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Freaky Basket-Brawl
November 20, 2004 11:09 PM   Subscribe

So I'm not even a sports fan, but holy crap, this was a serious fight, especially for Basketball. They've got a video posted, but it does NOT include "the punch," by Ron Artest, delivered to some fan in a Pistons jersey. If anyone's got a link to that footage (I only saw it on TV) please post it!
posted by zekinskia (89 comments total)

 
I was lucky enough to turn on the game just as Ben Wallace went up for the layup before the foul.

Awesomest NBA moment ever. I just loved that fat yo guy in the Pistons jersey coming up to Artest all like whut? and getting clocked. But it was just made all the better when he gets up and Jermaine O'Neal flies in from stage right and reclocks him.

Fighting rules.
posted by xmutex at 11:12 PM on November 20, 2004


Just watched the Raptors coach blame the internet for making things tough for players, saying now hecklers can go online and find out all sorts of personel stuff to use against players.
posted by bobo123 at 11:16 PM on November 20, 2004


I'd post an intriguing comment about the state of "sports these days," but I'm waiting for the non-crappywindowsmediastream version to go online. Anyone got the goods?
posted by anarcation at 11:25 PM on November 20, 2004


Not sure if they work anymore (they did last night), but here and here via SpoFi. If you've got good bandwidth, the first one shows almost all of the chaos!
posted by jmd82 at 11:28 PM on November 20, 2004


Larger version via MSNBC here (Internet Exploder required, but at least you get to watch a commercial before the video starts)
posted by fatbobsmith at 11:32 PM on November 20, 2004


The whole thing is available here: the initial fight on the court, the brief calming down, the players charging into the stands, the other fight on the court, the stunned announcers, the crowd throwing stuff onto the court. It's about five minutes long, and it's the first five minutes of basketball I've watched in years.

We're about due for pro Bowling melee sometime soon.
posted by HifiToaster at 11:39 PM on November 20, 2004


I've always loved ice hockey as a team sport. The speed of basketball, scoring like soccer and the physicality of football with a some boxing and ufc style grappling and striking thrown in for good measure. Maybe I'll have to start watching more basketbrawl in the future.
posted by dawdle at 12:11 AM on November 21, 2004


I think the fat guy in the Piston's jersey just wanted Artest's autograph.
posted by StephenV at 12:51 AM on November 21, 2004


good basis for some suits to be filed by fans caught in the middle. F-ing overpaid cry-babies. I hear they indefinably suspended 4 players. Now, possible criminal charges?
posted by edgeways at 1:28 AM on November 21, 2004


But it was just made all the better when he gets up and Jermaine O'Neal flies in from stage right and reclocks him.

xmutex, if I'm not mistaken it's two different people who get clocked. The chubby guy who got slugged the first time by Artest is not the same guy that O'Neal punches. Look again. It's an easy mistake to make, though, in the melee.
posted by wsg at 2:22 AM on November 21, 2004


I would feel sorry for the players for having to put up with being pelted by cups of beer, but they are being paid MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

You could throw as many cups of stuff as your little heart desires if it involves me making millions of dollars.
posted by flarbuse at 2:54 AM on November 21, 2004


"This is not a pretty sight, but it happens." -- announcer on HiFi's link

I don't even know where to go with that.
posted by Dick Paris at 2:54 AM on November 21, 2004


The other night, I went to the fights and a hockey basketball game broke out.
posted by Zonker at 4:00 AM on November 21, 2004


I caught it on SportsCenter and found it a disgusting display by all involved.

But it makes me believe that Ron Artest really does need some time off.
posted by terrapin at 4:44 AM on November 21, 2004


http://www.basketbrawl.us/ has all the videos and photos from the event available for download.
posted by NextWish at 4:47 AM on November 21, 2004


I am stunned by the total lack of security.
posted by srboisvert at 5:08 AM on November 21, 2004


Artest bolts up into the stands after getting hit with a beverage. He seems to know exactly who threw it. My question: Was that guy really the one who threw it? He seems surprised as hell to see Artest bearing down on him.
posted by found missing at 5:44 AM on November 21, 2004


The shot of the little kids crying brought it all home.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:51 AM on November 21, 2004


Tell you what, netball practice was never this good.
posted by NinjaPirate at 6:19 AM on November 21, 2004


I don't know.

