Reasons Fan Fights Occur

written by Kris Caballero (July 20, 2016)

I've watched sports on TV since I was as young as 9 years old (give or take), and I've only attended games in person 3 times: Oklahoma City Thunder versus LA Clippers (2010), Dallas Stars versus LA Kings (2016) and Colorado Rockies versus LA Dodgers (2016). Never, or at least not yet, have I witnessed fans fighting in and/or outside the arena/stadium/field, personally, for what ever reason that may have spewed. However, with the advent, let alone the cowardly habit, of pulling a cell phone out to record the disputes not involving the person recording, sports fans jabbing against one another have become rampant in the underground world of sports watching, thanks to websites like YouTube.

I don't care what your politics sound like and/or what you feel is right and just, if the lines read in between doesn't move you in some way, then you're stuck under a rock that you've allowed yourself to never come out of. Worldwide conflicts happen all the time, whether the media skews the story or not, and the fact that friction among fans over a game is mind-boggling (still does, at least for me). I can understand being verbally shot at and/or being physically tormented, but assuming those attacks are over your sports team, what's the use of retaliating? I could've easily dedicated this article to how much a particular team, say Cleveland Cavaliers, suck and why, then fans and bandwagoners of that team will find out what my favorite team is and attack them in return (in addition to blatant ad hominem attacks). I can see why one would continue to shut the heckler/banterer up, but as time rolled by, I realized being slandered over your favorite sports team is an issue that isn't worth your time.

Sports have gotten fans into dedicating more than half their lives for their favorite team(s), even investing their life savings on season tickets, memorabilia and rare collectibles, to name a few. And while I heartedly respect the loyalty (though not all sports fans have it) and the passion in seeing their athletes come together to show who are the kings of the hill, there's something deep within that I feel many fans don't care to think about. Verbal shots against a team and/or an athlete is pretty easy; The defensive reaction that causes fans to shut the heckler/banterer up is where the monster starts to show. Saying that, here, in no order, are our reasons for sports-related conflict among the masses:

• Excessive alcohol consumption
Well, that's quite obvious. Onto the next one:
• Emotional attachment
The indulgent fan of their favorite team become entrenched in the progress and the team's hits and misses as the seasons go on, waiting for that special time when their team finally win the gold. The time that happens, this fan walks like it's their birthday, prance like they've gotten promoted and/or turn "invisible" when their team excels. Every one of us knows someone who acts like this periodically when the season starts and/or their team trail-blazes with a winning streak. When their team wins, they become happy; They become so happy that they go and do good deeds like cleaning the house, taking their friends, or their significant other, to dinner, have better concentration at school/work/home and able to work confidently the next day, and/or even sleep better at night! These fans love the joy of winning because when the team wins, the fan wins too. Better yet, the fan opts to attend the game in person with hopes that their team is able to win in front of their eyes. Doing so, seeing their team win again, and they're on top of the world; Nothing, and perhaps no one else, is more important than they are.

Cool, but what happens to this fan when their team loses, bust out a losing streak and/or lose in the championship game? The world around them falters, and negative emotions, such as anger, depression, denial and false accusations against the team who beat them, plus their fans, suddenly take over the losing fan's mind. When they have attended the game in person, as the visiting opponent while avoiding any conflict with other fans, they're usually silent. Sometimes, they earn the home team fans' respect for being the few brave ones to root for the road team at their arena, perhaps even smiling it off. However, respect is lost, depending on the fan base of specific teams. Get this:

In [American] pro football, fans of the Raiders, Texans, Bears, 49ers, Buccaneers, with a smidgen of Chargers, Seahawks, Eagles, Cowboys, Cardinals, Packers, Steelers, Falcons, Saints, Patriots, Redskins and Giants fans have expressed aggression caught on video (all of which are uploaded on YouTube); Pro hockey in America, I found a few tempers flare up at a Boston-Montreal game and one at a Montreal-Washington game; In [American] basketball, I've seen fights involving Laker fans—duking it out against Celtics and Spurs fans—and one, strangely involving Jazz and Clipper fans; In [American] college sports, there's a video involving UCLA against USC and against Cal fans, and one with Alabama; In [American] baseball, fans of the Yankees and Red Sox have challenged each other endlessly, along with Dodger, Marlin, Athletic, Oriole and Blue Jay fans, but one video involved Dodger fans throwing beer at the cops. Now, as for soccer fans (football), it's insane. The most recent has to be the fan brawls between English and Russian fans. At a lesser rate, there's a video of parents and guardians fighting at the stands during a youth sports event. After you read this article, more will pop up this year, to which I'm sure may involve the newly relocated Rams.Blue Jays and Yankees fans about duke it out

