LARNED — By now most everybody who is a college basketball fan has heard about Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart shoving a Texas Tech fan in the stands last weekend.
There’s a lot more to this than a player losing his cool.
Sure, Smart lost his head and responded to an idiotic comment by a Texas Tech “Super Fan.”
Let’s not be too quick to lay all of the blame on Smart. Our universities, all of them, should shoulder some of the responsibility as well.
Leagues such as the Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conferences have the PA announcer read a pregame message reminding fans to be on good behavior. Then, following that, it is like they say, “Now let the muggings begin!”
We all know what I am talking about.
Sometimes we label it, “great fan support.”
Sometimes it is, but many times it goes way overboard and as long as it is “our school,” our home court, we look on it as fanatical home support.
I’ve been a lot of places, and so have you, where it goes way beyond that.
A few years ago, I was at the University of Colorado for a Kansas basketball game. The crowd, especially the student section, was atrocious.
Many were primed on too many beers sold in the Coors Event Center.
Their language was like you wouldn’t want to hear in a back-alley brawl. The “F-bombs” were hurled at the Kansas players loudly and continually.
The University administration did nothing about it. Neither did the security forces standing, watching and listening.
I have no clue why they were there. Maybe it was to prevent someone from stealing the money that was piling up from all of the beer sales!
I am not picking on just Colorado here. It goes on everywhere.
Aren’t we teaching our kids a great lesson on how to behave?
Is it any wonder that situations like the Marcus Smart one happen?
The surprising thing is that it doesn’t happen more often!
Jeff Orr, the Texas Tech fan, has made a statement apologizing for his part but pointing out that he did not use a racial slur but instead called Smart a “piece of crap.”
Well, give the man a trophy!
Is one any better than the other?
Did Mr. Orr learn this behavior from the student section or is he teaching them how to act?
In the Book of James in the Bible it says, “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
Maybe that’s true but can’t we, for just a few hours at an athletic contest, tame that tongue enough that we don’t “light the match” that starts the fire that causes all kinds of damage?
Marcus Smart and Jeff Orr are the major players that we hear about in this situation but Texas Tech University, and for that matter, ALL universities, have a hand in causing this problem.
They need to create the atmosphere that doesn’t tolerate obscenities to be yelled and spoken to players and fans of other teams.
You can still have a great competition, have a great rivalry and still have fun without the obnoxious behavior that goes on all too often.
We would all be wise to remember that, “The mouth is something that is the shallowest where it babbles”.
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned