I Throw Beer At Basketball Players
The scene is The Palace at Auburn Hills, home of the Detroit Pistons, a prominent basketball team in the NBA. The Pistons are currently losing a home game to their heated rivals, the Indiana Pacers. With only 46 seconds left in the game, a game whose outcome has long been decided by its lopsided score of 97-82, one player on the Detroit Pistons, Ben Wallace, drives for a shot and is hit hard by an Indiana Pacer by the name of Ron Artest. Due to the frustrations of being at the receiving end of a blowout game, Wallace decides to retaliate and shoves Ron Artest in the neck. Hard.
That's when it happened.
Someone from the audience throws a cup of beer at Artest, which lands squarely on Artest's chest. And that alone ignites probably the worst athlete/spectator brawl in the history of sports. Artest, already with tempers high, charges into the stands and attacks whom he thought threw the beer (he had the wrong person, though), and more Indiana Pacers players charge into the stands to aid Artest. Fans and players alike were assaulted, and huge suspensions from the league were given to the players involved. It was a horrible and ugly night for the sport and for sports in general.
Frankly, I wish Artest would have found the right person (a man named John Green) and punched his lights out.
What Artest did is considered wrong by so many people: under no circumstances should a player ever enter the stands and engage in any action with a spectator. I would tend to agree with them, but in the opinion of this humble blogger, I really wish Artest had found the right guy and rearranged his face. Why? Because I consider what John Green did to be a huge act of cowardice. It's the biggest act of cowardice that I think can be displayed by an intelligent human being: showing aggression and assertiveness under the protection of immunity. It's easy to throw beer at a player because you know that the player can't come out and fight back. So I ask the question: what does such an action prove? That you can be big and mean when you know someone bigger and meaner can't come back at you? Yeah, exactly: extreme cowardice.
And you see this behavior every day, especially since the advent of the internet. There are people flaming each other all day in online forums, calling each other homophobic names, making fun of people's mothers, calling each other things you would never dare say to anyone standing in front of you. Same thing happens with online games: it's easy to call other people names over a microphone when you are protected by the distance created by an ethernet cable. It's a total act of cowardice and probably one of the lowest things you can do. For John Green to have thrown a cup of beer at Ron Artest took a tremendous act of cowardice, and I look down upon that so very much regardless of his intoxicated state at the time.
Okay, so by now you are wondering what the hell this has to do with anything. Why am I talking about this? It's very simple, actually. I've been playing video games since I was about 6 and haven't stopped yet, almost 25 years later. I've grown up alongside the video game industry and have experienced all of its twists and turns throughout those years. I'm part of the first generation of people who have actually grown up with video games since, basically, infancy. And so very understandably, like family, like a spouse, like your close friends, you gain a very strong love/hate relationship with something you are so intimately familiar with. So while I don't think I will ever stop playing games, boy do I have a lot to say about the industry right now.
I see where games are going and it depresses me. I see the trends right now and all I do is sound like a parent, yelling at kids about "Gone with the Wind." Except that my "Gone with the Wind" happens to be the original "Legend of Zelda" back on the NES. And thus, I spend a great deal of time complaining about the game industry to my friends. I tell them what is wrong with it. I tell them why it is in such a horrible state right now. I tell them how the gaming industry needs to fix itself. I tell them why games are boring now and what I would have done if I were making games.
But that begs the question: who am I to talk? I'm not in the industry. Who gave me the right to yell at an industry whose internal workings I really know very little about? I don't make games. Who am I to criticize games for being stale? Who says that games that implement my ideas would be any better? So I continue to yell at an industry with no remorse, sounding like I know exactly what I'm talking about even though the industry can't point out to me why it all could be just a plethora of ignorant and misinformed complaints.
I'm throwing beer at basketball players.
So if I qualify what John Green did as extreme cowardice, how on earth can I continue going around yelling at an industry without anyone to tell me why I'm wrong? I know a lot of people in the industry these days and, on many occassions after having talked to them, I feel like I'm blowing smoke out of my ass. Other times, I just crave for the chance to prove to them that I'm right.
And so here I am. I'm not gonna hide behind the window of obscurity. I'm not going to cower behind an ethernet cable insulting your mother. I'm not gonna attack people I don't know without worry because I believe they cannot attack back. And so that's what this blog is for: so I can rant about the industry and whatever else I want to rant about, and now others have the opportunity to talk back, tell me why I'm wrong, and to shoot me down; to tell me why I'm full of it, and why my ideas are dead wrong; to, if you prefer, even tell me why you think I'm right, and to just start a friendly debate by asking for clarification on a point. Anything and everything is welcome.
And so there you have it. That's what I'm hoping to accomplish in this blog. That's my purpose for this blog. I'm throwing beer at basketball players and I've given you a chance to throw the beer right back at me.