The losing fan, without thinking, takes this aggression against others, like it's their fault that his/her team lost. Some fans get in the losing fans' faces to widen the wound, reminding them that their visiting team "doesn't belong here in [insert team name] nation." With what supposed to be civil sportsmanship among the people coming together to watch a simple sports game, turns into ego-driven, get-out-of-my-personal-space narcissism to where, if you're not conformed among the team's fans representing their team colors, you're about to be eradicated.

Oh, and there are videos of Cowboy fans, Redskin fans and 49er fans fighting each other. Talk about team unity!
• Irrational thinking
Mentioning all that, why is it right to slander your team's poor performance against others? The others didn't play the game; They're all watching it just like you are. Over and over again, public figures, image quotes floating around on the internet, and friends and family in general always remind us to be ourselves without giving a care to what others think. When you attend a game knowing that fans everywhere wear the same team shirt/jersey as you are, how do you react when a fan of the opposing team shows up? How do you react if that fan sits next to you? Just because a fan of the other team shows up doesn't mean you need to remind them ruthlessly to "step off *our* territory." I can imagine how many death threats I'd receive if I show up at an Oakland Raiders home game wearing either a Chargers, 49ers and/or a Rams jersey, or more-so, a Seahawks or a Patriots jersey. Using that example, if I don't wear silver and black, I don't matter, right? Even if it means asking how my day is going? That, my fans of this website, is where the problem lies. It's the "because you're not like me, I don't like you" kind of thinking, and despite their team's ailing records season after season, the drought is sure to frustrate fans, without even expressing this anger against others. Let's look on the bright side: if the Raiders and the Browns duke it out for the AFC title, how happy will their fans be having made it that far? How much will it cost taxpayers to pay off the damages caused by the losing team's fans when one of them ends up losing?

Again, I previously mentioned that there are fans who end up fighting other fellow fans for whatever reason they may have. Some people will never understand that and neither will I, kind of like the fans guilty of starting fights, clicking on this article, scrolling down then back up, due to not being able to read any of the words here, then get upset at me. This article is beginning to write itself!
• Women
Of all the fan fights I've seen on YouTube, majority of them are/were sparked by women. While females still try to meld with men's high-strung fanaticism with sports, some women don't resolve conflict as civil as they think they can—fighting fire with fire. One video featured a female Buccaneers fan trash talking then ignites an altercation against the Eagles fans. She gets knocked out with her male friend, then demands security, who finally arrived at the scene, to arrest the Eagles fans for the sake of "complete fairness" so to speak. I did mention the friction of one involving Jazz and Clipper fans, where a female Jazz fan slaps a female Clippers fan for allegedly spilling beer on her. The female Jazz fan's husband confronts the Clipper fan's boyfriend to settle the score but both Jazz fans get ejected by staff security. The Clipper fans held their cool which was good of them. I mean, some grown-ups aren't fully matured yet!

In college sports, I included Alabama—one Alabama mother challenging a male student at a football game. At that point, you're not a hero anymore. Her husband does what he could to get her away from causing a ruckus against the student, but that mother never held off, ran back and fought the guy anyway. Imagine someone recording an altercation where your own mother settles a conflict with a fellow student. Doesn't sound cool, does it?

Ladies, the male ego is biologically injected into our mindsets to remind others, and you, that we are the true Alpha male out of the lesser bunch. However, when it comes to fan conflict, don't escalate the altercation by capitalizing on the bantering, with the excessively overused F word, then when you get hurt, don't demand equal prosecution against others whether they were involved or not. Yes, sometimes women do it because their man does it and have adapted to the distasteful reaction when his favorite team loses. I can't speak for all women, but it's time you reevaluate your mark and status in society, if your man causes you to act in such a way where tampering with the law can cost you. Either that, or you find a new hobby....or a new man.
• Lack of anger management
Although anger is sometimes seen as "manly," some go too far when their team loses. They can't be held back for the aggressive behavior they show, ending up as a patient required for mental help. It's not easy sometimes, and it's understandable, but again, sports fans don't have time to analyze and think of the underlying problem; They don't even think of any wrongdoings they feel they may do and any consequences that will follow. The fact that there's a happy fan wearing a Canadiens jersey in your town of Boston just makes you blue and purple with raging anger because....the Canadiens won that night. If a sports fan takes a step back at the whole thing, it's just a game. I'm guessing some people will respond to me saying, "hey man, it's not just a game," to where such response tells me you haven't envisioned the whole scenario.
• Inadvertently helping law enforcement
If any of these reasons don't apply to you, then you're likely the ones who like to attend a game to enjoy and have fun. The heat of the game can stir your emotions but it's no different than watching a great film. Regardless, it's fun.

