"Passion" is often cited as one of the main reasons that so many people prefer collegiate athletics to their professional counterparts. This passion infuses the stands in the student sections and is the lifeblood of the game's longstanding traditions. But, like all passions, it sometimes does not answer to reason.
And, as many philosophy majors will remind us given the chance, Aristole said "Law is reason, free of passion."
As the football teams from the Universities of Maryland and Miami, respectively, were taking the field on Monday night, there were fans from both sides acting both passionately and lawlessly, free of reason.
This scuffle appeared to last only a few seconds, as a fan with a camera captured both the fight as well as the unveiling of the Terrapins bold (and considered by many, hideous) new uniforms.
Maryland ultimately won the game 32-24, and will now have a bye week before playing #19 West Virginia at home on September 17th.
Although it appears that the combatants in this skirmish emerged relatively unscathed, fan violence has become an increasingly dangerous issue. A massive fight broke out last year before a college football game between UCLA and USC that left two men with stab wounds and two police officers with minor injuries.
Proving that violence knows no amateur status, several fans were videotaped brawling in the stands and in the concourse area during NFL preseason games earlier this summer. San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow was also brutally beaten by Dodgers fans at Dodger Stadium earlier this year.
Just yesterday in England, a Wales soccer fan died after being assaulted at Wembley Stadium before a match between England and Wales. Of course, sporting events with national pride on the line may be the only things that elicit more passion -- for better and, in this tragic case, for worse -- than college sports.
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