If it was me, and I was in that situation, I might have done the same thing, ecpecially is said fan had been going out of his way to taunt me. I don't think what Artest was right, but its hard to say if I was in his shoes.
posted by Quartermass at 6:50 AM on November 21, 2004


When does Mark Cuban stick his foot in his mouth with an "all this publicity should have a net benefit for us" comment? And get another fine he can laugh while paying?
posted by bukvich at 6:51 AM on November 21, 2004


I submit that he attacked the wrong guy. The guy he attacks, smallish wearing glasses, is holding a beer in his hand when Artest jumps on him. He's looking in the other direction and smiling when suddenly Artest comes into his line of vision like a bull elephant on the rampage. He was also about, what, 10-15 rows up and about 25 yards to the right of where Artest was "chillin" on the scorer's table. So either he was two fisted drinking when he chucked one of his full beers and has incredible aim (because the beer lands square on the chest of Artest), as well as a John Elway like throwing arm, or Artest just grabbed the only guy who didn't scramble out of the way fast enough. I think it is the latter.

The good news is that four-eyes is soon to receive a sizeable indemnization from the Artest estate for pain and suffering.
posted by sic at 6:52 AM on November 21, 2004


Replaying the video I have to say that the guy was actually only a few rows up, but he was some distance to the right of Artest.

I still think Hulk smash wrong fan.
posted by sic at 6:55 AM on November 21, 2004


Wow, those guys are really upset about the election too, I guess.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:58 AM on November 21, 2004


I'm all for putting the court inside a big cage, with a moat around it. That way, only the really athletic will be able to hit a player with a beer.
posted by tommasz at 7:04 AM on November 21, 2004


How about putting sports teams and sports fans and as much beer as they want inside a big cage, and then put a huge moat around the cage to keep these idiots away from the real world?
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:16 AM on November 21, 2004


> I am stunned by the total lack of security.

Hey, we're trying to provide a police state for you. Just have a little patience, these things take time.
posted by jfuller at 7:18 AM on November 21, 2004


Artest sure is getting the most out of wearing Rodman's #91.

and for the record, i pity the fool who throws a beer on me regardless of what my salary is like. especially if i am at work.
posted by tsarfan at 7:25 AM on November 21, 2004


Artest embodies all that is wrong with today's NBA player. He's an idiot both on and off the court. Except for watching the Lakers lose in the championship finals last year, this was the first time I got a kick outta watching an NBA game since I was 12 or 13... A glorious summation of why I hate the NBA and its players summed up in a five-minute 'highlight' reel. I've preferred watching the college game for a long time now...

Maybe that's part of the problem? Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson never went to college. Artest left early. College coaches are teachers and role models as much as they are coaches. I can't stand Bobby Knight, but I have a hard time imagining someone who went through his program behaving like this....
posted by crank at 7:43 AM on November 21, 2004


Time to take a trip in the wayback machine...

"The court was also ringed by something new to basketball — a 12-foot, chain-link "cage" separating players from fans." - http://www.capitalcentury.com/1900.html

Now all we need are the tiny shorts and it's GAMETIME.
posted by true at 7:48 AM on November 21, 2004


Why is thug culture so prevalent in black America? Is it a backlash against the "happy negro"?
posted by orange clock at 7:57 AM on November 21, 2004


As for whether Artest attacked the right guy-- apparently not. There's a video news report at the link that started this thread (once you click on the "see fight" link, click on the story "investigation focuses on man in white hat"). They've got a shot of a guy throwing the cup underhanded at Artest. Then Artest charges by him to attack someone else.

Apparently Artest is getting suspended 30 games. That's not enough. I'm not sure why Wallace needs to get as many as 5, either. If Artest hadn't started WWIII out there, Wallace would've gotten 3, and that would've been enough.

