bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Jerk fan steals ball from woman

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How did the world become so filled with idiots? Why is rudeness and an oversized sense of entitlement so pervasive today? These are things that occupy my mind on a regular basis, as I encounter them every day. I am sure there are sociologists with solid theories about it, so if you know or are one, feel free to share. I have been thinking about this subject in the last few days because of a silly little incident that occurred at the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. Cincinnati tight end Jermaine Gresham scored a touchdown and tossed the ball up to a couple of women in Bengals shirts who had run down to the railing as the play happened. A man, Tony Williams, sitting right there in a Saints shirt, jumped up and grabbed the ball away from one of the women and kept it.

This could have been worse, of course. He could have snatched the ball from children instead of grown women, but this was so rude and uncalled for that it made me want to call attention to this jerk. What kind of a guy does something like that? This was not a scramble for a ball that happened to go into the stands; the ball was being specifically given to those women by the player. This classless schmuck clearly felt like he was entitled to that ball because he was close enough to take it, so he did. The people sitting nearby, who were Saints fans, didn’t like his actions either, chanting at him to give her the ball. He refused, sitting with the ball tucked under his arm for the remainder of the game.

The Bengals players, starting with Gresham, called the man out when asked about the incident. The Saints didn’t like it much either, and they gave the women a different ball at the end of the game. This is one of those situations where a lot of people would have felt quite conflicted if they had been sitting nearby. I know that I would likely have joined in on the chants to get the guy to give up the ball. I would have felt like confronting the guy, but would have been nervous to do so, as you can often count on those same people who feel entitled to everything to also be less-than-rational thinkers. It would certainly not have been worth getting into a physical confrontation. I’m surprised some other idiot who had downed a bunch of bad, overpriced beers didn’t try to grab the ball from the guy in a wobbly act of chivalry. The crowds at football games are certainly populated by plenty of those too.

I hope Tony Williams lost the ball on the way home. Running out of gas while driving around looking for it wouldn’t have been a bad thing either. If nothing else, hundreds of people saw very clearly the kind of person he is. He can live with that and will probably enjoy it.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Oh, that crazy Twitter. The New England Patriots are likely rethinking some of their social media strategy after the debacle of last Thursday. Someone with the team set up a picture to automatically post to Twitter when their official Twitter account reached one million followers. The picture included a jersey that would show the lucky tweeter’s handle on the back, and the accompanying tweet called out that individual by name with a thank you. They advertised that they were going to do this, so some clever chap created a very offensive handle and got himself logged as the one millionth follower. Check out the post. Oops.

3) On the field, Florida State continues to squeak by, keeping their undefeated record despite a bunch of close calls. Off the field, they seem to do the same thing with the assistance of the local police departments. On Friday, the New York Times put out a story detailing a hit-and-run accident involving Seminoles cornerback P.J. Williams that occurred in early October. No arrest occurred and no sobriety test was done (incident occurred very late at night). Williams, driving on a suspended license, simply received two traffic tickets. I am sure his status as a star football player had nothing to do with this leniency.

4) Speaking of Florida State, we can’t have a week without more Jameis Winston news, right? The campus hearing into his alleged sexual assault on a female student that was supposed to happen on Wednesday was delayed until December 1st. That is conveniently after the team has already played its final regular season game. The whole thing then looks likely to wrap up in mid-January, just in time for the entire college football season, including the championship game, to be over.

5) Having incredible longevity as a team’s primary weapon has its negative side for some athletes, as they tend to start setting some less-than-stellar records to go along with the good ones. Last Tuesday, Kobe Bryant set the NBA career record for missed field goals with 13,418. The record was previously held by Boston Celtics great John Havlicek. I doubt Kobe is losing much sleep over it.

6) Brandon Marshall, star receiver for the Chicago Bears, was being antagonized by a Detroit Lions fan on Twitter on Thursday. He then decided it would be a good idea to challenge the fan to a fight. Seems like sound thinking.

7) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan was fined last week for spouting profanity at someone on the field after his team’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers which was caught on camera. What a mess it is up there.

8) Frank Clark, a senior on the University of Michigan football team, has been kicked off the team after he was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend in a hotel in Ohio. Clark has had numerous legal issues over the last few years.

Good sports:

1) Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon set Division 1A’s single game rushing record on Saturday, running for 408 yards in a win over Nebraska. He is now considered a solid candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

2) Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout won the American League’s MVP award on Thursday. The vote was unanimous for the first time since 1997.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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