In the aftermath of the University of Kentucky’s recent victories over Louisville and Kansas, many alleged fans in Lexington went on a binge that could hardly be called “celebration.” In a disgusting demonstration of the excesses of alcohol, fanaticism and mob mentality, they set fires, overturned vehicles and destroyed property that did not belong to them.
I’m sure that certain sociologists and the loyal tribesfolk of the “It’s Always Someone Else’s Fault” clan would attribute the despicable behavior to various economic and socio-political forces. Add in some deep-seated repression and frustration and surely in some way or another, it’s the fault of their parents, the current president, the former president and the long-term effects of capitalism, socialism and television.
Maybe, just maybe, and I know I’m going out on a long, shaky limb here, it’s because, deep down inside, these people have failed to grasp hold of morality, integrity, respect and responsibility. Maybe, just maybe, it has nothing to do with supporting any particular team or school and has everything to do with a lack of decency, self-control and maturity.
Nothing decent and respectable is celebrated by destruction, violence and vulgarity. These people have shamed their team, their university and their state. The supporters of other teams, including those who would have done the same thing if their team had won, will demonstrate deserved contempt for these whose actions leapt to the pages and sound bites of yesterday’s news.
Overlooked, forgotten or deliberately ignored will be the respectful exuberance of the hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million or two of other Wildcat supporters. Instead, many will remember the livid faces of the rioters.
It is very much like the way that the millions of gentle, compassionate, loving and decent Christians have their lives and faces too often replaced in public perception by those others who wear the name but not the image of The Carpenter.