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Outside » Outside Features

Celebratory Destruction?



How do you celebrate when your city wins a major professional title? By destroying a small part of it, of course!

And that's exactly what Lakers fans did in downtown Los Angeles Sunday night after Kobe and company dismissed the Magic in the fifth game of the NBA Finals. Store fronts were smashed, leading to some looting - what says "Congratulations Lakers" more than an armful of stolen Nikes? There was also, of course, the obligatory middle-of-the-street bonfire. Come on now, an impromptu bonfire? That's so '94 Vancouver Canucks. You'd think Laker fans could at least employ some originality in their destructive assholery.

Also, for a franchise with 15 NBA titles under its belt, you'd think these fans would be accustomed to winning and wouldn't be so surprised by Sunday's championship that they'd suddenly find it necessary to toss a garbage can through a cop's windshield. But then again, these are Lakers fans, the majority of which don't even watch a game until the playoffs, at which point they dig out that Derek Fisher jersey, flip on TNT and notice that at some point during the season that they ignored in favor of standing in line at nightclubs that the team acquired Adam Morrison. If you don't know how to be a fan, chances are you won't know how to react should the bandwagon you've boarded roll all the way to a championship.

But, we'll admit, this isn't an L.A. specific problem. Remember when UConn students burned down half their campus after winning both men's and women's NCAA basketball championships? Or how about after the 2008 World Series victory party in Philadelphia? If you're having trouble understanding this here in Central Oregon, where most prefer individual athletics over team sports, this sort of behavior would be like celebrating your win of the Dirty Half last weekend by going home and setting your garage on fire.

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