Archive for Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Outrageous moments in sports not scoring points for the American sports world

November 20, 2002

International soccer fans often have taken the prize for most crazed supporters in the world of sports.

From mobs toppling fences at soccer events, some claiming lives, to a Saturday Night Live sketch named "Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly," the European version of football has developed a black eye.

That is until a handful of Americans sucker-punched their sports with some dazzling moves.

Although some incidents probably don't gain as much coverage as others, it's clear that three recent problems in America don't say much for fun at the old ball game, or the hockey rink, or even the football field.

  • First, we start close to home. During a Basehor-Linwood freshman football game earlier this fall, an altercation broke out among a player's father and grandfather and the freshman coach. The elders said the coach shook their flesh and blood on the sideline. Then, when they questioned the coach about it, a fight ensued.

The father and grandfather, though, are charged with assaulting a school official and disorderly conduct. Accounts from other witnesses indicate that the pair jumped the coach. They've pleaded not guilty and face a Jan. 14 court date.

  • Just a little farther down the road, a Royals coach was attacked in September at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Kansas City first-base coach Tom Gamboa was assaulted by a father and son during a game against the White Sox. As tape of the incident showed again and again, the duo socked the coach repeatedly, leaving him cut and bruised.

The son was sentenced to five years of probation. The father, who was under the influence of alcohol and five drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and Valium, has been charged with three counts of aggravated battery and one count of mob action.

The man has had recent personal problems. He lost his weeks-old daughter in April. The infant was born missing several fingers and her clavicle bone. The father is under suicide watch while in jail and was given a $200,000 bail. The night of the incident, he was the designated chauffeur for his nephew's 13th birthday party at the stadium.

  • Last week, after Miami of Ohio fell to Marshall, 36-34, in a college football game, Marshall fans stormed the field. As fans celebrated their team's victory, a Miami coach shoved a Thundering Herd fan to the ground. The fan received a concussion and the coach received a police escort while in handcuffs. Another coach damaged a visiting coaches' box.

The incident on the field has prompted more security measures for keeping fans off the field after the game. It's unfortunate that fans can't enjoy a big win while simultaneously staying clear of opposing players, or opposing fans for that matter.

Fans in Lubbock, Texas, tore down goal posts last year after defeating Texas A&M, but then carried the posts into a clan of Aggie fans in the stands, causing some friction between the two schools.

Although it hasn't happened for some time, nothing beats carrying a goal post from Memorial Stadium to Potter Lake after a major Kansas win. But if more incidents keep happening in college football, that might be just a memory.

  • For the final installment of Embarrassing Moments in American Sports History, we head to the hockey rink.

Joshua Jackson, best known as Pacey Whitter from television's Dawson's Creek, was arrested recently after he grabbed a security guard around the neck and hit him.

A drunk Jackson was attending a Carolina Hurricanes NHL game in Raleigh, N.C. Dawson's Creek is filmed in nearby Wilmington, N.C. Interestingly enough, Jackson played youngster Charlie Conway in the great Mighty Ducks motion picture trilogy. The movies focused on a pee-wee league hockey team.

Even more interesting, last week's edition of Dawson's Creek found Pacey at a No Doubt concert in a sports arena. Pacey's fist found another target, as he hit a man interested in the girlfriend who just broke up with him.

Of course, this information was relayed to me, as I'd have no reason to watch Dawson's Creek, but what a coincidence for Joshua and Pacey.

It's probable that these outrageous incidents will warrant better security and more regulations. That should curb the unfortunate problems, and bring back some peace to the sports world.

Heck, it's not as though American fans have as many problems as international soccer fans.

At least not yet.

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