Don’t Be Dumb
An obvious message to the Bulldog and Mountaineer faithful, and their would-be imitators.
by Chris Deaton
I know well of the human impulse that causes a stupid idea to become a stupid action.
I’ve swung and missed on a joke when my mouth was better left shut. I’ve canned that extra drink when the extra hour of sleep would’ve done doubly as nice. I’ve dropped that godawful pick-up line when the extra drink would’ve been triply as nice.
But I don’t know about this “tossing bottles onto the field of play” trash. What, is this some act of defiance? Kentucky got over The Hump, ergo, embittered Mississippi State fans, fans with a pitiable and preventable case of little-man syndrome, could only adequately express their displeasure by lobbing Dasani onto the hardwood.
Sure, that makes sense, because we punch walls. But Newton showed that the walls punch back, whereas defenseless athletes or officials, sans an Artestian spark of madness, have no such recourse. And the athletes and officials didn’t do a damn thing to anybody to begin with.
Brad Nessler termed the most unruly of the crowd—quite dramatically, in fact—“idiots,” but idiocy would imply some sense of cogence where none exists. These people don’t survey the land and give careful consideration before letting loose their bottles. They act on whims; they get pissed, scream, call DeMarcus Cousins names, wish the stripes a one-way ticket to Dis, punch in the launch codes and let the projectiles fly.
It’s done in a fell swoop. I’ve been in the company of the lunacy. And a dumbass is a dumbass is a dumbass, whether it’s in Starkville, MS, or Morgantown, WV, or Cleveland, OH. Overzealous loons are predictable in their behavior. Simple.
“I don’t know what is going on … bottles flying—there’s another one! Jeez!” Calipari exclaimed in his on-court interview, this after shouting into a fracas that involved the aforementioned Cousins, an otherworldly talent but a kid. He’s Franklin’s kite, this Cousins. His immature reputation precedes him—he had assumed the “big baby” persona before his first collegiate action, but then came a tussle with Louisville’s Jared Swopshire, and now the commoners have his digits.
So it’s easy to see why he’d attract some heat. And Kentucky is back to living day-to-day as the Super Bowl opponent for most every SEC program, a reality not lost upon Mississippi State and its at least once-a-year fervent following. Tuesday’s game was designed to accommodate passion. That’s how it should’ve been.
But beyond passion is insanity.
The latest two instances of crowd-court interactivity were not so dangerous as they were immature; though coins can certainly cause a dent, water is just water, and those participants on the floor weren’t wicked witches of western lands. But perhaps most unsettling is that college athletics now bear the burden of these infantile pests in their stands.
We all kick, pitch and moan about the missed call here and the bad play there. We invest our feelings in the game, and the game sometimes draws out our worst sides. Emotions boil in competition at the high-DI level, but not insofar to the point where all self-control can reasonably be expelled. This buffoonery needs to stop and stop now, because amateur sports aren’t the place for rotten fruit.
I don’t speak from some absurd plane of rooting purity that precludes me from misbehavior. But for the love of Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs, drink the water, Bulldogs’ faithful, and don’t use it to spill your emotions. Don’t lose it in the heat of the moment. And the same goes for all others.
The rebuke is obvious. But it’s sad that it’s warranted.