Pride is a hell of a thing. For its timeless role as the third leg of the sporting tripod - next to athleticism and rules, if you were curious - it’s still above all else a deadly sin. It’s what drives overreactions and escalations on scales large and small. It was also on the back of every jersey of a rival football team when I was growing up, which led to some spectacularly easy incest jokes. But I digress. Pride can be good, but pride can just as easily be lethally dangerous.
Take, for example, Houston forward Carl Landry. While driving home this morning after a Monday night game against New Orleans, Landry was involved in a small collision with another car just southeast of downtown Houston. When Landry got out of the car to inspect what damage, if any occurred, he was shot at twice by the occupants of the other car, one bullet striking his leg. The damage was relatively light - a flesh wound that’ll keep him out for about two weeks - but it’s still just about the dumbest thing we’ve heard this week.
Landry, 25, was released after treatment at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. A team spokesman said he suffered a flesh wound and is expected to be out of the lineup for one to two weeks.
“We are very thankful and relieved that Carl’s injuries were relatively minor and that he is doing well,” Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said in a statement. “Carl was the victim of an apparent random act of violence early this morning after the team arrived from New Orleans. We are in the process of working with authorities to gather more information. […] We expect him to make a full recovery and return in 1-3 weeks.
First, whether or not the details of the above story is true could possibly be called into question; the article states that the Rockets’ plane landed at Hobby Airport “shortly after midnight,” which wouldn’t be too curious except Landry wasn’t shot until well past 4 a.m. Pure guess here, but there’s probably a substantial amount of time here that isn’t being accounted for, for whatever reason.
What we’re getting at is this: maybe the driver knew who Landry was or had interacted with him earlier that night after Landry had arrived back in Houston. Maybe the people in the other car were just looking to rob someone and Landry was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe it was purely random and accidental and there were a few undisclosed words exchanged between the crash and the shooting (Lord knows there would have been had it been me). Whatever. At this point, the specificity of the details is probably inconsequential.
But the nature of those details is all the same: someone (read: the assailant) putting his pride above everyone else’s at an insanely grievous risk. Yes, Landry’ll be just fine; the dislocated finger he got (presumably from falling while holding the door handle, if we had to hazard a guess) might end up being the worse of the two injuries. But Richard Collier isn’t just fine. Darrent Williams isn’t just fine. And each time, it was late at night, and some immature, dumb motherf*cker with bad feelings and a loaded gun. That’s all it takes to ruin an entire family’s world.
This sh*t has to stop.