The danger of Lobo basketball
February 8, 2003 3:55 PM   Subscribe

"My child is safer at an organized cockfight than she is at a Lobo basketball game" was one of the comments overheard as New Mexico decided to be one of the two states to allow cockfighting. Reasons to keep cockfighting: Watching the bloody sport causes less emotional stress on children than a college basketball game and It's "part of the state's hispanic culture"
Obviously, the opposition to this mounts, but with Oklahoma and Oregon unable to send the roosters to pasture, is Cockfighting destined to remain on the fringes of America?
posted by RobbieFal (27 comments total)
Janine Arvizu's opinion might have carried more weight if she'd actually outlined why it is that she thinks it's less emotionally stressful for her child to watch two roosters hack each other to death than it is to watch a basketball game. Unless basketball in New Mexico is played by different rules than I'm used to (like the old "second foul stabbing" rule), or Ms. Arvizu's child is one messed-up cookie especially sensitive to the pain experienced by a bouncing ball, I can't think that this could possibly be true. Living creatures dying violently and painfully should be substantially more emotionally stressful than a freakin' basketball game for any reasonably empathetic person.
posted by biscotti at 4:08 PM on February 8, 2003

The Lobos are 7-12 and in last place in the Mountain West conference. Maybe that is where the trauma lays.

Anyways, alot of those pro-cockfighting claims are shady. "Hispanic culture" could mean "they're so poor, they have to let roosters fight so they can get money" in the mindset of some people down there.
posted by RobbieFal at 4:19 PM on February 8, 2003

Hey, doesn't the captain of the losing team get sacrificed in traditional Mexican basketball? Or is that somewhere else I'm thinking of? :)

Making animals fight each other is disgusting and cruel. Basketball, however stressful, is voluntary.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:19 PM on February 8, 2003

Add Virginia to the list. There's a cockfighting lobby?

"The dog thing was giving chicken people a bad rep," said Eddie Colmer, who traveled with friends from Rockingham County to oppose the cockfighting ban.
posted by eddydamascene at 4:41 PM on February 8, 2003

I'd like to give you a valid reason why the bozos in the Roundhouse (the capital building in Santa Fe) decided to let the whole rest of the country know how out of touch and backwards they really are by continuing to support cockfighting. New Mexico is run by a couple of old families who are accountable to nobody, and this is just another example. Our new governor is doing some serious house-cleaning. Hopefully it will be serious enough.
posted by answergrape at 5:15 PM on February 8, 2003

"The dog thing was giving chicken people a bad rep,"

And it was bad enough as it is.
posted by y2karl at 5:28 PM on February 8, 2003

[police chiefs have] concerns about animal cruelty, but also illegal gambling, drug traffic and other crimes associated with cockfighting
Drug traffic is associated with cockfighting?
posted by mischief at 5:30 PM on February 8, 2003

Of course, if your child is safer in one place than somewhere else, the safer place is okay. "My child is safer at a klan rally than a raiders game."
posted by dogwelder at 5:35 PM on February 8, 2003

Cock fighting is an ancient pastime, very popular in Europe, especially England, in the middle ages and later. I would suspect that cockfighting became a "hispanic" tradition from the influence of the early European visitors.

I was surprised to discover that cock fighting is still covertly and illegally practiced in places in the US and elsewhere. On an episode of "Animal Precinct" on the Animal Planet network, the ASPCA cops busted a cockfighting ring in New York City and, indeed, mentioned the connection between drug trafficking, gambling and these ilicit cock fighters (who are also often into dog fighting, an even worse and more cruel thing than fighting the chickens, in my opinion).

As a side note, the word "cockpit" comes from the resemblance early airplane cockpits bore to the circular rings sunk into the ground where cockfighting took place.
posted by sir walsingham at 5:52 PM on February 8, 2003

If you want to talk humane treatment, cock fighting is nothing compared to modern American industrial chicken farming. One or two dead cocks is murder. A million dead cocks a statistic.
posted by stbalbach at 6:14 PM on February 8, 2003

Here's a quirky cockfighting image gallery (sound and nsfw images). It's more a folk culture and outsider art site than a *sporting* site, with largely historic images from England, Mexico, Japan, Haiti, historic photos such as those from the Phillipines at the turn of the century and in the U.S. in 1938.

note: I am against cockfighting or any sport that harms animals
posted by madamjujujive at 6:25 PM on February 8, 2003

True sport went downhill after they stopped tossing Christians to the lions in Rome...I would feel safer there than in an army under commander-in-chief Bush.
posted by Postroad at 7:00 PM on February 8, 2003

I was invited to a cockfight once. I spent all night greasing my zipper.

posted by jonmc at 7:01 PM on February 8, 2003

Postroad, that is sick and disgusting.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 7:05 PM on February 8, 2003

aeschenkarnos: The game you're probably thinking of is Tlachtli, a kind of Mesoamerican handball.
posted by SPrintF at 7:45 PM on February 8, 2003

As a side note, the word "cockpit" comes from the resemblance early airplane cockpits bore to the circular rings sunk into the ground where cockfighting took place.

