Why do people attend football games? Is it to see the action on the field? Is it a chance to get together and spend time with friends and/or family? Is it to lend support one’s favorite teams or schools? Or is it just a fun way to pass the time, reveling in the atmosphere of one of the greatest sports on the planet?
If you asked me, and I just did, I’d say all of the above. And even though I don’t really get into high school football the way a lot of people do (years of riding the pine will do that), I understand the thrills of watching tomorrow’s stars - or at least your kids - do their thing under the Friday Night Lights. But then again, I’m just a Midwestern kid; what do I know. Down in Oklahoma they take this stuff seriously. How serious? Pepper spray-and-guns serious.
Tulsa, Oklahoma was the most violent football place on the planet last night, with two games marred by unfortunate youth violence. The most egregious incident resulted in the cancellation of a game after police were unable to disperse the mob safely. From the TULSA WORLD:
Several people were injured in fights that caused the Booker T. Washington vs. East Central high school football game to be suspended before it was over Friday night.
Police Capt. Karen Tipler said gang tensions led to scattered fights throughout the south end of the stadium during the game’s second half. Teenagers with a “herd mentality” started fighting and then running from one area to another as additional fights broke out, she said.
Officers had to use pepper spray to subdue the crowd, Tipler said. Three people were arrested. Multiple ambulances were called, but police had to escort EMSA medics into the crowd, she said.
To the credit of students from both schools, the perpetrators were gang members unrelated to either school in the game. In other news, Tulsa, Oklahoma has gang problems. That’s kind of disturbing in and of itself. I mean…Tulsa! But that wasn’t the only game affected by gang violence:
A 17-year-old male was arrested on a firearm complaint at Friday’s Jenks- Union football game. As security officers responded to a fight involving three males, a handgun fell from the 17-year-old’s pants pocket, Tulsa Police Capt. Richard Lawson said.
For anyone who follows Oklahoma high school football (hello there!), the Jenks-Union game is HUGE with a capital UGE. It’s surprising there wasn’t more violence, to be honest. But still….Tulsa? As if the world needed more reasons not to travel to northeastern Oklahoma.