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Bartosh

Pointing the finger at idiocy
 
 What can you get for a few thousand dollars these days?
  Certainly not a house, even one of the “out” variety. Maybe a used car, but you’d better be able to drive it yourself because no chauffer is available for that kind of dough.
  You could enroll in a college course or two, provided no books go along with it, or buy yourself a pretty nice suit. You could not, however, extricate yourself from a suit brought against you.
  Oh, and one other thing you can do is put yourself in a prime position to show the world what a complete nimrod you are.
  That last one was the choice Filomena Tobias made. Don’t recognize the name? No problem — her picture tells you all you need to know about her.
  It’s been nearly impossible to miss that so-very-charming photo taken of Tobias near courtside at Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series between Miami and the Bulls. She was the one who was waving her middle digit in Joakim Noah’s face and no doubt screaming obscenities at him as the Chicago forward left the court following his ejection.
  Pictured with Tobias is an almost equally demonstrative male who either rates as a punk or just plain pitiable for linking himself to her. I haven’t made up my mind about him yet.
  Filomena — or, as she’ll henceforth be referred to, “Full O’Meanness” — is another story, however. She is the latest example of fans gone wild.
  For whatever reason, these somewhat askew individuals have been taught to think the purchase of a game ticket gives them license to behave in a manner that would either get them beaten up or arrested in any other venue.
  By all means, boo when you’re dissatisfied with what’s happening in front of you. Go ahead and make light of an athlete’s on-court or on-field shortcomings, wave your arms wildly to try to disrupt his concentration at a pivotal moment, or create genuinely clever signage to hold up.
  Heck, I’m not even opposed to use of that eight-letter obscenity that crowds chant to voice their collective displeasure at a thoroughly awful occurrence — you know, the word that rhymes with “full fit.”
  But some decency parameters need to be established, and under no circumstance does flipping the bird directly in someone’s face fit into that category. Tobias is lucky Noah’s not the antagonistic sort — had she done the same thing to Dennis Rodman, Ron Artest or Rasheed Wallace, she might very well have been leaving the arena with one less finger than she had upon entering it.
  Rest assured that none of those volatile individuals would have simply ignored her actions the way Noah did, particularly in the immediate aftermath of an emotional moment in the game. At the very least, Tobias’ companion may have been made to pay a price for her act of lunacy.
  And then, of course, the lawsuits would have flown. Full O’Meanness would have claimed she and her guy didn’t do anything wrong, certainly not anything serious enough to warrant getting roughed up, and they likely would have received some sort of monetary settlement for an incident they provoked.
  That’s the way our legal system often works: reward instigators and troublemakers.
  According to various media reports that surfaced after she was identified in the photograph with Noah, Tobias’ background is hazier than the Chicago skyline in August, and this very public lapse of civility ranks pretty low on her personal malfeasance scale. Separating fact from fiction regarding her past actually matters little here, but if any of the unfavorable stories about Tobias do have legitimacy, is anyone really shocked?
  What else should one expect from such a classy lady? And who among us wouldn’t be swelling with pride at the chance to call someone like that our wife, mother, sister, daughter or aunt?
  I’m curious, though, as to how Full O’Meanness would respond if someone decided to harass her at work. And that’s what all big-mouthed fans tend to forget — we’re seeing athletes at their places of business.
  Sure, we’re paying handsomely for that privilege, but wouldn’t most people prefer to operate in complete anonymity on the job site instead of having every move they make scrutinized? Imagine what it would be like if all of us had to deal with the same kind of treatment from outsiders as jocks do:
  • “Hey, way to foul up that monthly report, you incompetent ^*%^)! What a waste of flesh you are. You stink, and I’m not just talking about your hygiene, although I certainly could be.”
  • Boy, all you cops are out of shape. How about limiting yourself to two doughnuts per break, Porky — maybe then you can find the energy to get out of the squad car once in a while. You shouldn’t be driving anyway because you’re a &^**#@ menace behind the wheel. Too bad I can’t give you a ticket, you miserable $@&*_) …”
  • “My god, how in the world do you have the ^&$#(* to collect your salary when your classroom is filled with monosyllabic dumb *^&%&? You’re a disgrace to the teaching profession and I suggest you find another job, but no other employer could possibly be addle-brained enough to hire you!”
  • “How can you not meet that quota? You call yourself a salesman? You couldn’t sell a bribe to a politician, you useless piece of ^%#^%)! Get out of my face, and by the way, kiss %$)(*)()@ on your way out the door!”
  • What do you mean the deadline was too strict? Boo-freakin’-hoo, you lazy slob. How about getting off your dead ^*()(#^% and, instead of complaining, actually start putting some effort into your reporting? If it’s too much to handle, go take a flying leap into $@$%()(*!”
  Think that wouldn’t bother you? You know it would.
  Again, I’m not saying athletes shouldn’t ever be serenaded with an unhappy chorus, particularly when they’re dogging it, but what do fans prove by being boorish? I know one thing — they end up making themselves look worse than the targets of their derision.
  So Full O’Meanness, I hope you enjoyed your brief moment in the spotlight. Trust me, however, when I say you’d look a lot better in the dark.