fights, gah

it’s just a game

So ok I have never been an epic sports fan. For the most part, my interest in sports and team-fanaticism is based solely on a perverse desire to goad my friends who are true sports fans (who, by the way, are not the kind of people who participate in incidents like the one I’m about to discuss).  So I will never, ever understand what is wrong with people who resort to violence related to their hometown sports teams. Philadelphia has one of the worst reputations for this kind of behavior, and it’s not without merit (see: this not-awesome list of examples, or this page on Wikipedia, where a search for the word “Philadelphia” turns up 15 results, or this not-awesome Google search thread, detailing what happens when a Philly team WINS). Today, we have another incident to add to the list of not-awesome things Philly fans do. Here are some quick facts:

  • Two New York Rangers fans attended the Winter Classic this past weekend in Philadephia. After the game, they went to Geno’s to get some cheesesteaks, where they were attacked and beaten severely enough for at least one of them to be hospitalized. (Someone took video of it; it’s pretty horrifying.) By 3 guys wearing Philadelphia Flyers jerseys.
  • Then some knucklehead named Edward Neary claimed credit for the attack on Facebook. Then he started getting in trouble, so he dimed out some friends instead.
  • Then he posted another thread to the same Facebook page, stating it was all meant to be a joke, that he didn’t do it and neither did his friends and people should just lighten up already amirite? (that’s probably going to be removed at some point, but no worries – I have a screen shot.)

I’m not sure which part disturbs me most:

  • that people take sports this seriously
  • that people feel entitled to put their hands on each other
  • that a large crowd of people stood around the watching the beating happen, saying things like “Easy! Easy!” and “Relax!” instead of saying “Hello, 9-1-1? Yes, there’s a fight happening and you should send someone here to ARREST THESE JACKASSES.”
  • that someone videotaped the beating with their cell phone instead of using said cell phone to call the police
  • that someone feels the violent beating of another person is joke-worthy
  • the insistence by some Philly fans that “it’s not just Philly, so why do we always have to talk about what Philly does wrong?”
  • the reaction of commenters all over the internet – reactions seem to be split among “Rangers fans deserved it,” “Philly fans should be beaten/put down/tortured” and “Dude who joked about it should be beaten/put down/tortured.” Oh, and liberal use of the word “faggot” (or any of its alternate spellings) is apparently imperative.

I guess it doesn’t matter which part is the most disturbing, because all of the parts are enough to entirely ruin sports for me.

4 thoughts on “it’s just a game”

  1. This is the old “us versus them” mentality in action. This is how wars start. And I think, most unfortunately, the reactions of “Take it easy” or filming the altercation is a very human. Persons (individuals) want to be helpful generally, but also don’t want to be burdened (who wants to either get punched in the face or have to testify in court?). Sad? Yes. Wholly predictable? Sadly, yes. And I say all this being a life long hockey fan, though I like watching the games at home.

  2. Yeah, but it’s not literally “us v them.” We’re talking about a game. It’s like saying we both like Aerosmith, but my favorite Aerosmith song is “Crazy” and yours is “Love in an Elevator” so I feel the need to belittle you in public because of this difference, even to the degree that I get violent.
    I agree that people are people, and maybe I’m not so optimistic, but I don’t think people DO want to be helpful. I think people are selfish until it no longer benefits them to be so; which is why I think this kind of behaviour is predicatble.

  3. Anything that can cause a division is “us versus them”: Which songs you like off an album, what team you like, what city/state/country you are from, eye color, gender, etc. Many people are willing to fight over seemingly trivial things.

    You are certainly free to disagree that people want to be helpful. I respect that.

    1. Actually that’s why I think people aren’t so altruistic; if they are focused on differences instead of similarities, then they must be looking for superiority, or at the very least some kind of validation.
      I respect that you respect my opinion. You clearly practice what you preach and I think that’s awesome.

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