Monday, January 26, 2009

Rivalries Make People Do Dangerous Things

I have written on this blog a number of times that people go to the extremes when it comes to rivalries. I have seen this way too many times when it comes to the Michigan - Ohio State game. I know both sides have their "extreme" fans but I truly believe some Ohio State fans take this football game way past the edge of sanity.

If you don't believe me and you happened to be an OSU fan, take your young son or daughter to Columbus in two years for the game and dress them in Wolverine gear. See how far you get. I would bet most of you wouldn't do that.

This post's intent is not showcase the Ohio State - Michigan rivalry. It's to showcase that some people forget it's a football, basketball, or hockey game and not life and death. Fans and players are both included in this generalization.

An example of that happened on Saturday Night at Yost arena in the hockey game between Michigan and Michigan State. Per the Freep:

In the final minute, Michigan State freshman forward Andrew Conboy came up behind Kampfer, grabbed him by the neck and slammed him to the ice. With Kampfer defenseless on the ice, Michigan State sophomore forward Corey Tropp — who had been knocked down by a clean open-ice hit moments earlier by Kampfer — slashed him in the neck area with his stick. Tropp received a double disqualification, and Conboy received two roughing penalties.

Michigan State coach Rick Comley said after the game that Tropp would miss two games and Conboy “will probably stay home” next weekend when the Spartans visit Lake Superior State.

Kampfer was playing his 10th game of the season after suffering a fractured neck and cracked skull in an on-campus incident in October.

This is a sick example of players taking a hockey game and rivalry to extreme. Witnesses at the game said Kampfer's family members were enraged and it was reported that his father might have even stormed into the Spartans locker room looking for Tropp and Conboy.

What Tropp did is borderline criminal and hopefully charges will be filled against him. As for the Michigan State coach, "he will probably stay home" next weekend? Are you kidding me? How about thrown off the team?, suspended for the rest of the season?, lose his scholarship?

The good news is Kampfer is ok:

“I have a strained neck right now,” Kampfer said in a phone interview with the Free Press on Sunday. “I had no relapse of what happened earlier. Hopefully, I’ll be back this weekend.”

“It’s something that shouldn’t have happened,” Kampfer said. “It just shows the lack of sense that people have. I don’t think two-handing someone over the neck when someone has had previous injuries is right or necessary.”

This is another sad example of extreme behaviour in a rivalry game. I am all for supporting your team, playing hard, and even wanting to beat your rival. Just don't cross the line. Troop and Conboy crushed that line on Saturday.

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