Look out, Manhattan, Kan.
Sooner fans are coming, and so far we have brought disrespectful carnage to the cities we have visited this season.
In Knoxville, Tenn., someone spray-painted “Boomer Sooner” and “OU” on the University of Tennessee’s iconic campus rock that had recently been adorned with a new mural. (Picture above.)
In Dallas, after the Sooners left a big, steaming pile on the field of the Cotton Bowl, an OU fan was photographed micturating on the city’s Black Chamber of Commerce property. (Picture kinda NSFW.)
That’s two road games and two fairly prominent acts of bad Sooner behavior. Maybe that’s what we get for being named after criminals. Maybe it’s just inevitable when tens of thousands of people travel to a football game. Maybe that’s just the age of cell-phone cameras and the Internet for you. Maybe I should emphasize that a couple bad actors do not a criminal conspiracy make.
But it does make otherwise classy OU fans appear, as a whole, classless.
Granted, I’m not the classiest person in the world. I have and I will put a beer can on a pin and set up contractor lights to play night horseshoes in my backyard. The other evening — with no other cars around — I showed a punishment stoplight who’s really in charge here. During the OU-Alabama Sugar Bowl, I befuddled an outrageously obnoxious Crimson Tide fan with my all-time-favorite insult: “Why don’t you eat a d— and write me a press release about how it tastes?”
And God help me, I’ve heckled the living crap out of opposing players and clueless umpires at OU baseball games. In college, some friends had to pull me back across the line of decency once … or twice.
But what I’ve never done is travel to another town and figuratively or literally piss all over their stuff. As they say on ESPN, c’mon man! Don’t do things your momma would scold you for, and don’t do what you wouldn’t want done in your hometown.
A Dallas resident named Lincoln Steffens did his scolding on Facebook last week while posting the picture of the bewildered OU fan who was caught with his you-know-what in his hand.
“There is a lot WRONG with this photo and it sends a clear message: ‘I can piss all over South Dallas, because we are only here for the game and then we are gone,'” Steffens posted.
And he’s right. It does send that message. It’s the same message that was sent by whoever painted over the Knoxville rock mural, even though it has been vandalized before.
Of course, it’s not quite fair to think OU fans are any worse at behaving like reasonable adults than any other sports fanbase in the country or the world.
Just this week, Toronto Blue Jays fans tossed cans and bottles onto the field when a strange call in the American League Division Series didn’t go their way. Some of the thrown detritus landed on women and children in the stadium’s lower deck. Players pleaded for their own fans to stop behaving like baboons.
In 2010, Alabama fan, former Texas state trooper and Verified Moron Harvey Updyke poisoned 130-year-old oak trees on Auburn’s campus after the Tigers beat the Crimson Tide in football.
NFL fans so routinely get into drunken brawls that I’m pretty sure their actions make up 25 percent of all Deadspin posts.
So, fan stupidity is nothing new to American sports. Hell, in some ways, American fan behavior is tame compared to what happens internationally around the game of soccer.
Refs and fans have stabbed each other to death in Brazil.
The nation of Egypt executed 11 people who participated in a 2012 soccer riot that killed more than 70 fans.
In Argentina, 15 people suffered soccer-related deaths in 2014.
In Algeria, angry fans killed their own star player by throwing rocks after a 2-1 defeat.
In 2010, seven people were stampeded to death during a soccer riot in Kenya.
The insanity goes on and on.
So, on the one hand, good job not killing anybody, Sooner fans.
But on the other hand … please treat Manhattan, Kan., as you’d like visiting fans to treat Norman, alright?
Creative and risque heckles are great, but desecrating art and befouling public space lacks class.
If you agree, thanks.
Otherwise, you know what you can do, and you can write me a press release about it.