Monday, October 16, 2006

Crime wave

Wherever you stand on violence and sports--it helps channel, and thus tampers violent behavior; or, the intensity brings out the worst in people; or, the simplistic it-just-reflects-our-society argument--has there ever been more criminal behavior (some alleged) associated with sports?

October Crime Blotter:

1) Last week Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson was hit with a felony charge for shooting a gun during a recent fight outside a strip club.

2) On Saturday the University of Miami and Florida International were in a major brawl with one player using his helmet to hit another player. Suspensions were handed out in a milquetoast fashion. The Hurricanes issued 13 one game suspensions (FIU issued 18), but Miami's next game is against lowly Duke. Miami's Anthony Reddick, the player wielding his helmet as a weapon before smashing it into an FIU player, was given only a one game suspension but, alas, that was increased to an indefinite one. The brawl was the third on-field incident in Miami's past seven games, but the rather weak reaction from Miami's higher-ups is surprising since Donna Shalala, President Clinton's Secretary of Health and Human Services, is the president of the University of Miami. In a related incident, a TV analyst was fired for condoning the melee: "I say, why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more?" he said.

3) Another incident on Saturday: Dartmouth (yes Dartmouth) football players threw punches instead of shaking hands at the end of Saturday's game with Holy Cross. HC came from behind to beat Dartmouth 24-21 with a field goal in overtime. After the victory the HC players celebrated atop the Dartmouth "D" painted on the field, leading to fights breaking out between the teams when they lined up for the customary postgame handshakes. Witnesses said some players were thrown to the ground and kicked. Coaches, campus security and the police broke it up.

4) Garrett Bliss, a fullback with the University of Northern Colorado football team, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault early yesterday, after a fight outside an apartment complex. Bliss is the third UNC football player in five weeks to be accused in altercations in and around Greeley, Colo., where, the school is located.

5) Today the Associated Press reported: Dominican authorities were seeking Juan Uribe after issuing an arrest warrant Monday for the Chicago White Sox shortstop in connection with the shooting of two men. Uribe and a bodyguard are suspected of shooting and wounding a Dominican farmer and a captain in the Italian Navy with a pistol and a shotgun when the pair walked too close to Uribe's jeep around midnight Friday, authorities said.

6) Earlier in October, Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth stomped on Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode's face and was ejected. Gurode needed stitches above his left eye and didn't return because of blurry vision.

7) And, while this is not necessarily in the criminal behavior category, it merits a mention: Mike Tyson announced his "Mike Tyson's World Tour" and said he would like to box a woman.

DECEMBER UPDATE: Nuggets-Knicks Brawl.


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