Ron Artest -- 30 Games
Stephen Jackson -- 20 Games
Jermaine O'Neal -- 20 Games
Ben Wallace -- 5 Games
posted by ibmcginty at 7:59 AM on November 21, 2004


WOW I'm shocked by the reactions here. Some of the posters seem to think that beacause the players are highly paid they should be subjected to having projectiles thrown at them.

I frequently watch American shows where English soccer hooligans are made fun of. What I saw in that video was easily the match of what the English yobs used to get up to. And all you can think of is that the players who reacted to being assaulted, should be sued.

The NBA should force Detroit to play behind closed doors for their next 5 games or so, as punishment for the inability to control their fans.
posted by daveirl at 8:02 AM on November 21, 2004


I'm embarassed to say I really enjoyed the whole thing and have replayed the video endlessly and found it more watchable than any actual basketball game. OK, no, I'm not. Embarassed, that is.
posted by TimeFactor at 8:12 AM on November 21, 2004


How about putting sports teams and sports fans and as much beer as they want inside a big cage, and then put a huge moat around the cage to keep these idiots away from the real world?

Brockian Ultra-Cricket
# Rule Three: Put your team and the opposing team in a large field and build a high wall around them. The reason for this is that, though the game is a major spectator sport, the frustration experienced by the audience at not actually being able to see what’s going on leads them to imagine that it’s a lot more exciting than it really is. A crowd that has just watched a rather humdrum game experiences far less life affirmation than a crowd that believes it has just missed the most dramatic event in sporting history.
# Rule Four: Throw lots of assorted items of sporting equipment over the wall for the players. Anything will do – cricket bats, basecube bats, tennis racquets, skis, anything you can get a good swing with.
# Rule Five: The players should now lay about themselves for all they are worth with whatever they find to hand. Whenever a player scored a “hit” on another player, he should immediately run away as fast as he can and apologize from a safe distance. Apologies should be concise, sincere, and, for maximum clarity and points, delivered through a megaphone.
# Rule Six: The winning team shall be the first team that wins.
posted by milovoo at 8:14 AM on November 21, 2004


Apparently the guy who threw the drink that started all this was the guy right beside the guy Artest attacked. He left his buddy to twist in the wind there.

The fines and suspensions are ballpark-okay (Artest & Jackson should be gone for the year, but whatever), but that knucklehead who lit the fuse that started all this should be up on charges too.

I don't care how much of an overpaid jackass Artest may be, he's not getting paid to have shit thrown at him.
posted by chicobangs at 8:30 AM on November 21, 2004


I can't believe no has mentioned the similarity to Paul Newman's excellent Slapshot. There is a scene where a fan throws a set of house keys at one of the Charlestown Chiefs players, who proceeds to enter the stands and start beating spectators. I recommend this hilarious movie to anyone looking for insight in to the workings of northeastern male blue collar mind, which was scripted by a woman (Nancy Dowd), no less.
posted by Scoo at 8:37 AM on November 21, 2004


I agree with daveiri; detriot has an obligation to control their fans, which they clearly didn't do. I think basketball needs to borrow the idea of making teams play on a neutral pitch court if their fans can't be trusted to behave.
posted by cmyr at 8:55 AM on November 21, 2004


More like Rollerball, Scoo. On the bright side, it's nice to see crimes in Detroit that don't involve gun violence. The funny thing to me about this unfunny brawl is that they refer to the place it happened as the Palace of Auburn Hills. Get a grip, royalty-crazed America. Even if Yanni, the crown prince of something, is going to appear there, it's still just a sports arena.

It makes me believe that Ron Artest really does need some time off.

From that link you posted, terrapin, it sounds more like all this was promotion for his rap album that comes out on Tuesday.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:03 AM on November 21, 2004


I guess this sort of thing is inevitable when you've got people -- the players -- training and playing basketball from an incredibly young age, picked out of high school to go directly to a multi-million-dollar job where their only goal is to put balls in baskets for millions of spectators. Predominantly black, feet taller than the average person, probably eating all sorts of 'supplements' due to the pressure, playing basketball for your entire life... it's like America's got this bizarre caste devoted entirely to their entertainment on basketball courts, and some of the fans seem to treat them like that.

