The NCAA Football championship game last night got me thinking: Why do fans celebrate their victory – or take their frustrations out due to a loss – by taking to the streets and causing damage to people and/or property? It’s barbaric. It’s senseless. It’s nothing more than a bunch of thugs who are just looking for an excuse to commit crimes.
The following is just a short list of examples. I haven’t listed them all, and I am not picking on any particular city by including the ones I have here. These are here just for the sake of showing you what I’m referring to.
2000 – A Los Angeles street party celebrating the Lakers’ championship series victory over the Indiana Pacers turns violent, requiring hundreds of police officers with riot gear to restore order.
2002 – University of Maryland fans break storefront windows and loot area stores following the Terrapins’ win in the NCAA championship game.
2003 – Boston police are hit with rocks, bottles and objects from paintball guns after the Red Sox lost to the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball’s playoffs.
2004 – Fan Victoria Snelgrove dies after a pepper-spray ball pierced her left eye outside Fenway Park in Boston, in a gathering in which Red Sox fans were celebrating the team’s American League pennant. More violence ensued, and as many as 15 people were injured and eight were arrested.
2008 – Crazed Philadelphia Phillies fans are videotaped looting a luggage store following the Phillies’ World Series victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
All this makes me wonder … what if the Orlando Magic win the NBA Championship or the UCF Knights win the NCAA football or basketball championship? What would happen to my town? All I know is that, while I’m celebrating, I’m not going to go out on the street thinking, Let’s go break something!