It’s an odd tightrope to walk in the teeter-totter that is perception versus reality. Crystal-clear communication makes the division between the two less murky, if not pristine. And maybe I’m too glued to my phone, or the overall appeal of social media has made me think that America is angrier than it ever has been before. It’s my perception that we live in a post-pandemic, word-travels-a-mile-a-minute, politically divided country. There’s no doubt proof of it being reality as well, evidenced by a New England Patriots fan dying over the last few days after a late-night altercation with a Dolphins fan. And sports imitates society as a whole.
Witnesses reported a fight broke out between Dale Mooney, a New England season-ticket holder, and an unidentified Dolphins fan — or fans, depending on the report — where Mooney was punched, leading to his head hitting the ground, losing consciousness, and passing away soon after.
Details about what led to the altercation aren’t available, although it’s not hard to make assumptions about how tribalistic sports can be at times. In a traditional sense, tribalism was meant for survival, not for unnecessary carnage. With allegiance to your favorite team and sobriety at varying levels, not to mention how many people are packed into stadiums around the country every weekend, I’m a little surprised an incident like this hadn’t happened yet. It’s disgusting to admit, yet with the culture around sports, and how widespread being a fan of any team can be, all of those personalities won’t mix. And based on the videos circulating around the internet, that unidentified Dolphins fan might not be a free man much longer.
Update Sept. 20: WCVB 5, an ABC affiliate, released video, which can be seen here.
Fighting at games isn’t as glamorous as it seems. People still remember Nick McKellar, better known as “Suns in 4 Guy” due to his argument and scrap with a Denver Nuggets fan back in June 2021. His handle on Instagram is “suns.in.4” and McKellar is still basking in what should’ve been 15 minutes of fame two years later. McKellar was clearly defending himself in that video, as the Nuggets fan threw the first punch during the argument. Yet, that’s it. Without that video, McKellar definitely wouldn’t be well-known. And he just punched a guy in the face several times for what reason? At first it was to defend himself, then after he’s cowering, it’s for what reason? Fighting in public is just plain stupid, and that tribalism is beyond comprehension.