I think Fallujah is safer than Detroit Michigan these days.
The fallout from the fight during the Pistons’ and Pacers’ game on Friday night is just beginning to occur, and at this point the biggest loser is Ron Artest, followed closely by teammates Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O’Neal. Artest has a ton of time to work on his rap album now that he’s been suspended for the balance of the year, the longest suspension in NBA history. O’Neal and Jackson will be sitting 25-30 games for their transgressions. Frankly, I think all of these suspensions are excessive. Artest has been suspended multiple times by the NBA and the Pacers, and Stern admitted during the press conference that Artest’s previous history played a part in the length of the suspension. How does this compare to Vernon Maxwell’s 1995 suspension for 10 games for pummeling a fan? Is the fact that other fans didn’t jump in to pummel Maxwell, thus escalating the situation to a brawl, explain the 62 game difference in the suspensions?
David Stern’s news conference to announce all of the suspensions from the fight placed a great deal of the blame on Ron Artest and his cronies from Indiana who went into the stands after the cowardly, beer-throwing fans. I was also pleased to hear Stern take blame himself, especially concerning alcohol consumption during NBA games; a business the NBA owners make a tidy profit on.
The tape should also be closely scrutinized by Detroit’s finest, who should determine which fans kept the fight going, and who started it etc. These assholes should not be able to enjoy anonymity during this thing.
I haven’t heard much outrage from the easily offended indecency crusaders about the events from Friday night. I guess they are too busy with their writing campaign to ABC over the airing of Saving Private Ryan uncut on Veteran’s Day, and the naughty Monday Night Football promo. As far as I am concerned, I feel a lot more comfortable explaining to my son what went on between Nicolette Sheridan and T.O. than I would the melee at the Palace on Friday. You see, the promo dealt in innuendo and suggestions; Friday night was sucker-punches and haymakers–not to mention the most “indecent” thing I’ve seen on TV in some time.
And if I may rant a moment longer, if I hear one more self-righteous sports reporter or commentator posture about how “you can’t cross the line into the stands” and “the players make a lot of money to show restraint” and “I wouldn’t have done that if I was still playing” and “we have to be bigger than the fans”, I’ll cut my own ears off. Are they reading from a list of 10 possible responses to the incident? Is anyone going to call out Detroit’s abysmal security, or Ben Wallace for starting the whole thing, or the thuggish Detroit fans for deciding they were more than “spectators”?Powered by Sidelines