Friday, April 07, 2006

Could I Sneak a Scooter into Section 409 at the Ted?

Kudos to Mark Bechtel at SI.com for a soccer-heavy list of the best throwing incidents by fans. The article highlights something that I like about SI.com in comparison to the "Worldwide" Leader's web site: its writers acknowledge that there is a world beyond the United States. For instance, any list done by ESPN will almost invariably anger me because they don't note in the title that the list only concerns the U.S., but their lists are ignorant that sports are played beyond the Atlantic, Pacific, and Rio Grande. If they were to list the best rivalries in sports, they would certainly have a collection of exclusively American rivalries of varying degree of merit (including at least one NFL rivalry, even though NFL rivalries are almost by definition temporal, because they need to suck up to their most lucrative source of programming) before ending with the Yankees and Red Sox. SI.com would almost certainly give a nod to Barca-Real, Rangers-Celtic, and India-Pakistan (unless Peter King was doing the list).

I was initially disappointed that the pig's head lobbed at Luis Figo only came in fifth on the list, especially since it was accompanied by a fusillade that included several cell phones, which come in at #4 on the list. Still, you have to give credit to Inter Milan fans for their flying scooter. (I immediately think of the scene in For Your Eyes Only where the extremely Aryan-looking Erich Kriegler gets pissed that Bond is skiing away from him [after going off of a ski jump and then skiing through a bobsled track with a truly dated synthesizer track playing in the background] and vents by throwing his motorcycle at him.) One wonders what the ramifications would have been if Italians drove Hummers like penis-complexed Americans do instead of the sewing machine motors with two wheels on which they love to buzz around and terrify tourists like me. Also, I never knew that El Salvadorans threw Iguanas. Initially, I was going to point out that throwing bags of urine wouldn't impress Florida fans as being unusual, but throwing reptiles takes intimidation to a whole new level.

Sadly, I don't have much of a history of throwing things at sporting events. I did toss a marshmallow at Mike Miller during the '93 Michigan-Notre Dame game as he was scoring a punt return touchdown to put Notre Dame up 16-3 against heavily-favored Michigan. (And thus, four years of disappointment commenced.) My favorite throwing episode was the '98 Peach Bowl, which Georgia fans will certainly remember for two reasons. First, the Dawgs came from 21-0 behind to beat a 9-2 Virginia team that was one of George Welsh's finest. Second, the game's organizers made the mistake of putting Chic-Fil-A cow dolls in each of the seats before the game, not realizing that liquored-up SEC fans would find them to be convenient projectiles. So, when Virginia was dominating in the first half, the cows were flying in anger, probably in the direction of Jim Donnan. (Thank G-d there was no throwable giveaway at the 2000 Tech-Georgia game.) In the second half, the cows were hurled in celebration. When Georgia took the lead 28-21, the Dome was absolutely rocking and the concentration of stuffed cows in the air, like a swarm of fuzzy white locusts, was positively surreal. The Munson imitations of "There are cows falling from the sky!" were almost too obvious to make, but I made them anyway.

One other memory from the game: I drove Dan and my friend Bob to the game and they flagrantly violated the state's open container laws by pounding 40s on the way down from Northeast Atlantaland. Dan was frothy enough when we arrived that he saw a small kid in a car with a Virginia flag and proceeded the terrify the kid by flexing. This became something of a tradition, as he decided to do the same thing to a goose before the '01 Arkansas game. I love the SEC.


Always a good idea.

4 comments:

peacedog said...

It's too bad you guys were before the times in debate in highschool. I imagine the cellphone thing would've been a great fallback if the Stepdaughters of Gaia had failed.

Also, I have some vague memory in the deepest recesses of my mind regarding a throwing incident and Olden Polynece (whose name I am confident I mispelled). Maybe there wasn't any actual throwing.

andy said...

Thanks a lot Michael. I now have that dated synth track from the chase scene in For Your Eyes Only stuck in my head.

And what does that say about me that I could immediately picture the scene and hear the music in my head?

Michael said...

Peace, the only Olden Polynice episode that I can remember is him stealing a stereo. Fortunately, UVA kept him on the team and he and Othell Wilson led UVA to the '84 Final Four, where they lost narrowly to Houston.

Andy, now I can't get the song out of my head either, especially the part where it crescendoes.

Chg said...

I was at that Peach Bowl as a non-affiliated SEC fan. I went with a friend and UGa alumnus. I just have a vague memory of a seesaw affair, than stuffed cows cascading down when UGa finally clinched it.

If I called him today and said, "Look at the cattle falling from the sky! Look at the cattle falling from the sky!" it is guaranteed laughs.