Asking for a riot


With the Final Four established in college basketball, there appears some great viewing ahead. But wait! There’s another kind of viewing, too.

I’m talking about spectator viewing – after the game.

The dangerous viewing.

News reports from Tucson said fans gathered on the streets after Arizona’s Saturday night loss to Wisconsin. Though nothing too bad happened, police said they tried to disperse the crowd but there was no response. Fans began throwing beer bottles, cans and firecrackers at police officers. Cruisers were brought in, carrying officers with batons and helmets. Police shot pepper spray and pepper balls into the crowd.


Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.13.44 AMNaturally, there were those who just came to take silly selfies.

No one was badly injured, but it could yet have been another sad ending to a joyous sports year for another sports team.

Sports riots happen all the time, sometimes when a team wins a championship, sometimes when it loses. What baffles me is why they congregate. For example, the women in the Instagram photo. A lot of people just come down to see what’s happening, but when they do, they’re risking getting pepper sprayed…or worse.

Having been in some celebratory crowds, and angry crowds, after big games – as I left a stadium –there’s often a feeling of trouble. When fans storm a football field, I wonder if someone will get trampled should they fall before the onrush. Or be seriously injured when the goal posts come down.The danger might be even greater out in the streets.

My advice is that if you’re watching the game, either in an establishment nearby or in the stadium, go straight home when it’s over. Sticking around to take pictures could mean getting caught up in something you can’t control.

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