Wait, I thought that was where the expression "cock ring" came from. Or, am I thinking of something else?

Sorry folks, couldn't resist.
posted by psmealey at 12:23 AM on February 9, 2003

Most proponents of keeping New Mexico a cockfighting-friendly state contend it's part of the state's Hispanic culture

It's so sad that the barbarism of many cultures is dying out. We lose cruelty at the cost of our souls! Any other Anglo-Americans miss our tradition of taking food out of the mouths of Irish children? If you're in Boston, help me take it back! Meet me at the Broadway T stop in Southie at noon. Bring a bat-- we might encounter some resistence despite the fact that we're entitled.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:33 AM on February 9, 2003

I would feel safer there than in an army under commander-in-chief Bush.

I swear, we could have a FPP on making dandelion wine and somebody would figure out a way to bash Dubyuh in the ensuing thread. Yeah, the war's coming, it sucks, and it deserves discussion, but can't you come up with a FPP of your own about it?


Do any proponents of slavery advocate that it's part of African-American culture? Favoring stuff that society at large has decided isn't a good idea is an intellectual game of Twister that can leave you in some extremely weird contortions.
posted by alumshubby at 6:17 AM on February 9, 2003

But when cockfighting is outlawed, only outlaws will have cocks!
posted by kablam at 10:10 AM on February 9, 2003

When cockfighting is outlawed, the University of South Carolina will have to find a new mascot.

Does anyone else find it funny that University of South Carolina and University of Southern California, the two USC schools, have Cocks and Trojans as their mascots. It's too bad they don't play more often. The headlines would be great: "Cocks' final surge breaks Trojans," etc.
posted by Frank Grimes at 12:54 PM on February 9, 2003

Ah, Frank, so many opportunities...
posted by Dick Paris at 1:10 PM on February 9, 2003

i didn't know that people were so concerned. firstly, there is the whole "bigger picture" argument concerning conditions of egg farms. secondly, i drove by our neighbor's cock collection about 4 times a day. thirty roosters chained to upturned 5 gallon buckets are unquestionably there exclusively for fighting. if not legal, it's certainly mostly ignored.
most of the fights are held with the dog fights (cy-dog, comin' atcha!). the only drugs available are bud light and perhaps a couple joints. of course in the middle of cow-town ohio, there are aren't any hispanics around to claim "tradition." will rednecks ever get state recognized traditions to keep? that would be swell.
posted by kid_twist at 12:27 AM on February 10, 2003

will rednecks ever get state recognized traditions to keep? that would be swell.

Well, here in Columbia, SC, they're trying to keep that damn flag in front of the State House...
posted by alumshubby at 4:10 AM on February 10, 2003

A different version of that AP article has this priceless quote from Janine Arvizu: "Game cocks are a very unique breed. Over thousands of years, they have been bred to fight. It's their nature."

They've been bred for this, so it's their nature. See? We (and all those generations of breeders) are just helpin' out Mother Nature. No problemo.
posted by soyjoy at 10:14 AM on February 10, 2003

"Janine Arvizu, a laboratory quality auditor serving as Senior Technical Consultant at Consolidated Technical Services, Inc., a New Mexico firm..."

"Janine Arvizu, a chemist and laboratory quality auditor expert with more than 20 years of technical and program management experience in laboratory operations and management.."

Actually, seems like she's been bumped up to president...

She's in the news all the time as a pro witness at trials - google it out...

She's also a Kiwanis!

Here I was, figuring she had 3 teeth a sombrero and a flower-patterned moo-moo.

Nothin' like some good chikkin-killin' action after a hard day at the laboratory.
posted by Perigee at 12:36 PM on February 10, 2003

"They've been bred for it, so that's what their existence is for. Plus, it's a tradition."

Different animal, same bogus logic.
posted by soyjoy at 10:09 AM on February 11, 2003

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