Uh, oh, trouble at the basketball game
By now you must have heard
about the brawl that erupted last night at the basketball game when two fans from the home team's opponent, allegedly threw cups of ice on fans who were rooting for the home team causing harsh words and threats to be yelled at the instigators.
Before security personnel and coaches could regain control of the situation, a full-blown riot-like ruckus exploded within the gym prompting security personnel to call the local police to the gym to restore order. At last count, five men and three women were arrested for allegedly causing the ruckus and causing personal injury to five people who were in the stands watching the game.
How many times
have we read something like the above on the front page of our online newspaper or in our newspaper we receive through the post office? Although the above story is fictitious, you would be surprised at the statistics of how many fights and near-brawls have been started by parties who are found to be just "regular" citizens caught up in a heated situation.
What are the results of an ugly situation like this besides the interruption of a common event such as a basketball game? Resentment, for one. The parties who were assaulted by troublemakers now resent these rowdy teens for committing what the teens said was some innocent fun and also resentment toward the school where these rowdy guys were students during the basketball game.
I ask you this honest question: was it worth it? Yes, I am asking you, the ones looking from outside in. Do you think this "innocent fun" that could have been prevented, worth all of the friction, static, and ill feelings the momentary mischief caused? Don't answer now. Just think it over.
Identifying would-be troublemakers at sporting events
is not an easy task. But with a little training by police and investigators who are trained to profile would-be troublemakers, these brawls that sometimes cause severe injuries, might have not happened. See if you can find any on the following list that you have seen present at any sporting event that you have attended:
- Former students of the schools participating in the sporting event.
- Adults that you know have drank too much alcohol and are becoming loud and belligerent.
- The group of people who others in the crowd are constantly saying to settle down.
- People in the crowd that security officers often have to carry out forcibly.
- Rowdy fans who cannot stand order and authority and shout vulgar phrases at the referees
Let's "Shoot some hoops!"
Now that you know a few of "who" might start trouble at sporting events, let's look at a few "things" the troublemakers might do if not stopped . . .
Open aggravation--to other fans, players and coaches caused by something as small as a pea shooter. Yes, the pea shooter. Once a harmless toy for children can be used by over-grown adolescents who love to shoot small rocks or other items at innocent people thus leading to fights and larger brawls.
Vocal obscenities--yelled at referees or coaches by those who do not want others to enjoy a clean and competitive sporting event. That's right. Yelling curse words and profane sayings at people only doing their jobs and playing a game approved by an accredited school.
Tripping--other spectators at the given sporting event. Some of these bullies without an ounce of civic conscience, will sit near the aisle of the gym or arena and when an innocent fan goes to the rest room or concession stand, they wait for just the right moment and then when the unsuspecting fan is making his way back to his seat, they put their leg in the aisle and down goes the fan who is now the spectacle of humiliation by members of the crowd.
Popping--small paper bags to resemble the sound of a firearm might appear to be a harmless piece of fun, but nowadays it is a serious offense. Who in a large crowd of sports fans knows if the pop they hear might be an explosive planted by a terrorist or even a gun discharged by the same thugs?
Tossing--popcorn, bottle tops, and empty soda (or beer where served) containers at some row of fans who are sitting below the troublemakers whose only goal that night is to disrupt a good basketball or football game.
Loud laughter--at a comedy club might be acceptable and appreciated, but not at a sporting event at the wrong time. e.g. when a tennis player is about to make an important serve, two or more laughing troublemakers are cackling as loud as a hen in a coop, the tennis player's concentration is broken and who knows? That one serve might have won the match for him or her.
Laser pointers--are now illegal to have inside most sporting events. The small items can be smuggled into the game in the pocket and then used quickly to cause players or fans to squint and be frustrated and when this is not dealt with, there is a good possibility that a fight could break out causing the ballgame to be stopped while the troublemakers are arrested or escorted off the premises.
Water pistols--yes, the harmless toy for children can be used by immature adults to squirt water or some foul-smelling liquid onto fans who love the game that they are watching. It is the non-obvious things like the water pistol that can cause the most trouble.
Food items--purchased at the concession stand can be converted to "tools of torment" by those who do not want a peaceable sporting event. Crushing tacos in the hand and silently sprinkling them into the hair of the female fans in the row below can be an awful situation to deal with if you are a security officer trying to keep peace at a ballgame. To say nothing about the loud cursing by the females whose hair the troublemakers ruined.
String--or nylon twine can be problems if used by those with evil intentions. Let's say that a couple of drunken guys take a length of twine or string and patiently tie a fan's pants (that have belt loops) to the fan's pants sitting next to him. The troublemakers think this to be such a practical joke, but when the two fans (with their pants tied to the other) give their team a standing ovation, well, you can expect some harsh words and maybe a few swings of the fists to be exchanged.
In closing, we can all do our part to help keep sporting events clean and fun for the entire crowd. Just keep your eyes peeled for people you know are known troublemakers and make sure that the authorities are aware of their presence at the game where you are present.
Good night, Hot Springs, Arkansas.
© 2017 Kenneth Avery