I'm surprised brawls like this don't happen more often. A life like that would make me lash out, too.

(Don't some sports leagues have rules against fans throwing things? I seem to recall hearing of some rule that resulted in the home team forfeiting when the fans made the game unplayable.)
posted by blacklite at 9:06 AM on November 21, 2004


I believe this incident has not been seen for what it truly is. Ron Artest was just trying to create a badboy image for himself as a promotion for his upcoming Rap Album. Nobody buys a rap album unless the rapper has some sort of court street cred. I think the mysterious fan who actually threw the beer was in on the whole thing. And fatso who caught a punch at the end? Well, he was just a bonus... a big bonus.
posted by yossarian1 at 9:07 AM on November 21, 2004


I believe this incident has not been seen for what it truly is. Ron Artest was just trying to create a badboy image for himself as a promotion for his upcoming Rap Album.

Mmm... doesn't really jibe with the way he started out: fouling Ben Wallace (not that hard even), getting shoved, and then laying down on a table. If he was trying to be a badass, he would've at least come back at Ben.
posted by rkent at 9:17 AM on November 21, 2004


Actually, the badboy image entails beating down skinny, glasses wearing guys who are half your size, not getting beat down by buff bad asses who are twice your size.
posted by sic at 9:53 AM on November 21, 2004


Well, it looks like Artest will be getting the time off that he wanted anyway.

Mitch Albom wrote a pretty good article on the sense of entitlement in todays athletes. Looks like it was probably written just before this incident, but prominently features Artest anyway.
posted by mach at 9:54 AM on November 21, 2004


And all you can think of is that the players who reacted to being assaulted, should be sued

You really can't see the difference between being dampened by beer, after which you need a shower and a change of clothes, which you already needed anyhow, and being beaten up by a professional athlete who is presumably just a wee bit on the strong side?

If Artest had climbed into the stands, signaled the beer guy, bought a beer, and dumped it on Mr. Beer Thrower, I'd be cheering for him. Especially if as he was leaving he said "Eat a salad, you fat sack of crap."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:13 AM on November 21, 2004


it's actually quite clever, the way the ruling classes have fooled these mooks into thinking they are stars or something, when actually they have more in common with performing animals in the circus. hell, if you threw popcorn or a drink at an elephant you'd be expelled from a circus.
posted by quonsar at 10:15 AM on November 21, 2004


Basketball WAS played in an enclosure at one time, hence the appelation "cagers". Perhaps the practice should be reinstated to protect the players from the beered-up wannabes.
posted by Cranberry at 10:30 AM on November 21, 2004


I am with ROU_Xenophobe (and others)...what happened to "No harm, no foul"?

I don't like the "he's not getting paid to have shit thrown at him" argument. They (athletes) are also not paid to run into the stands in some sort of blind rage, either. That was inexcusable, IMHO. If this was some sort of incident that required life-defending action then maybe, but this, of course, was not the case.

And, another thing...don't punish the 99.99% of Detroit fans that were NOT involved in the melee. The fans on the whole know how to behave. There are already rules and laws in place.
posted by jaronson at 10:30 AM on November 21, 2004


And people say skateboarders are immature thugs.

Team ball sports mostly suck. Well, except for Brockian Ultra-Cricket.

Dear ESPN: Could you please dedicate a full-time channel to board sports and other gravity sports? Raw feeds of people just hanging out and sessioning at different skateparks would be fine. You can mix it up with some surfing, snowboarding and mountain biking feeds, if you like. Dirt boarders? Hell, I'll even watch inline skaters or flatland bike freestylers. Old 8mm films of dirty longhaired hippies doing handstands on old Makaha planks? Pogo-stick riders? Body jugglers?

