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And Another Thing

This photo provided by the Hoover Police Department shows Adrian Briskey, 28, charged in the slaying of a fellow Alabama fan after the end of last weekend's Iron Bowl football game.

Crazy in Alabama

There's a scene in the theatrical release "Friday Night Lights" in which the football coach at Odessa Permian High School, portrayed by Billy Bob Thornton, sends one of his players to the bench after said player goes bonkers on the sidelines celebrating a teammate's hit.

"I appreciate passion, but good lord," Coach Billy Bob says, or words to that effect.

That's exactly the sort of reaction any person with a scrap of sanity should have to this. If not a somewhat stronger reaction.

Look, I get it: Alabama football fans are not, by definition, of sound mind, so you have to proceed from there. Remember, this individual's cut from pretty much the same cloth as the people who, cowards and cretins all, sent a stream of vile, threatening tweets to a college kid Saturday after he had a bad day kicking the football for the Crimson Tide. To which you can only say, it's easy to be a tough guy when you're hiding being a Twitter handle.

But this woman?

Suffice it to say an unhealthy obsession with a bunch of 18-to-22-year- old football players does not play well with alcohol and an unhealthy obsession with guns, the latter of which afflicts even our elected representatives in Congress. Seriously, who brings a gun to a football-watching party? What is this, 'Bama-Auburn or Clantons-Earps?

The frightening thing is, you can't just lay this at the doorstep of all those crazy folk in Alabama; sit in the wrong section at an NFL game these days, for instance, and you're quite literally taking your life in your hands. Just ask the Cowboys fan who was beaten unconscious by Raiders fans outside the Jerry Dome on Thanksgiving Day.

So, yes, insufficient brain cells is apparently a problem everywhere in the world of games, not just in Alabama. And except for the gun fetish -- I don't recall, 30 or 40 years ago, people marching around waving their guns in the air or taking them over to their buddy's for the Bears game -- it has ever been thus.

The only difference between 30 or 40 years ago and now is social media, which makes it much easier and faster to loose your craziness on the world. Back in the day, you actually had to write a letter if you wanted to tell some poor college kid you wished he were dead.

Ah, progress.

Ben Smith's blog.