Not all news for Alabama football fans was good following last week's 29-0 win over LSU in Baton Rouge. Police were called to the Ponchatoula Pub in Tangipahoa Parish where 46 year old Robert Bowers, a devout Crimson Tide fan had been beaten to death by a pair of LSU fans in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It appears that Bowers' gloating over 'Bama's victory didn't sit well at all with those two Bengal Tiger fans. Add a lot of alcohol and you have the most disgusting scenario possible. Bar fights after sporting events is nothing new, but rarely does anyone lose their life defending their favorite teams' honor.
While members of Bower's family are saying it was about the Alabama-LSU game, police are saying the game had nothing to do with it.
Bowers was in the bar watching the game with his daughter, her boyfriend, and her cousin. The family members left before the physical altercation began but people who were in the bar gave them details. It seems that two men, 27 year old Azia Crockett and 24 year old Ryan Anthony attacked Bowers and continued to hit and punch him while he was down on the floor. Bowers was hospitalized three days before passing away on Tuesday. Crockett and Anthony turned themselves in and they've been charged with felony manslaughter.
In today's society there is too much hate and anger. Road rage incidents have increased. Mass shootings have become a regular occurrence, taking place every couple of weeks now. Protests are springing up all over the country and there is not just one topic being protested. It has happened so often I am extremely worried about the country that my five grandchildren will grow up in.
It was almost this bad back in 1968 when there were so many protests over the unpopular Viet Nam War. There were very few mass shootings but the bad deed of the day back then was political assassinations. Twice in 1968 popular national figures were gunned down and killed. Civil Rights Icon Martin Luther King was murdered in April and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was killed while campaigning in California in June. I remember folks back then wringing their hands and asking," Where is our country headed?" Just like I am today, people were concerned about what would be facing their children and grandchildren in the future.
Despite their concerns things have turned out okay for me. I've had a great career and a wonderful life but I still worry about our country. Sports and sporting events should be fun. Win or lose sports can be the escape from the terrible things that happen in life. When anger and hate take that away there will few things left we can enjoy.
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Randy Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org