For The Culture
It easy to be glum right now, what with another D.C. team succumbing to a second round playoff exit. Once again, a team with “Washington” on its shirts could not accumulate enough victories in a series to avoid going home early. But I will save my despair and anger for another time. Instead, I'm here to celebrate a win for the Wizards Monday night.
But the Wizards lost Monday, you say. I know. I'm really celebrating a win for one specific Wizards fan.
It is tough being a Wizards fan. The team has at least as many homicidal locker room incidents in its history as it does championships. Their two best players not only dislike each other, but also are possibly delusional, given their claim to the title of "best backcourt in the league." Additionally, their two highest-profile frontcourt players are known for two things you don’t want to be known for (not being able to jump and never playing due to injuries), and that’s before you get to the fact that they can’t defend the perimeter, a must for big men in today’s NBA.
So, yes, it is difficult to defend being a Wizards fan, but our hero did it in the face (literally—and yes, folks, this is the correct way to use the word literally) of a green sea of Celtics fans.
In a widely circulated video, we see practically the lone Wizards fan in the lower bowl of TD Garden respond to a Celtics fan with a righteous left cross, then a shove to expedite the fall to the ground. Thanks to some expert reporting by Albert Breer [Editor’s note: do you mean noted Fenway-racism truther Albert Breer? Because fuck that guy], we have the added context that the Celtics fan slapped the Wizards fan/hero in the face, which basically necessitated the shot. The icing on the cake: the Celtics fan was apparently knocked out and bled actual blood all over the place (I say actual blood because Boston has a fixation with fake blood).
But Pierce, you say. Why are you celebrating this violent act?
For one, as I stated, it’s difficult rooting for an incompetent team, and all the more difficult to do so in the other team’s arena. This hero cares so much for the Wizards that he stood up for them in goddamn Boston, the bastion of ever-winning, holier-than-thou franchises.
The other reason is that, frankly, basketball would be better with more fighting, on and off the floor. This is why I rose—nay, exploded—from my seat when Kelly Oubre Jr. responded to a passive-aggressive shoulder/body blow by Kelly Olynyk (aka Goon McGoonerson) with an unambiguous shove. In this feat of Kelly-on-Kelly violence, we saw the efficient and effective end to the rolling boil of tempers, eschewing the method of subtle sack-tapping, arm-barring, and jumping-under of which the Warriors are so fond.
If you squash the beef with flames, there’s no need to put it in the Crock-Pot for a tepid simmering. Our Wizards hero was merely taking his cues from Oubre.
Unfortunately, the hero of our story did not come out unscathed. As can be seen in the video, a backwards-hatted, flannel-adorned amateur videographer lets down his camera just long enough to add his own comparatively flaccid punch.
It would be easy to berate this cowardly Celtics fan (redundant, no?) for his blind-sided sucker punch in a fight he was not a part of (for proof, see how easily I just berated him), but that is not the most important aspect of the end to our hero’s journey. No, once-the-fuck-again, the Wizards (in this case, their fans) lost out by a lack of depth in support. That’s right: The Wizards cannot escape the inept state of their bench, on the court or off.
Maybe, just maybe, if their so-called “general manager” could put together a full team instead of blowing money on Ian Mahinmi, Alan Anderson, Martell Webster, Gary Neal, and you know what, this list is so long and depressing that I’m just gonna stop here, they would have a competent team that could elicit more (and braver) fan support across this nation. That might mean that next time, a Wizards fan in Boston would not be left to fend for themselves.
So I say in no uncertain terms: Fire Ernie Grunfeld yesterday, and as always, fuck Boston fans.