By now, everyone has probably seen the video of Marcus Smart, point guard for Oklahoma State University, pushing 50-year-old Texas Tech “super fan” Jeff Orr during the remaining seconds of the Oklahoma State-Texas Tech game in Lubbock, Texas, on Saturday night. There has been much debate over what Orr said to incite Smart. Was it a racial slur? Was it something less vulgar that was just enough to send an already tense Smart over the edge? Who knows. It’s obvious from previous video of this fan that he’s a taunter. Just looking at his “I can say anything I want and you can’t touch me” face on TV is enough to make you want to push him, and he’s not even yelling obscenities at you as you’re coming up on your fourth loss in a row.
I always knew basketball wasn’t the sport for me. My sports anger management issues show enough after a few bad shots on the golf course; add in a few people prodding at me and talking trash, and I would have to be caged. Think about it: You’re in the midst of a bad day on the course. You’re hooking them off the tee, slicing them in the fairway, hitting them nowhere near the green, and you can’t putt for shit. Now picture Orr yelling and calling you a “piece of shit” from the cart path (Orr claims he said “piece of crap,” but really, who believes that?) Would you go shove him? No. You’d beat him with your Taylor Made. (I don’t recommend doing that; you’ll probably end up in jail, but you know that’s what would be running through your head.) And this is supposed to be a leisure activity, something you do to relax and have fun.
While playing their sport of choice is probably pretty enjoyable, for the most part, these college athletes probably look at their game a lot like they would a job: time consuming, hard work, high pressure. I got to thinking, “What if Orr came to my work and yelled garbage at me while I was trying to do my job?” I’m not an angry person, but I would become one very, very quickly. Also, to make it fair, let’s nationally televise this, so that the world can watch me publicly lose my shit. There are some days, after I finally force myself out of bed, fight every dumbass on the highway to get there, sit down only to see a to-do list that is bound to majorly interfere with my Internet and quiet time, deal with a few idiots on the phone, then take a drink of coffee to calm down only to find I got the bottom of the pot and it tastes like burnt piss, that I could seriously lose it. People are concerned because Smart kicked a chair in a game OSU ended up winning against West Virginia prior to the shoving incident. I guarantee you, give me too many days like what I described above–which is all too ordinary of an occurrence–and I’ll kick a chair for less, especially if Orr was there to “cheer” me on along my way. Not to mention, I’m a bit older than Smart’s wee little age of 19, which is supposed to bring me maturity. (Yeah right, excuse me while I go retrieve my three-wood that’s 20 yards away from me because that’s where I threw it for not performing well since 2004.)
I’m not condoning Smart’s behavior, especially as an OSU alum, and I hated seeing this incident overshadow the fact that this was our fourth conference loss in a row and that we need to get our shit together (JK, we should probably thank Marcus for taking the attention off of our fourth conference loss in a row and a need to get our shit together). What I am saying is that if placed in a similar situation, we would all end up in anger management, and that’s in our mid-twenties. At 19? Well, it’s probably best we just not think about that.