Monday, February 27, 2006

Shame on Timberwolves fans for booing injured man

As much as I love to call myself a Minnesotan, and as proud as I am of the state I live in, I was completely ashamed of the Minnesota Timberwolves fans who boo'ed a man as he was being wheeled out of Target Center last night by paramedics.

The man had been hit in the face by a basket ball purposely tossed into the stands by all-star forward Kevin Garnett, who was then ejected from the game. To his credit, Garnett appologized to the dizzy fan and his hysterical little girl. To his discredit, Garnett's discussion of the incident to the media was laced with profanity.

So there's the man sitting with his special little girl. One moment, having a great time, treating his daughter to game. She had probably been looking forward to it for weeks. He looks up just in time to see a hard basketball hit him in the nose. In a split second, the entire target center is focused on him. His cage clearly rattled, paramedics rush to him, as his emotional daughter cries aloud, wondering if her dad will be alright.

Rather than expressing sympathetic concern to man and his little girl, Timberwolves fans passed immediate judgement.
"The ball wasn't thrown that hard," they thought.
"They guy is faking."
"It's his fault Garnett was ejected."
"He's setting himself up for a lawsuit."

Being clocked in the head by a basketball, even one tossed lovingly and gently by K.G., can in fact inflict a serious injury. Perhaps it didn't look very bad from way up there in the cheap seats, but it certainly may have been serious. Study up on head injuries, and you'll learn that they all need to be taken seriously and that that symptoms can appear hours or even days after the injury.

It's a sad day for me to finally have to acknowledge that perhaps Minnesotans really are not as nice as we would delude ourselves into believing. But there it was: so-called fans booing one of their own while a scared little girl bawled her eyes out for the father she loved.

Shame on Timberwolves fans for their cynical, childish, and downright mean behavior last night. Shame, shame, shame.


Kim J. Waarvick said...

Hey Scott, good post, but I have to respectfully disagree with your main theme. (BTW, not from Minnesota, live in Washington State)

If this father was so concerned with his daughter's emotional well-being, then he would have acted like a man, and laughed it off after getting hit in the face, telling his daughter he was fine, didn't hurt, and that everything will be alright. Then, he could turn a bad situation into a good life lesson for her when they got home, having a nice talk about how it is not okay to lose your temper like the professional basketball player did. He made it soooo much worse for her to allow himself to get wheeled off on a gurney. I do agree with you that the sight of seeing her father wheeled off like that must have scared the poor girl half to death. Didn't need to happen. And guess what, he ended up being just fine after he got "evaluated."

Any guy who plays ball has been smacked super hard in the face by a basketball, whether by accident or maybe on purpose by a jerkoff opposing player who's just mad about how much you are owning him that day. I've experienced both. Yeah, it hurts, but you shake it off. I've played hundreds upon hundreds of pickup games in my time and have probably seen other guys get hit fairly hard in the face or head with the ball probably 40-50 times at least. I've never seen anyone with anything near a serious head injury. I can't identify at all with this guy who seemed to behave so melodramatically. I disagree with you that there was possibly any way that the ball "thrown" at that speed could have inflicted serious injury. If I were the guy who got hit, I would have rubbed my face, smiled, and shook KG's offered hand, KIDDINGLY demanding that he hook up a luxury suite for me and my daughter for their next home game so that we'll be safe from his temper.

However, there is NO excuse for KG to have lost his temper and thrown a ball into the stands. I believe he in fact deserves a fine AND a suspension.

But, in the end, my concern lies with the shocked and seemingly traumatized little girl. It may very well be a long time until she will want to go to another T-Wolves game, if ever.

pansy said...

you are a diluted, last-picked for kickball crybaby. amen to the previous comment/post. the guy made the moment as bad as it could have been for his precious, special little girl. wheeled off for not paying attention and getting hit in the head -- and the people booing are cynics?

ronmexicosucks said...