Or anything that doesn't involve putting on a uniform and being an aggressive thug for way too much money?
posted by loquacious at 10:36 AM on November 21, 2004


At least a police car wasn't set ablaze this time.
posted by adampsyche at 10:44 AM on November 21, 2004


Can someone explain what Artest was doing lying down on the scorer's table ? I'd be MAD, MAD, MAD if I was the scorer and some sweaty guy lay down all over my notes and stuff. I'm surprised the scorer didn't dump a beer on him too.
posted by dawdle at 10:47 AM on November 21, 2004


O'Neal is hit by a flying chair and that's okay because he gets paid millions? Hello?
Interesting to see that the US has basketball hooligans, rather than football hooligans.
posted by dabitch at 10:59 AM on November 21, 2004


I think that people are polarizing arguments pointlessly. There is no justification for any of the illegal or antisocial actions that took place. The people involved should be punished in a way that reflects their individual crime. Threw a cup of beer? A fine; lose your season tickets. Threw a chair or other dangerous object? Jail. Physically assaulted somebody? Jail. Innocent bystander who is attacked? No fine, no jail; no loss of season tickets; possibility to sue asshole who attacked you, as well as the Detroit Pistons and the NBA for not protecting you.

Now forget if they are drunken fans or millionaire athletes and just apply the adequate punishment where necessary.
posted by sic at 11:19 AM on November 21, 2004


sportsfilter
posted by lee at 12:05 PM on November 21, 2004


chaotic violence builds character. Those guys are now ready to work in their community for the greater good. This, along with being knocked down and laughed at, are why I love sports.
posted by petebest at 12:11 PM on November 21, 2004


As a native Detroiter, it sickens me to see the way the media (and ESPECIALLY ESPN) has been portraying the city because of this event ("...earlier I said the Detroit fans were punks. And after reflection I stand by that statement"). The fact is, this could have taken place in any city in the NBA and I don't think the result would have been any different. The other fact of the matter is that, yes there was a bench clearing brawl and that does happen in sports from time to time. The moment things got completely apeshit out of control was when Ron Artest charged into the stands to attack the fan. Until that point, there was still a demarcation between what was happnening ON THE COURT and the spectators watching it. Yes, things were being thrown, but there's a disconnect there. Once Artest broke that invisible barrier, that is the moment things turned into what they did.

And I'm sorry. Ben Wallace would have gotten a technical foul at the most if this had been real life. But because the Pacers reacted the way they did, now he's suspended for 5 games.
posted by indiebass at 12:26 PM on November 21, 2004


indiebass,

it's not because the "Pacers reacted the way that they did..." that this is now even being discussed here.

it is because 1) Ben Wahhhhh is a punk who cant handle a non-flagrant foul with 48 seconds left in the game and 2) your fellow Detroiter (with a Wallace warmup jacket) thought it was perfectly cool to throw a cup of beer at Artest's nose.

Wallace should have gotten 30 games too for shoving Artest, chasing him, and being the instigator of what went down.

he can pull down boards, he's got a great 'fro, but he's gotta go.
posted by tsarfan at 12:43 PM on November 21, 2004


Why is thug culture so prevalent in black America? Is it a backlash against the "happy negro"?

/pukes
posted by yerfatma at 12:49 PM on November 21, 2004


As a native Detroiter, it sickens me to see the way the media (and ESPECIALLY ESPN) has been portraying the city because of this event ("...earlier I said the Detroit fans were punks. And after reflection I stand by that statement"). The fact is, this could have taken place in any city in the NBA and I don't think the result would have been any different.

Oh gods, I so agree with this. I was watching the night of, and the attitude of the ESPN "roundtable" analysts after the game was called was, well, sickening. Yes, because of an incident that, most likely, could have happened at any arena on any given night, we're *all* thugs, punks and deserve every bit of derision tossed at us. It's as if we're never going to live down 1984 and that's just sad, especially considering the relatively incident-free celebrations since of the Red Wings three Cup victories, the *Pistons* celebration earlier this year, etc.

Yes, the fans involved were asshats and deserve to be prosecuted, but the players were equally at fault for not just getting security to toss said asshats out of the arena and leaving it at that. That John Saunders and associates believe that the athletes were completely blameless in this is perhaps one of the reasons I don't watch much basketball anymore. Pathetic.

