February 4, 1998

Va Talks Violence

By Robin Davidson
and Vanessa Nygaard

The recent events in my life led to the topic of this week's column. At my last intramural basketball game, things got a little intense. One cheap foul and an extremely hard screen later and a brawl broke out. Everyone shoving and fighting - it was ridiculous. So this week, Vanessa and I have decided to discuss excessive violence in sports.

Robin: Vanessa, do you think there's too much violence in sports today?

Va: Once again, you're being unclear. How do you define violence?

Robin: Well let's go with Webster's definition: violence - "a use of physical force so as to damage or injure, an abusive use of force, fury, desecration."

Va: Well, it's all about semantics. As my friend Jamila Wideman once told me, "It's all just part of the game."

Robin: Well, obviously because of the physical nature of sports such as football, ice hockey or basketball there will inevitably be some violence, but where do we draw the line?

Va: I recently converted to Cubism, and I no longer draw lines.

Robin: OK. Let me phrase it a different way. Some people would say you're violent. How do you respond to that?

Va: I like to think of it as controlled legal aggression.

Robin: Well when do you think it's too much? What about spitting in someone's face like Bill Romanowski or biting someone's ear off like Mike Tyson?

Va: Biting someone's ears is obviously going too far. I mean, that limits a person's piercing opportunities, and as Americans we all have the right to pierce.

Robin: Do you think these types of violent episodes reflect an overall violent nature of our society?

Va: Yes.

Robin: Would you like to extrapolate on that statement for our readers?

Va: No, you better stop pissing me off. Next question.

Robin: Well do you think violent athletes encourage violence in citizens?

Va: To some extent yes. As we said before, the No. 1 abuse day for women is Super Bowl Sunday. But then again, you don't see businessmen going to board meetings with breathe-rights on their noses.

Robin: I have a professor who puts black grease under his eyes before he passes out exams. But seriously, do you think as spectators, we are paying to see violence?

Va: I don't pay. I usually sneak in.

Robin: Well what about the rest of us?

Va: How would I know? You're pissing me off again!

Robin: Let's move on. Utilizing your expert opinion, give us an example of a hypothetical incident which you think might be too violent.

Va: Well say you're in some other state - Texas for example. And a ref refuses to control the violence of the game. And a world-class athlete falls to the ground and breaks the pinkie on her shooting hand. That's violence out of control.

Robin: Are you thinking of somebody in particular?

Va: No. Ahem. Man Hands.

Robin: Do you think violence in athletes can spill over into their personal lives and lead to an above-the-law mentality? Take for example Mike Tyson or Latrell Spreewell.

Va: Yes, definitely, but athletes need to be held accountable just like anyone else. They must obey the rules of society no matter how talented they are.

Robin: Well as an athlete yourself, have you ever had violent impulses?

Va: No, my coach could mess me up.

Robin: What are you, a wimp?

Va: Shut up. Whatever, sissy girl.

Robin: Yeah, that's mature. Ow! Stop hitting me!

Va: Who's your mama?

Robin: Ouch! Knock it off! Ow! Help! Ow . . .

Robin and Va's column has unexpectedly ended due to unforeseen circumstances. Robin's injuries should only keep her out for a week, and the column will return next week as scheduled.

Vanessa and Robin would like to thank the LSJUMB for following us to the hell known as Lubbock, Texas. We apologize that your talents went unappreciated by the gun slinging Texas Tech fans.