Since most of the people have gotten used to the habit of pulling out their cell phones to record an altercation among fans, so long as it doesn't involve them, you're actually helping out security and arena staff who, by their standards, have a lot more to deal with than expecting a random fight among fans. Recording the altercation before tempers broke loose can give authorities proof on who to prosecute, who to assign a lifetime ban on and possibility in serving time behind bars. When friction breaks out, not only do we sit back and watch in disbelief, but we all respond in the same way: there's no reason to get angry over a game. People have their reasons, while some don't even think, but nevertheless, authorities like the fact that you're an uninvolved witness, with your video likely being handed to a video forensic analyst and will take action as needed. Even yet, the video gets uploaded to YouTube, where the world can watch and see. It's like we're all human undercover surveillance cameras: be careful what do you because it'll be recorded for the internet to see!

With a fresh, new NFL season brewing, MLB slowly approaching post season, NBA and NHL following up, along with the summer Olympics having a few weeks left, it's like there isn't enough conflicts in the world than what generally is going on right now. Then again, law enforcement officers and security guards sure a lot on their plate, but they can always refer to online video websites like YouTube to see what slid through the cracks. And you're a fan looking to attend a game or more in the new, upcoming 2016-2017 season, embrace common sense: don't get involved in an altercation. Boys will always be monkeys, and that includes the older ones too, who think "swatting flies" against an opposing fan is the best way to settle a disagreement.

Oh, don't take my word for it. Here's a BIG list of videos featuring irrational civilians duking it out at a sports game:
Soccer fan fights:
— Mexico-USA fan fight (Source: "Monica Cristerna") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ7YLuVPMM8

— Columbia-Mexico fan fight (Source: "Victor Sepulveda") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00GjXJ8j9eI

— Athletico Paranaese-Vasco da Gama fan fight (Source: "AO Vivo" / "Anka Kusi") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWhXS9FJjEA

— Mexico-USA Gold Cup fan fight (Source: "salazariverside's channel") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-IOTjZmq-U

— England-Russia fan fight (Source: "Bobby Stranks") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyROfCabUTs

NBA fan fights:
— Jazz-Clippers fan fight (Source: "BlindSB1990") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV-jdsJUTOk

— Spurs-Lakers fan fight (Source: "Taylor Trash Productions" / "thedylanaltman") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK13r0Wyul4

NHL fan fights:
— Canadiens-Capitals fan fight (Source: "fx8ts") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJAp5QCQiZQ

— Bruins-Canadiens fan fight (Source: "scstraus") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=souHcsBYu6Y

— Bruins-Canadiens fan fight (Source: "E27 Jackson") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDJIvo0bWyU

— Flyers-Penguins fan fight (Source: "miguelhorn1") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hWWquUoY6I

MLB fan fights:
— Blue Jays-Yankees fan fight (Source: "OutlawzEntertainment's channel") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA98z_APack

— Orioles-Yankees fan fight (Source: "dmenace12483") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXfjm0zcNKc

— Marlins-Yankees fan fight (Source: "Shawn Wasson") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEM35NlmRqw

— Giants-Athletics fan fight (Source: "AG") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PypAYKSARXs

— Dodger fans fight security at a Hanley Ramirez autograph signing (Source: "Daniel Lee") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mEpaYAjQ9E

— Dodger fans challenge security throwing beer (Source: "Matthew Ward") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_kRqA5OVjU

— Red Sox-Yankees fan fight argument (Source: "Nasp30") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1miauZjfpA0

— Red Sox-Yankees fan fight (Source: "christine antaya") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRSrjm5H5do

— Giants-Dodgers fan melee (Source: "Alfredo Mendez") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qBqKEl3YFU

College sports fan fights:
— UCLA-Cal fan fight (Source: "wesabi") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9SsHeGsng0