Hell, if the NHL ever comes back, I might even not watch ABC coverage with him anchoring I'm so miffed. So neener!
posted by snarkywench at 1:00 PM on November 21, 2004


What sic said.
Not to be xenophobic or anything, but for those drawing a comparison the soccer football hooligans have a much longer history and higher body count.
From the linked abstract:
" An important feature of the ‘Headhunters' hooliganism was the degree of detailed planning invested in setting up opportunities for ‘aggro' (violence) with rival hooligans. The violence they generated was anything but spontaneous...."

posted by vapidave at 1:24 PM on November 21, 2004


Wallace should have gotten 30 games too for shoving Artest, chasing him, and being the instigator of what went down.

Please... the Artest foul and Wallace shove is the type of thing that happens a couple times each season. It's not a big deal.

We wouldn't have this thread if it weren't for, yes, a cup being thrown, but mainly players bounding into the stands to attack (the wrong) spectators. That's exactly what Artest and Jackson did. That's why they're out for the next month.
posted by crank at 1:27 PM on November 21, 2004


Why is thug culture so prevalent in black America? Is it a backlash against the "happy negro"?

/pukes


Agreed. One has to wonder whether orange clock has ever heard of hockey, football (soccer), rugby, and lacrosse. All sports largely dominated by white players (in certain countries anyway) and all four sports pretty much require, what I would consider, thuggish mentality and in some cases, more brutal attacks than what is shown here.

Hell, I've even seen baseball riots involving fans that were worse than this. I'm not excusing violent actions by any means, but at least keep the race card out of it. As I see, the fans involved were not exactly without blame, and a lot of them were white.
posted by purephase at 2:51 PM on November 21, 2004


To update/correct some speculative numbers floating around the thread, just in from the league:

Ron Artest: Rest of the season
Stephen Jackson: 30 games
Jermaine O'Neal: 25 games
Ben Wallace: 6 games
Anthony Johnson: 5 games
4 others got a game.

Pacers season is over.
posted by pivo at 3:31 PM on November 21, 2004


What? I'm seeing 30 games for Artest. But, nba.com confirms what you said.

You're right, though. Season is done.
posted by adampsyche at 3:36 PM on November 21, 2004


Looking at adampsyche's linked PR release, I wonder where the penalties against at least the Pistons as a franchise, or preferably both teams, went. Because this can't just be against the players if the league wants to look credible, and I use look because reality is not relevant to these people.
posted by billsaysthis at 3:45 PM on November 21, 2004


Artest bolts up into the stands after getting hit with a beverage. He seems to know exactly who threw it. My question: Was that guy really the one who threw it?

I can't find the link now, but the ass-kickee said that Artest was saying, "Was it you? Was it you?" the entire time he was beating the crap outta him.
posted by hootch at 3:56 PM on November 21, 2004


You're all ignoring the true crime. The unforgivable waste of beer.
posted by srboisvert at 4:27 PM on November 21, 2004


This is the sort of thing that seems bad now, but is probably good in the long run. Fans have gotten out of control and security needs to be increased. I have seen fans throwing crap at players many times, but the players had the common sense not to run into the stands. Players, though rich, do need to be protected.

This is like the time the ref threw a flag in a guy's eye and the guy went beserk and attacked the ref. Now the refs don't throw flags at people's eyes.

Anyway you look at it though, Ron Artest punching a guy in the face is always funny. I just wish it was Spike Lee or Penny Marshall on the receiving end.
posted by Waymon Tisdale at 5:07 PM on November 21, 2004


I was in first place in my fantasy NBA league... with both Artest and O'Neal on my starting team... crap.

On the bright side for Artest, this may be the jumpstart (not to mention time off) he needs for his album. (Earlier in the season he had asked his coach for some time off to promote the record).
posted by cell divide at 6:34 PM on November 21, 2004


I wonder where the penalties against at least the Pistons as a franchise, or preferably both teams, went.