Ok, so maybe kg was in the wrong to throw a ball into the stands, but what kind of sucker needs to get wheeled out on a gurny after being hit by a ball? Grow up man, don't be such a drama queen. Ya, getting hit in the face hurts, but I can't remember the last time someone got wheeled out of my local rec center after they got hit in the face by a ball. At least try to act like you have a pair in front of your daughter and everyone in the nation who watched your pathetic crying on sportscenter that night.

The truth. said...

Sounds like Minnesota is full of over-reacters. Not only the guy who had to be wheeled out after a shot to the NOSE, but you as well. It means nothing that a few people booed the guy. NASCAR is the most popular spectator sport in the world, are you ashamed to be a human being because of it?
Write about something worthwhile if you really want people to read your blog. Otherwise, just keep a diary like everyone else. It's not nearly as narcissistic.

Anonymous said...

Hey genii, the gurney was at the behest of the Twolves/Target organization.

Its for the same reason that hospitals usually discharge people using a wheelchair - liability/litigation.

Scott said...

Taking on rowdy sports fans appears to be more dangerous than taking on the Islamic extremists about cartoons.

The hate mail is welcome, and underscores my point.

Minnesota's sports climate is predictably cynical. How can Minnesota sports fans NOT be cynical in a market that hosted the antics of Randy Moss for so many years; in a market that shrugged off Sex Boat Parties for its sports stars. "Who cares if Moss moons the fans," we thought, "as long we win!" Because winning is everything, and how we win means nothing.

Why not boo a fan who gets popped in the face through no fault of his own. She shouldn't have sitting so close, right?

Welcome to Minnesota sports in 2006.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the game?
I was about 10 rows away, and that little girl didn't cry at all for about 4 minutes.
Not until her Dad (2 minutes after being hit) started twisting in pain. Shame on her Dad for puttin her threw that, when he was obviously ok.
You can't tell me that guy felt pain like he was displaying.
The daughter was totally fine at first, but shame on her Dad for puttin on the sleazy bit of acting he did...

Too bad he can't sue as he initally hoped due to NBA fine print on purchasing a ticket...

Buck said...

Yes, it was the Target Center that wheeled off that douchebag on a stretcher. Having been to a lot of sports events in my life though, the only reason that dude was wheeled off was because of his pussy attitude.
So if a ball hits me in the head and I say I'm ok, the Target Center and the T-Wolves are going to wheel me out? No. They're going to let me enjoy the game.

It's my opinion that Minnesotans are too nice. We should boo more. Sports in general in Minneapolis are alot of times boring, because the people are too timid to cheer and too lame to boo.

Anonymous said...

Dang, I've been reading this blog off and on for about a year from Florida, and this is about as nasty a post thread as I can remember. I like the political stuff better than the sports stuff. Maybe Scott should stick to politics. Or maybe sports is the new politics.

Whatever, I've never seen such a harsh reaction to a post about being responsible fans. I didn't see the incident but I don't think I have to. Seems to me that Timberolf fans need to chill out.

Just Shu said...

I don't blame the fans for booing the guy. I've been hit in the face many times by basketballs, tossed much harder then the KG toss, and it may stun you for a second, even bring a tear to your eye. But it doesn't require a stretcher to move you out of your seat. The guy probably started thinking about a lawsuit, pinched his girl so she would cry, and called for the stretcher. I'm shocked the we haven't heard if he's suing KG yet,

Anonymous said...

Hey get out of Minnesota.

Love it or leave it.

Don't be so ignorant.

Scott said...

Here's an update for all of you brain surgeons who were at the Wolves game. Read it all over at

According to a KG fan site, the man bears no grudge against KG, doesn't want to sue, and just wants the whole thing to be over.

Hey crazy fans, give the nice man and his kid a break, will ya.

And while you're at it, go have someone lob a basketball 50 feet through the air directly into your face, and after you wake up, come back here tell me how brave and strong you were. Better yet, have someone videotape it and I'll upload the video here.

Anonymous said...

Were you at the game?
Do you know how far 50 feet is from the court?
That guy was sitting in the 4th row.
Maybe 15 feet away. The nameless guy was trying to come up with a lawsuit. When he figured out he had none, he pulled the whole I don't have anything wrong with the Wolves.
This story needs to disappear, but people have to stop defending that jackass.