— Alabama-OU fan fight....that angry Alabama mother (Source: "LittleMissKelley") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHJg1XrlNXQ

— USC-ASU fan fight (Source: "Rick Tung") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH1dlbatdo8

NFL fan fights:
— 49ers-Raiders fan fight (Source: "TsRandomIt") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSVskfDfFLA

— Saints-Falcons fan fight (Source: "farsimagazine") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_NtbWa9_zc

— Bears-Packers fan fight (Source: "gdare78") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNZgNoqfVaM

— Pro Bowl [2013] brawl (Source: "David McGue") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuTI9XvTS8Q

— 49ers-Colts fan fight (Source: "Carlos Gutierrez") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUlZCqS1yGs

— 49ers-Texans fan fight (Source: "Greg Keeper") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJR68S39kDA

— Patriots-Texans fan fight (Source: "Shaun H") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUH-SqIo1UA

— Raiders-Chargers fan fight (Source: "BEST SPORT VIDEO") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThS9C-JIETY

— Eagles-Buccaneers fan fight (Source: "Chuck Burke") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUsgGFdF_-M

— Seahawks-Cowboys fan fight (Source: "marellano53") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbJCfgc-2vs

— Bengals-Buccaneers fan fight (Source: "Global Viral Videos") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnO7jtjueWY

— Giants-Eagles fan fight (Source: "TheBoygraphik") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkOP0QqeRR4

— Bears-Packers fan fight (Source: "gdare78") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNZgNoqfVaM

— Vikings-Buccaneers fan fight (Source: "SidewalkClassic") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUH-SqIo1UA

— Redskins-Vikings fan fight (Source: "linbckr35") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_BNQ6OhiCY

— 49ers fans beat down Vikings fan (Source: "The Fumble") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4cl3c6dQvQ

— 49ers-Cardinals fan fight (Source: "Blogpigs.com" / "Topic Videos") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbHUXojERwc

— Raiders-Chargers fan fight (Source: "Mark Gutierrez") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RSA_w6qADg

— Raiders-Jets fan fight (Source: "Joe M") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxNMimeeyZU

— Cardinals-Cowboys Christmas game fan fight (Source: "urthemusicinme69") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXoynhxfK5A

— Cardinals-Redskins fan fight (Source: "gonzo2188's channel") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UO04vq69dNQ

— Cardinals-Ravens (????) fan fight (Source: "Newsflare") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxfMvGByo14

— Eagles-Chiefs fan fight (Source: "dpawlush") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wWe4GZx6_s

— Texans-Cowboys fan fight with slow-mo (Source: "Sensay100") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yu3zCaDjCY

— Chargers-Cowboys fan fight (Source: "Peter Rhoades") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwHsm4-yDW8

— Texans-Cowboys cat fight! (Source: "esolis53") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnUTagCYQxw

— More Texans-Cowboys fan fight (Source: "LETHALWEAPONMV") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuvdX0yrfSc

— Cowboys-Redskins fan fight (Source: "dtimer04") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea_GWs2W794

— Jets fan knocks out Bills fan cold (Source: "TMZSports") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-nalZNVIS4

— Bills-Packers fan fight (Source: "WIVBTV") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdTDLuwTAy4

— Bills-Jets fan fight (Source: "Mark JR") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiZhR-ccxrE

— 49ers-Packers fan fight (Source: "Jason Ortiz") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQXGYlD3TN4

— Broncos-Browns fan fight (Source: "leestempniak") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw2o51J5epg

— 49ers-Eagles fan fight (Source: "darkkoshxx") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAnoXcEkdEo

— Vikings-Buccaneers fan fight (Source: "SidewalkClassic") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUH-SqIo1UA

— Ravens fans fight after Super Bowl XLVI in Baltimore (Source: "JoinTheAListTV") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfkSQ3T8tsE

— Texans-Cowboys fan fight (Source: "vc1984tx") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hblFM0yQdE

— Ravens fan fight (Source: "Winsor McBeth") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Pwipb23y4

Other sports fan fights:
— Parents Youth Basketball brawl (Source: "BlueDogNewswire") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsMrlsfpnig

— Tennis: US Open fan fight (Source: "New York Post") - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-e7WUfX6dc


In lyrics sung by punk band Bad Religion:

"Hello Cruel World,
do you know that you're killing me?"

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