Sometimes I wonder why the age to buy alcohol in the United States is 21, and then I go to a college football game and remember.
This past weekend I went to the Penn State at Northwestern and while the start of the game was fun, the game became a nightmare, and it had nothing to do with the score. Being a Evanston native I have been to plenty of Northwestern games and seen some pretty good games, but I think the nicest part about living by Ryan Field is knowing that no one really takes the games too seriously.
While we still clink our keys at the start of every kick-off in the tradition of saying "one day you will drive our cars" I can't remember the last time fights broke out or people got out of control. Everyone home and away just shows up to watch the game and then goes home. There is very little booing and very little swearing. It's just a bunch of people enjoying a football game.
This game was different though.
I don't know what it was maybe it being Halloween, maybe because both Northwestern and Penn State have both had disappointments all season, but both fan bases were ready to rip into each others throats and our tickets were in the end zone in between both sides.
All the trouble started with about one minute left in the game. Northwestern had been shut out in the second half thanks to an injury Mike Kafka has sustained. Oh well right? But as all fans know, losing in the second half after winning in the first is just plain frustrating.
So anyway, two girls and a guy walk by, well two guys if you count Jack Daniels and one of them is holding the face-on-a-stick of Pat Fitzgerald given out to everyone at the start of the game right in front of us, she rips it up, looking right at us. There are few things in my life that I find intolerable, but let me just say this. That was the most classless, rude, and just wrong thing to do. Your team just kicked the crap out of us, at home and now you insult a legend of our team...
What was the point of that? Why would you do that? I feel like I'm on an infomercial, but "Oh wait, there's more!"
In response to this, no one i'm with says anything. We watch the group start to walk away and my brother spits on the ground, away from the group (which will be important later) to show his disgust at what they have done.
So what do these people do? The girl who ripped up the faces friend comes up and says "OH MY GOD! DID YOU JUST FUCKING SPIT AT HER?!" I tried to calmly tell her "No, just keep walking" but ring the bell. The Fight was on.
Round 1. Fight.
All hell breaks loose, now, none of us have been drinking, but the stench of alcohol because of them is very strong in the air. I mean seriously, the vapors off those girls breaths would be enough to make a sailor sing. Both girls are trying to get in our faces as the others fans behind us (on our side) are telling the girls off.
2 punches landed for NU, 0 for Penn State.
As security begins to get curious I hear my younger brother throw the haymaker. "By the time you said that, you could have gotten your degree at Penn State" Which in the academic world is as bad of an insult as any. The damage to this girls pride. Catastrophic.
Now, this may not have been the story book comeback, but at the time it was perfect, everyone on our side is about to start laughing when rip-up-the-face girl does what no human being should do.
She spits on him.
Not near him, not on his shoes, on him. Obviously her friend grabs her and pulls her away, and though I saw security try and go after they were gone in the mix of people and all I have left is the bad taste in my mouth from the cheap shot thrown by that young lady.
I take back what I said about never being able to root for Penn State again. I just hesitate to do it in public. I know that there are some good people in the world that root for that team, but for all of you who say that I can't judge an entire team by the actions of some people, a few bad apples ruin the bunch, and that sucks. For all of us.
So I say this as a Warning to all fans of all sports. Drinking in excess and sports don't mix. Trust me. I'm a doctor.