Why’s Everyone so Outraged over a Fight at a Football Game?

Church Ball

Why’s Everyone so Outraged over a Fight at a Football Game?


Memphis announced suspensions yesterday stemming from the BYU/Memphis brawl at the conclusion of the Miami Beach Bowl. The announcement has reignited outrage over BYU being involved in such an ordeal. I have a question for folks that feel that way – How many of you who are so up in arms about BYU being involved in a fight, have ever been involved in an altercation during a game of hoop or something at the local rec center, city league or church ball? I’m guessing we’ve all been!

So just relax a bit. If we are mostly out-of-shape, weekend warriors getting mad enough to start a fracas at the local rec center, then why is it so crazy to think that every now and then a fight might break out at a college football game?

When you have roughly 150, 18-24 year-olds in peak physical condition, from different parts of the country involved in 60 minutes of hand to hand combat – tempers might occasionally flare up! It’s not the end of the world. It was frankly good to see some guys from BYU get mad. Yes, BYU professes Christianity and good sportsmanship and all, but it’s still just football. And football can be a rather violent sport. A fight’s gonna happen every now and then – even at BYU!

So relax a little bit would you. I saw this nugget on Twitter and laughed out loud:

Breaking: BYU announces that 14 players are suspended from all Linger Longers & Firesides for the first two weeks of 2015 season.

As for what might actually happen – Kai Nacua is probably gonna get the worst suspension since he sucker punched (even though he’d been hit earlier). And they will probably go after TJ Koroma since they’ll say he was involved in the initial melee.

Hopefully BYU and more particularly, Bronco Mendenhall, won’t go overboard with punishment. Suspend a few kids, get the team ready for spring ball and stop trying to “ice” the kicker with two time outs on an EXTRA POINT attempt! Save the timeouts, move the ball downfield, kick a field goal to win the game and maybe the whole brawl doesn’t even take place.

Of course the fight did take place. And yes, it was unfortunate. However, enough of the indignation over the notion that 20 year-olds might occasionally lose their minds and resort to fisticuffs. As mentioned earlier, many of the people calling BYU out are the same guys that routinely start fights at church ball. So please – lay off the college kids a bit.

And for the predictable Utah fans looking for any reason to pile on BYU – relax as well. These are college kids playing a violent sport. I remember when Max Hall got you all worked up four years ago. I couldn’t believe how many grown men were outraged that a 23 year old college kid would actually say out loud that he hates his rival. He’d just won a huge football game, he was 23 and he got carried away slamming the rival football team. Not the end of the world.

So to Utah fans that are upset about what they perceive to be another horrible act by BYU football: know that BYU is just fine and that you’ve beaten them 4 years in a row! A few rowdy footballers simply got out of control for a few minutes. This is not a commentary on the breakdown of our social fabric. It’s just football, played by 18-24 year old kids. Just watch and enjoy.

Matt Nielson has been writing about the college sports landscape in Utah and the Intermountain West since 2010. When he’s not pretending to be a professional blogger, he works full time as a residential real estate agent and house flipper. Matt graduated from Brigham Young University in 2000. He and his family reside in Salt Lake City, UT.


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