Minnesota Brain Surgeon said...

Hey Moron

Do I know you from the Red Sox Twins game this year?

The guy who told me to keep quite?

You obviously know nothing about sports so stick to something you know a little bit more about and that is..jesus I have no idea what this blog is even about.

Noahdaddy said...

As an attorney who has defended companies in personal injury lawsuits, including claims involving closed head injuries, I can tell you that it is difficult for someone to know how a trauma, regardless of how severe or slight it might be, will affect any given individual. So, I do not pass judgment on the fan.

The sad part of the story is that there was a little girl sitting next to this guy who had to hear boo-birds and heckling while this guy, presumably her father, was being taken out of the area on a gurney. I don't know if this guy was hurt or not, and quite frankly I don't care. It's just sad that the girl's traumatic evening had to be exacerbated by fans in the surrounding area.

Keith A said...

Now I disagree. Fans have every right to boo him. Part of purchasing a ticket to a sports event is participating in it. Granted fans can cross the line by shouting obsenities or making inappropriate gestures. But, part of the experience of going to collegiant or professional athetics is to cheer and boo.

This man who was hit in the face drew attention to himself. Yes, he was hit in the face and that was out of his control. But, he clearly overreacted. The ball was not thrown hard, and he was not bleeding. What response do you expect from a crowd of people who shelled out good money to see and NBA game? And, when you add liquor to the equation, I'm not surprised one bit that he was booed.

seriously said...

Do you go to alot of sporting events?
Have you been following the Wolves this year?
Can you name someone else on the team besides Garnett?
Or is this just some sort of easy ploy for you to "rant" about something and talk about how rude Minnesotans are?
It was a pretty weak rant by the way.
Shame on Minnesota fans?
As far as I know James Lileks isn't leaving the Strip anytime soon so Minneapolis doesn't need another out of touch guy talking about how rude people are when we're supposed to be so "nice"

Anonymous said...

You're such a victim. I think the problem people have with that guy is that he was quite obviously faking it. Had he been hit in the head and taken a fall, no one would be complaining or booing. That guy waiting 2-4 minutes to actually voice his "injury".
And by the way..people with opinions that vary to yours don't always sit in the cheap seats.

Anonymous said...

Why did you delete your comment Scott?

Anonymous said...

Scott your a loser!

Scott said...

To Anonymous at 8:35 am -- I wasn't pleased what I said. Just decided not to take the bait.

Look, the thing is -- I don't think we need to leave our humanity in the parking lot when we go to a sporting event.

I know that offends some people who think they need to be a "participant" when to they go a game, rather than be a "spectator."

This isn't just a Minnesota problem. You see it in the papers on less-than-rare occassions, where a little league coach is killed over a bad call, or fathers punch each other out in the stands at a hockey game. It happens.

But I had always held Minnesota fans to a to a higher standard than I would fans in other cities. I still do, which is why I wanted to hold up a mirror to this kind of behavior.

Maybe I shouldn't -- maybe there's no place for Minnesota Nice in a business as serious as pro sports.

Or, maybe Minnesota sports fans just need to get some perspective.

MIKE TICE said... need to stop talking about sports.

Go watch the Oscars.

Anonymous said...

So if it's a "spectator" sport, why do they play loud music, hold up signs to get the people in the stands to cheer and hand out wiggly sticks to try and throw off opponents free throw shooting?

Sports need participants. If you don't want to cheer, boo and have fun, you should indeed go watch the Oscars or E.R.

Anonymous said...

Good Call.
Scott Did you hear the news. Tonite at the game there is to be no talking..McHale must read your Mountain

dusty said...

If that moron didn't even get a nosebleed I highly doubt he was "injured" and needed a stretcher. He's looking for a big payout from can bet your bank account on that one.

Lumping all fans together as idiots is a sad generalization.You don't need a PhD to attend a sporting event. You don't need an IQ over 5 either.

I take exception to your "shaming" Timberwolves fans for the actions of a few.