Monday, April 04, 2005

Quiet the Riot

Tonight either the University of Illinois or the University of North Carolina will be crowned the NCAA men’s basketball champion. If history is any guide, fans on the winning campus will celebrate by smashing windows, building bonfires in the middle of intersections, and destroying the cars of under-insured minimum wage earners who were unfortunate enough to park in a riot zone.

I certainly don’t approve of such actions, but at least the post-championship rioters have tradition behind them. What I strongly disapprove of is the more recent trend of rioting by the runners-up. After losing a championship game, a true fan is too morose to riot.

There was rioting after the University of Minnesota’s hockey championships in 2002 and 2003. But after the 2003 championship there was also rioting by the losing University of New Hampshire fans. Now it’s getting even more ridiculous: Michigan State fans rioted Saturday after losing in the semi-finals. How pathetic do you have to be to riot after losing a semi-final game?

I compare these rioters to the wannabe-Vietnam War protesters I remember from college in the late 1980’s. You could almost feel their disappointment at being born twenty years too late with only arms sales to the contras to protest. Let’s hope that the fans of tonight’s losing team have enough self-respect to limit themselves to the time honored tradition of drowning their sorrows in alcohol.

Kudos to the University of Illinois fans who accepted their loss with dignity and not much rioting. It seems that the University of North Carolina fans limited their rioting to a few bonfires. Perhaps Margaret was right in her comment that rioting at the drop of a hat is a Michigan thing.


Blogger Margaret said...

Sys, people in Michigan use any excuse to have a riot. And the cops get the chance to try out their new riot gear. It's like a rite of spring.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Sisyphus said...

But still, Margaret, the semi-finals?

10:23 PM  

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