Basketbrawl Two Pointer

“I have never seen a fight like that in a game since I was in high school…Man, there are going to be some lawsuits. You don’t think some of those fans aren’t going to want some NBA money?”

— Quentin Richardson of the Phoenix Suns

With regard to last night’s Pacers vs. Pistons fisticuffs, while we’re waiting for the great Dave Zirin to weigh in…I’d like to put my two cents in on two points.

First of all, a lot of people don’t know that bastketball originated out of concern for creating a milder sport (relative to bruising football) which could be played indoors. During its early stages, full courts were ringed by cages of a sort, designed to keep fans –used to throwing things other than the mere phonetic slings– from creating a fray…and then entering into it physically. At the very beginning, players could use the fences during play…and stay within the rules.

The rules. Wow.

It’s not just the money alluded to in my opening quote from the Phoenix Suns star that’s bending parameters for players and fans alike. Greed, manifested in many ways, paves the way for crumbling contests on the court, but our national violent streak has much more to do with the tears we’re crying this morning.

Spilled blood is so much spilled milk to us. Not really worth crying over. Our public lament is much more of…the obligatory kind. We must go through the paces of pointing fingers at the Pacers’ Artest, arrest this one and that one. Charge up the media pistons with a Scott Peterson level of drama for Gretta Van Sustern to tsk-tsk about legally.

C’mon, sports fans, this is the Land of Hockey Fights Forever. Let’s at least acknowledge that a helluva lot of paying customers want to spill out onto the court…are relishing the breakdown of barriers. Those hockey see-throughs don’t quite do it anymore. do they?

I mean, video games on your fingertips and a distant bloodletting in Mesopotamia via the media…don’t really cut the mustard for our Coloseum crowd.

If I were wrong about the above, there are two rules which the NBA could institute to set things straight vis-a-vis Friday’s outbreak.

One, if a player felt that excessive force were used against him on the court…x number of times a game refs could resort to a video playback for confirmation. Guilty parties could be ejected post haste, stiff fines imposed, and all sorts of financial ripples might follow. The consequences could be such that calling the death penalty a deterrent would be employing very loose language.

Two, entering the stands or going onto the court could easily be made verboten. Let’s use our imaginations, yes?

Attitudinally, nothing of the sort was adopted/nothing of the sort was in place when a Texas Ranger player threw a chair into the stands at Oakland this past season. There, when the dust settled, a misdemeanor was the charge…and something like 14 games was the penalty. On these occasions, no big money ever exchanges hands in a way that’ll make a difference…for the next time.

And you can count on things getting worse both on and off the court…on this count.

Our culture. Our wars. What came first, the chicken or the egg? That’ll be driven into the ground this week along with if you’re viewing and listening.

Personally, I can’t see past the flag they’re waving, and I’m deaf to the verbal masturbation.

RICHARD OXMAN, a former sports fan, can be reached at dueleft@yahoo.com.

More articles by:

RICHARD OXMAN can be found these days reading Joe Bageant’s material in Los Gatos, California; contact can be made at dueleft@yahoo.com. The Ox’s never-before-revealed “biography” is available at http://news.modernwriters.org/Some of his recent writing can be found in his Arts & Entertainment section and Features (under Social) there.

Weekend Edition
March 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Michael Uhl
The Tip of the Iceberg: My Lai Fifty Years On
Bruce E. Levine
School Shootings: Who to Listen to Instead of Mainstream Shrinks
Mel Goodman
Caveat Emptor: MSNBC and CNN Use CIA Apologists for False Commentary
Paul Street
The Obama Presidency Gets Some Early High Historiography
Kathy Deacon
Me, My Parents and Red Scares Long Gone
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Rexless Abandon
Andrew Levine
Good Enemies Are Hard To Find: Therefore Worry
Jim Kavanagh
What to Expect From a Trump / Kim Summit
Ron Jacobs
Trump and His Tariffs
Joshua Frank
Drenched in Crude: It’s an Oil Free For All, But That’s Not a New Thing
Gary Leupp
What If There Was No Collusion?
Matthew Stevenson
Why Vietnam Still Matters: Bernard Fall Dies on the Street Without Joy
Robert Fantina
Bad to Worse: Tillerson, Pompeo and Haspel
Brian Cloughley
Be Prepared, Iran, Because They Want to Destroy You
Richard Moser
What is Organizing?
Scott McLarty
Working Americans Need Independent Politics
Rohullah Naderi
American Gun Violence From an Afghan Perspective
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Why Trump’s Tariff Travesty Will Not Re-Industrialize the US
Ted Rall
Democrats Should Run on Impeachment
Robert Fisk
Will We Ever See Al Jazeera’s Investigation Into the Israel Lobby?
Kristine Mattis
Superunknown: Scientific Integrity Within the Academic and Media Industrial Complexes
John W. Whitehead
Say No to “Hardening” the Schools with Zero Tolerance Policies and Gun-Toting Cops
Edward Hunt
UN: US Attack On Syrian Civilians Violated International Law
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Iraq Outside History
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: The Long Hard Road
Victor Grossman
Germany: New Faces, Old Policies
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the US Invasion
Binoy Kampmark
Amazon’s Initiative: Digital Assistants, Home Surveillance and Data
Chuck Collins
Business Leaders Agree: Inequality Hurts The Bottom Line
Jill Richardson
What We Talk About When We Talk About “Free Trade”
Eric Lerner – Jay Arena
A Spark to a Wider Fire: Movement Against Immigrant Detention in New Jersey
Negin Owliaei
Teachers Deserve a Raise: Here’s How to Fund It
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
What to Do at the End of the World? Interview with Climate Crisis Activist, Kevin Hester
Kevin Proescholdt
Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke Attacks America’s Wilderness
Franklin Lamb
Syrian War Crimes Tribunals Around the Corner
Beth Porter
Clean Energy is Calling. Will Your Phone Company Answer?
George Ochenski
Zinke on the Hot Seat Again and Again
Lance Olsen
Somebody’s Going to Extremes
Robert Koehler
Breaking the Ice
Pepe Escobar
The Myth of a Neo-Imperial China
Graham Peebles
Time for Political Change and Unity in Ethiopia
Terry Simons
10 American Myths “Refutiated”*
Thomas Knapp
Some Questions from the Edge of Immortality
Louis Proyect
The 2018 Socially Relevant Film Festival
David Yearsley
Keaton’s “The General” and the Pernicious Myths of the Heroic South