Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fans need to grow up

In the coming days, I'm sure we'll all be hearing a lot about who threw the first punch in Wednesday night's Kingston at Newburgh girls basketball game that was stopped with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter when fans spilled onto the court after two players got involved in a fight.

Kingston folks will say it was a Newburgh player. Newburgh fans will say it was the Kingston player. I wasn't there, so I don't know who started the altercation.

Nor do I really care.

As detestable as it is that two kids started a fight during a game, I'm angered even more by the actions of fans and parents from both teams after.

Here's the video shot by Freeman reporter Mike Stribl, where security had to remove fans from the court. There are plenty of images of adults getting physically involved in the altercation.

A year ago, the Kingston and Newburgh boys basketball teams were involved in a similar altercation at Kingston's Kate Walton Field House. The final 14.2 seconds of that game was never played because fans spilled on the court after players got into a fight.

A month later, those two teams played under increased security in Newburgh. On Tuesday, they returned to Kate Walton Field House, where security was increased and the crowd as limited to 1,000. There were no incidents at either game.

I know things can get heated between players in games, especially when you're talking about the intense rivalry between Kingston and Newburgh. But I thought parents were supposed to be the adults here.

Parents need to get control of themselves or maybe we should, as both the Kingston and Newburgh coaches suggested, start playing these games in an empty gym.

And that would be the saddest part of it all.