came back in and wanted to know who left a copy of "Swank" back by the rabbit cage? And no one copped to it, the code of juvenile omertà being as it is?

So, everyone in the class got punished, the theory being that everyone was equally complicit in the coverup. So there was no recess that afternoon, and the new kid had to go home and explain to his older brother why his copy of "Swank" was missing. Everyone paid, in different ways.

Well, I think it's time that we, as a nation, took time to reflect on just what in tarnation is wrong with us as a nation. News story, please:

VIOLENT riots broke out in Los Angeles following the LA Lakers' championship-clinching win over the Boston Celtics in the NBA finals. The trouble began shortly after the Lakers claimed their 83-79 victory over their rivals last night at the Staples Centre in LA. LAPD officers clashed with crowds in streets surrounding the stadium, with rowdy fans smashing windows, starting fires and attacking passing motorists. At least one civilian was badly beaten and a police officer suffered a broken nose in street fights. A cyclist was also hit by a patrol car attending the crisis. Police fired non-lethal rounds to disperse mobs of troublemakers, as a cab was set alight and two newspaper stands ripped apart. In nearby restaurant La Bella Cucina, customers threw bottles, overturned tables and stole alcohol. Manager Christian La Bella said: "I think it's pretty sad, especially when customers turn on you so quickly. "They lost respect for themselves, they lost respect for the Lakers, and they lost respect for the restaurant. It's a shame for LA."

Calm was restored to the area by early morning following multiple injuries but no loss of life, police said. At least 12 people were arrested on suspicion of crimes including public drunkenness, vandalism and inciting a riot. The Lakers-Celtics rivalry is one of the most fabled in the NBA, with the two teams accounting for more than half of the 63 titles in NBA history prior to this season's finals.

Now, look at what Mr La Bella said above: people lost respect for themselves, for the Lakers, and for the restaurant. I can't state with certainty that the restaurant and/or the Lakers deserve respect, although the latter is a fine basketball team and the former must be a nice place, since its name translates to The Beautiful Kitchen. But even worse than people losing respect for themselves is the concept of losing respect for others.

Help me follow this logical path:
a) My favorite basketball team won the championship.
b) I get to run amuck through my town, breaking a cop's nose, setting fire to taxicabs, overturning cars and behaving like a true Hooligan.

We love to look at foreign countries and hear unbelievable stories about soccer stadia with moats engirdling the playing field to keep the fans from running onto the pitch (that's what they call the field). We hear about 10,000 Andy
Capps burning down the grandstand at Old Quimby, or whatever the stadium in England was that was Capp-sized.

And we tsk-tsk and tut-tut about these galoots.

And then the Los Angeles Lakers win a basketball game, the trophy held aloft by a player who several years back ran into the stands and opened a can of whupass on a heckler, and the City of Angeles goes all to hell.

And back here, whenever the University of Maryland basketball team defeats Duke University, it's time to call out the National Guard and cover the storefronts with plywood, because here come the drunks, all worked up because someone else won a game. Even though Duke is the law school which saw fit to award a diploma to Richard M. Nixon, there is still no excuse for this.

I could almost see it if the Laker players themselves were running around celebrating, but they just went home, it would seem, while the fans set fires, threw trash cans and acted in the manner of the Mongol Horde.

The entire country needs to go to its room for a weekend. No TV, and don't let me hear any noise up there, either. What is it with you kids, always causing such a racket?


Ralph said...

"Even though Duke is the law school which saw fit to award a diploma to Richard M. Nixon, there is still no excuse for this."

This is why I keep reading.

Mark said...

........And I am honored and glad that you do!