The LeGarrette Blount punch video is on its way to becoming an Internet phenom and this is evidenced by the fact that search phrases such as “LeGarrette Blount,” “Boise State punch,” “Oregon punch” “Blount punch” are all being utilized this morning by people anxious to get a glimpse of LeGarrette Blount punching a Boise State player in a fit of rage. But that the LeGarrette Blount punch video is in such high demand as a form of entertainment is disturbing and unsettling.
By no means at all is LeGarrette Blount the first athlete to exhibit violence during a competition. I can recall Kareem Abdul Jabbar throwing punches at opposing players, for example. And who can forget the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield ear-biting incident. It happened during Holyfield-Tyson II; in a fit of rage, Mike Tyson actually bit off a portion of Evander Holyfield’s ear! (The Mike Tyson ear-biting incident makes the LeGarrette Blount punch video look like a schoolboy’s prank.)
Violent outbursts are a regular occurrence in the great sport of hockey. In fact, fights are so common in hockey that a joke that references this reality has become popular and it goes something like this: “Bob and Joe got into a fight and a hockey game broke out.”
Baseball too is no stranger to fights and dust-ups. How many times have you seen a huge fight break out during a baseball game? It’s a familiar scenario. Two players get into a tussle and before you know it, every player on the field (and from the respective dugouts) is involved in a massive group fight.
But the problem is that the fans enjoy these fights. It gets the adrenaline pumping. I’m guilty of this myself. I remember going to my first hockey game as a boy (LA Kings vs. Boston Bruins, I believe) and hoping that a fight would break out. (If memory serves, I think one did.)
It’s one thing to enjoy violence in films or inherently violent sports like boxing and mixed martial arts. One is fiction and one involves people willingly subjecting themselves to violent behavior in a controlled environment. This is not to say that violent films and boxing are healthful pursuits, however. There’s something a little unsettling about the fact that people enjoy these activities so much as well.
But to enjoy spontaneous acts of violence (like the LeGarrette Blount punch video) is another matter entirely.
We should all aspire to walk on higher ground.
Blount Punch Video, YouTube
LeGarrette Blount punches out opponent after embarrassing loss, Matt Hinton, Rivals.yahoo.com