The individual penalties to the Pacers will collectively penalize the team. As for the Pistons, I don't see why they should be punished as a team. What, for the security or something? Oh, don't worry, the inevitable lawsuits will do that.

Also, what indiebass and snarkywench said.
posted by pmurray63 at 7:11 PM on November 21, 2004


Artest will lose $5.5 million for his 73 game supension. Stephen Jackson will lose $1.5 million for his 30 games. Jermaine O'Neal will lose $4.5 million for his 25 games.

I think this is pretty excessive. If I were an NBA player, I'd be disappointed at the lack of protection afforded me by the league. That beer thrown on Artest could have easily been a battery or another object that could have caused injury. And why was Artest able to make it into the stands before any security?

I'll grant you that Artest shouldn't have gone up there, but everything that happened after that point wasn't the fault of the other players. Stephen Jackson punched a guy who doused Artest in the face with a beer at point blank range. Frankly, a moron like that deserves to get pummelled. I also noticed that many fans cleared out of the area to avoid the meelee, but others came in for a piece of the action - like that large black dude who hit Fred Jones in the back of the head while Jones was just standing there.

You gotta give Detroit fans one thing though (besides the fact that they ARE a bunch of punks): they totally KO'd the season for one of the Pistons major rivals in the east.

The other thing that bothers me about this situation is the lawsuit speculation. I fail to see where if a rich person does something bad to you, that entitles you to a large sum of that person's riches. Like that woman who sued O'Reilley: if it happened it's a terrible thing, but what part of that situation entitles her to that much money? I think we should put a cap on punative damages at, say, 2x the actual damages. Anything after that point should go to charity and not the victim.
posted by b_thinky at 7:51 PM on November 21, 2004


I was at a NY Rangers/Islanders game in the Garden two years ago where a major fight broke out in the third period with something like 20 penalties, including ejections, suspensions, and numerous majors and minors.

I was at the game - but I left at the end of the first period because the aura in the arena was so malevolent. Really ugly. I was simply not having a good time.

I'm not especially sensitive to this sort of thing - and in fact I was sort of logy, having had two beers and a big hot dog during the first. If I caught onto this, it must have been unmistakable.

So why couldn't they have someone on staff to nip something like this in the bud? Why wasn't the floor of the Detroit arena flooded with security as soon as the early-game-over was announced?

I haven't been back to a pro hockey game since then - and I miss it. The sport, not the violence. They - NHL, NBA, NFL, even the baseball leagues - ought to clean up their act, straighten up and fly right.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:52 PM on November 21, 2004


Um, b_thinky, have you heard of deterrence? Ron Artest's millions could, in theory, allow him to beat the living shit out of you and your entire family and friends a few score times, paying 2x damages each time. The "reasonable damages" scale is relative so as to provide the same deterrent effect regardless of the offender.

For a counter-example, see the above poster's reference to Mark Cuban, whose billions mean that the flat-rate fines issued on him for his rants are barely pocket-change. He'd probably be more contrite - whether or not he should be is an entirely different issue - if the fines were based on the funds available to him.

And it's spelled "punitive," with an "i."
posted by Sinner at 10:20 PM on November 21, 2004


In my perfect world, this is exactly how games are played.
posted by codeofconduct at 11:28 PM on November 21, 2004


What Sinner said.
posted by sic at 11:44 PM on November 21, 2004


badvertising indeed! this got me interested enough to download the video clip, even though i don't follow basketball. it reminded me that sports tv is exciting because it's the only type of programming where nobody knows how it's going to end. after watching the clip, i have to say artest's penalty seems a bit excessive... the fans were really out of line. on the other hand, it sounds like artest was a loose cannon.
posted by jcruelty at 2:08 AM on November 22, 2004


It's really sad that the first leg of this conversation rapidly brought up the themes of "they're paid millions of dollars," the alleged violence of Detroit, and of course, "why are black people so violent?"

