Niagara Gazette


July 16, 2013

MROZIAK: A reminder for some: They're just games

Niagara Gazette — Just when you thought you'd seen it all in the category of "how low can sports fans go," there comes a report from the Tour De France last week that a spectator tossed urine at British cyclist Mark Cavendish. The fan who allegedly did it was reportedly upset about a crash the day before, blamed by many on Cavendish, the led fellow cyclist Tom Veelers to fall to the pavement.

Even lower than that, and just downright disturbing, was the report out of Brazil on June 30 about a family who hunted down and beheaded — yes, beheaded — a referee who, earlier in the day, fatally stabbed their loved one in a confrontation on the field during an amateur soccer match.

It may seem easy for American sports fans to look at both incidents and, with some smug satisfaction, think we'll never stoop to that level of madness over a sport. 

Not so fast, my fellow Americans. 

Remember the tale of Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was brutally beaten at Dodger Stadium two years ago? He has still not fully recovered from the brain trauma suffered in the attack. He returned home from the live-in care center in which he stayed, only because the family could no longer afford it.

Yankees fan John Mayor continues to sit in prison, deservedly so, for stabbing a Red Sox fan during a fight in a Connecticut restaurant in 2010. That Sox fan was recently awarded over $4 million by a jury. However, I'd wager Monte Friere would rather have back the full vision and speech skills he lost in the beating suffered as part of that fight.

Back in October 2000, Oakland Raiders fan Luis Uribe stabbed San Diego Chargers fan Daniel Napier during a fight at a Raiders-Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Uribe served five years for the stabbing. 

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