It’s only a game
Die-hard football fans should take a lesson in sports retaliation from a Bama fan heading to jail.
On Thursday, Brian H. Downing began serving a two-year prison sentence for an obscene act against an unconscious LSU fan in a Bourbon Street restaurant after the BCS national title game in January, a videotaped incident that went viral on the Internet. The incident took place last January after Alabama defeated LSU at the Superdome to claim the BCS title. A video that went viral on the Internet showed Downing expose his genitals and perform a simulated sex act on the unconscious man at the restaurant in front of a crowd of other Alabama fans.
He pleaded guilty in October to two counts of obscenity. Prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of sexual battery, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Downing may be eligible to serve less than half of his two-year sentence. One of his attorneys has estimated Downing would serve a minimum of nine months.
The judge told Downing he “chose wisely” by cutting a plea deal, which also allows him to avoid having to register as a sex offender. The judge recommended that he be allowed to participate in a boot camp program run by prison officials.
The case, despite what some LSU fans would say, is not a typical example of a Bama fan. It is the typical example of all die-hard sports fans that take the love – and obsession – with the game a little too far.
Sports is meant to be about friendly competition and fellowship but when defending your team means performing criminal acts, a line is clearly crossed.
A game is a game. We teach high school athletes this lesson all the time but it seems the message has yet to reach a number of adults.
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