Monday, November 22, 2004

The Casual Fan

Normally I don't make post totally dedicated to sports but since that was all I did this weekend I have to get it off of my chest.

The brawl Friday night was really shocking to see on TV. I can't disagree with Artest getting suspended for the whole year and the other suspensions. He was dead wrong for going into the stands. However, he is a man and doesn't deserve to be treated like an animal just because he makes allot of money. If you look at most of the games on TV the first few rows of fans at an NBA game are rich suburban people for the most part. These people pay big money to watch young black kids from the ghetto run up and down. Just because you are being entertained and spent some money, does not give you the right to call those players anything you want and throw things at them. People are making a big deal of the fact that Artest didn't want to fight Ben Wallace. Why would he want to fight Ben Wallace anyway? Ben Wallace is a player. Artest didn't fight Ben because he understood why Ben was mad and there was no need to fight. The fan on the other hand was a different story. You still can't go in the stands and start punching, but we have no idea what kind of abuse these guys take and how much animosity they have towards the fans in general. I am willing to bet that there aren't too many players in the NBA right now that wouldn't have wanted to do the same thing. They might not have actually did it, but they can understand why Ron did. I love the game of basketball as a sport. I love football the same way. I have teams that I route for but I respect and admire any player on any team that performs and plays the game the way it was meant to be played. I am just as comfortable watching a game played at the local gym as I am watching one played at the Superdome. The casual fan is killing American sports. They are the reason we have to see WNBA players in their mini skirts, Terrell Owens hugging naked white women, and Janet Jackson perform at halftime of the SuperBowl. Casual fans come to games to see players act just like they do on shoe and beer commercials. Professional sports caters too much to the casual fan instead of worrying about the integrity and image of the game itself. They are not worried about purist like me. I am going to watch regardless. They want to promote sex, rowdiness, drinking and violence to bring in those fans that may not watch the sport in general but are looking for a good time and want to be entertained. This is why guys like Tim Duncan or Marvin Harrison get hardly any commercials or headlines, yet guys like T.O. and Ron Artest can be on TV almost all day long.

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