Please Stick To Politics, Greta

On her TV show this past weekend, Greta Van Susteren, commented on an incident involving Marcus Smart, the Oklahoma basketball star who went into the stands and shoved a Texas Tech fan, before being pulled off by his teammates. You can see her remarks here

Even though Greta Van Susteren is to the left of most of our readership, she deserves our respect as a journalist, because unlike many of her colleagues who are just liberal theology cheerleaders, she certainly makes a conscious effort to be fair.  So I respectfully disagree with her.

In the video monologue and interview, she placed the bulk of the blame, and aimed her anger at the fan: "How about banning him long term. A 53 year-old man yelling - piece of crap - at a college athlete...He's obnoxious. He's making it not fun for everyone else, including the players...As long as adults...get away with showing belligerent behavior towards college students, don't be so surprised when students mimic that behavior."

Despite Greta's interruptions, Howard Eskin, a Fox sports director, was able to make a few valid points which will be expanded on:

1, Perhaps the fan lost it, but he lost it verbally.  He didn't go onto the .court and he's not the one who made it a physical confrontation.

2. The emotion of the game is part of being a fan, and the age of the fan is unimportant. Greta finds it hard to believe that a 53 year-old could be such a fervent fan, but post-college age fans and alumni make up the bulk of a college team's fan base.  The reason many fans come to games instead of watching comfortably in their living rooms is because of the emotion of the game, the carnival-like atmosphere, and the camaraderie of their fellow fans.  Sure, college students chanting "Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!" at a perceived bad call by the referees may not be nice or sportsman-like, but like it or not, we're in many ways a cruder society than in the past, and it's become part of the game experience for the fans.

3. Stop treating these players like they're kids.  College basketball ceased being just a "fun" game for college students a long time ago.  These pampered soon-to-become-multi-millionaires are adults, and should be held to adult standards.

4. This is an effort on the part of the fans to try to take the other players "off their game," which, in this case, was quite successful!

Many politicians, cops, and celebrities are finding it much harder to get away with lying because everybody seems to have a high-tech recording device on them. Marcus Smart tried to excuse his behavior by playing the victim card, falsely claiming that the fan called him the "N word." A careful review of the film clips of the incident, showed this to be untrue.  This is reminiscent of the once-great civil rights leader, John Lewis, who in his old age, has been reduced to whining that a few racist tea partiers at a 2010 Washington D.C. rally (out of a sea of thousands of tea partiers) supposedly called him the "N word." Unfortunately, the video evidence showed that Lewis lied.  Breitbart even offered a still-unclaimed $100,000 reward to anyone, including Lewis, who could provide evidence that this actually happened.

And finally, Marcus Smart appears to have control/maturity issues.  It shouldn't surprise anybody, if opposing team fans, knowing now that fan comments get under his skin, behave even more obnoxiously in the future.

Dan Nagasaki is a frequent contributor to and often posts at .  Glenn Doi is a real estate broker in Los Angeles.

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