The underlying tones from some fans I saw being interviewed over this expressed the same sad sentiment- it was like they just wanted to say "Boy, we paid y'all to shuffle fo' us" and be open about it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:17 AM on November 22, 2004


You're all ignoring the true crime. The unforgivable waste of beer.

i'm glad someone else sees it my way.
posted by joedan at 4:53 AM on November 22, 2004


The culprit: Atari!
posted by geronimo_rex at 5:52 AM on November 22, 2004


Despite all of this, Camden claimed the top spot as the country's most dangerous city, knocking off reigning champion Detroit.
posted by adampsyche at 7:28 AM on November 22, 2004


It's really sad that the first leg of this conversation rapidly brought up the themes of "they're paid millions of dollars," the alleged violence of Detroit, and of course, "why are black people so violent?"

It is weird, because the fans started it, and they're rich white guys (I assume, because they looked white on TV and were sitting near the front).

Combined with what happened this year in Baseball in Oakland, and in Los Angeles (people near the front rows throwing things at players), maybe we should be asking why rich white people are so violent?
posted by cell divide at 8:59 AM on November 22, 2004


This is great! What a wonderful combination of overpaid infants and stupid fans. I just feel sorry for people that, you know, actually love the game of basketball. This is a bad thing for them.
posted by deafmute at 9:27 AM on November 22, 2004


sinner: Punitive damages should be paid to punish the offender, not reward the victim. Offenders should have to pay out whatever a court decides, but only 2x the amount of actual damages should go to the victim. This would allow the victim to recover monetarily from whatever damage was inflicted plus get an extra sum for the inconvenience.

The rest of the money should go to charity.

The problem with our current punitive system is it's creating a victim's society. Some of those fans in Detroit are probably pretty happy with themselves, now that they've got prospects of raking in some serious undeserved cash. Nobody should become a millionaire for taking a punch or getting their ass grabbed by the boss.
posted by b_thinky at 9:32 AM on November 22, 2004


I heard on sports talk radio this morning that this fight broke out at the worst possible time from a security perspective. The reason there was no security around the court was that in the last minute or so of a game most of the security officials head out to the concourse area to ensure that everyone leaves the facility in an orderly fashion. This left no security to keep players out of the stands and fans off the court.
posted by HiddenInput at 12:11 PM on November 22, 2004


this is what happens when you take the nhl away (*sniff*)
posted by auslander at 12:24 PM on November 22, 2004


pmurray63, being a fan of European soccer I was looking for something like the penalty AS Roma got two months ago when one fan (ONE!) threw a disposable cigarette lighter out of the stands and hit the referee (badly enough to make him bleed and have a headache) at a Champions League game. Not only did he cancel the second half of the match, awarding it as a forfeit to the visiting German(?) club, a few days later UEFA ordered Roma to play their remaining two CL home games in front of empty stands.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:26 PM on November 22, 2004


b_thinky: Nobody should become a millionaire for taking a punch or getting their ass grabbed by the boss.

Why?

What's the difference between that sentence and: "Nobody should stay a millionaire after throwing a punch or grabbing the ass of one of their employees." Who put you in charge? And if you get to speak arbitrarily, why can't everyone else? What gives you the right to decide on 2x damages? Why not 10x? Why not 3x?
posted by Sinner at 8:56 PM on November 22, 2004


Oh, also, my favorite bit of commentary heard subsequent to the game: "things would have been different if there had been more armed guards." As if a few shots fired - whether in the air, at players or fans - would have settled things.
posted by Sinner at 8:58 PM on November 22, 2004


I don't think it's just basketball. Even tennis players are paid to full-time hit a ball really hard and train themselves into fantastic shape, controlling a razor-sharp aggressivity just this side of violence to get the best performance from themselves. Seriously, it's not normal to hit a Roddick-like serve 145 miles per hour.

Asking kids to perform for ticket paying crowds expecting phenomenal action, but then ripping them for being violent is unfair. We after all adore these monster men for their teddy bear demeanors with massive muscles until off-court behavior turns them into the stereotypical bad guy who's gone too far.

Did anyone ever see Hoop Dreams, the pressures incarnate in youth basketball?
posted by faux ami at 1:37 PM on November 24, 2004


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