“March Madness” officially came to an end yesterday when the University of Kentucky captured the men’s NCAA basketball title. Now, I don’t give a shit about college sports, and I certainly don’t give a shit about Kentucky. But, as someone who has at least a passing interest in humanity, I was intrigued by the “riots” that followed Monday night’s victory.
Post-championship wilding is certainly nothing new. In fact, Lexington police had a pretty good idea of what to expect as over a dozen out-of-control fans were arrested on Saturday when Kentucky advanced from the Final Four.
According to reports of yesterday’s incident, hundreds of police in riot gear were deployed to keep an estimated 15,000 fans from going apeshit like they did just 2 days prior. However, the police presence proved inadequate. Over 50 fires were set, more than 20 people were hospitalized, and at least one poor shmuck was grazed by unintentional gunfire.
I get that there is generally nothing doing in Kentucky and that people can be very passionate about their sports. But I really have trouble comprehending why people would go so far as to risk an arrest record to celebrate a college basketball win in such a chaotic manner.
See, I could at least understand if it were the players who went berserk. I mean, you’re all pumped full of adrenaline and whatnot. But we are talking about FANS. They personally didn’t win anything yet they saw it fit to celebrate by overturning cars and groping women? I suppose it has something to do with mob mentality and the fact that people like to take credit for things they did not achieve.
Like John F. Kennedy said, “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”
He liked to grope too.
Anyway, it goes without saying that those who participated in this nonsense lacked good judgement. So, before they sent their flaming sofas into the streets, they probably did not give much thought as to where they would sit to watch the madness next March.
It looks like the time they’re not spending on the dean’s list will now be spent on Craig’s List.
Eh. I’m probably just wasting my time trying to figure out the “why” behind this behavior - attempting to attribute it to school pep or sportsmanship when it’s probably just the result of youthful exuberance and alcohol. I should just accept that I’m not meant to understand it because I am old and know how daunting finding a new living room set can be.
Or maybe my lack of empathy is due to the fact that “my” team, the New York Mets, haven’t won a damn thing in 26 years. Forget setting furniture ablaze in the name of extreme team spirit. The only thing I’m lighting these days is a candle to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.