THE last word on fan violence

ESPN’s Bill Simmons in the 12/6 ESPN Magazine: Look, I’m not comfortable with what happened, but I’m a realist. The NBA has been straddling this line for years: crazy players, boozed-up crowds, everyone on top of one another. Throw in a sense of entitlement for some fans — they take escalating ticket prices and mind-boggling salaries as a free pass to belittle players — and this was inevitable. If the league truly wants to prevent riots, why does it sell beer after halftime? Why let drunken troublemakers sneak down into premium seats? Why aren’t policemen protecting the visitors bench? If they don’t change the rules after this, forget $5 lottery tickets; you’re better off buying $125 tickets to an NBA game, getting bombed and baiting opposing players into a lawsuit.

ESPN Magazine columnists have also suggested penalizing the Pistons for their out-of-control crowd by playing the next Indiana-at-Detroit game (3/25/05) with no crowd — kind of like FIFA does in Europe for out-of-control soccer crowds.  There’ve been two no-fan games already in the FIFA Champions League.   The other choice is to move the game out of Detroit and play it before a neutral crowd.  I know we’d love to have them in Richmond… 🙂

I know this is out of context for my blog, but quite honestly, I’ve been afraid of this happening at a wrestling show for so long that having happen at an NBA show isn’t any better…


Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, slightly less occasional improv player/ref/tech, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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