It is just a game
It was Pacquiao versus Marquez. My aunt was drunk and Marquez had just lost. She was claiming that Marquez had gotten robbed, and a friend of our neighbor was telling her to stop complaining.
Soon enough, fists were flying and my aunt was being restrained on the floor. That was just one act of violence between sports fans that I was able to witness firsthand.
These days, violence between passionate fans is sadly a routine occurrence when it comes to sports.
These events, which at first, start out as friendly competitions, can just as quickly escalate into senseless violence.
"I think it's a little bit ridiculous," said Timothy Pierce, head coach of the Santa Monica College men's soccer team. "There is a line that's being crossed between passion and excessive behavior."
Pierce recalled an incident in which Andres Escobar, a player for the Colombian soccer team, was shot and killed after he scored on his team's own goal that led to his team's elimination from the 1994 World Cup.
"That's not how humans treat each other," said Pierce. "It's inhuman, and it's not right."
The recent killing of Jonathan Denver in San Francisco, after a Dodgers-Giants game, is yet another shameful act of violence in which some fans were just too juiced up on their own stupidity that they felt the need to take the life of another man over a rivalry between their favorite sports teams.
"While details are still emerging, we want to be clear that there is absolutely no place in our community for this type of senseless violence," according to a statement released by the Giants.
If there is even an iota of a chance that the sports team has knowledge of one of these fans, the team will rapidly disown the possibility. Owners, coaches and managers do not want their franchise to be represented by crazed fans who do not know how to control their temperament.
"Unfortunately, it's kind of a reflection of society and people in general,'' said Gifford Lindheim, head coach of SMC's football team. "Whether it's mass killings or how people feel about their teams, there is a lot of acting out on these issues."
Yet, these kinds of fans continue to disrupt and corrupt the meaning of sportsmanship.
Anthony Hines, a student at SMC, said he feels that sports should be all about having fun and that people should control their frustrations no matter how emotional the moment might be.
"Maybe at the moment I would want to smack someone in the face, but the right thing to do is to just walk away and let him have his day," he said. "You're trying to go to a game and have fun and something like that just isn't cool."
Marcos Ordonez, a punter for SMC football, said he feels that sometimes alcohol and drugs can be involved with the rowdiness of certain fans.
"I've been in the stands where people start fighting with each other over one word," he said. "The smart thing to do is just keep your mouth shut, and if the guy just keeps talking and running their mouth, then just find a security guard."
These are not gang affiliations. These are sports teams who work day in and day out to support their families and their own lives while trying to keep their fans happy. Still, some fans feel the need to show their loyalty to their favorite teams by committing these gruesome acts.
Ricardo Hooper, SMC athletic director, said that certain kinds of people cannot control their impulses, ruining what could be a wonderful experience.
"If not sports, they would surely find some other way to exhibit extreme behavior," he said. "I think those types should be banned from sports."
Other recent acts of violence include the 2011 beating of Giants fan ,Brian Stow, who was attacked by Dodger fans in the parking lot of Dodger Stadium, shortly after the game ended. He suffered brain trauma from the beating. To this day, Stow has not fully recovered.
As for Jonathan Denver, he may finally be able to watch the Dodgers in peace.