Yes – We Can Prevent Riots After Sports Events
The title of this essay is as bold as it is true, and vice versa. How, I have been asked, can riots after sports events be prevented, when they have become so prevalent world-wide and seem to be increasing in size, frequency, and media coverage? I call this increase “The Delune Effect” and, if you know a good lawyer, please note that I am currently seeking reasonably-priced representation so that I can garner proper credit for having identified this phenomenon, and for coining such a fitting name for it.
I had given this matter (can riots after sports events be prevented?) much thought over the years. Then I experienced a brief vision that spanned the realm of human psychology and thousands of years of history. I stood up, straightened my bowtie, and went straight to the police station. I would share my vision with them so they could immediately secure official help in implementing a policy for preventing riots after sports events.
My experience at the police station was, as usual, marked by insult and slight injury to my dignity. But I will no longer allow the small-mindedness of the local authorities to quash such an urgent idea. I might add that I fared no better with my subsequent phone calls to the federal authorities. I suspect that Agent Martinson and his underlings are reading this essay with great interest. I would like it to be known that I do not care if they “have a file on me.” I rather like the idea of a file with my ideas in it, because I keep misplacing my own repository of ideas in my continuously evolving decimalized system of paper scraps.
I will not address my corollary theory that Agent Martinson has a vested interest in the proliferation of sports-related riots so that he can pass off my ideas as his own, seizing credit for solving the crisis. What other possible explanation can there be for his continued refusal to implement my ideas?
As much as I enjoy venting about my treatment by the small-minded authorities, I can claim little credit for the theory. It really did just come to me in a vision.
Here are the details of my vision:
Delune Sports Riot Theory
- Humans are a species of hunter-gatherers. For many thousands of years, hunting and gathering were the only ways to get food. We know this from so many books and movies that it must assuredly be true and does not require footnote references or verification. The fact that the term “hunter-gatherer” conjures up so many historic images is sufficient proof of its historic veracity. What is history, if not historic images conjured up by buzzwords?
- The law of inertia specifies (approximately) that something in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external force. Even if the humans’ hunting-gathering instincts appear to be acted upon by external forces (e.g., development of grocery stores, grocery carts, pre-packaged meats, canned and frozen foods), the external forces are acted upon by the ability to hunt and gather. They do not affect the instinct to hunt and gather.
- Therefore, we still are, and always will be, hunter-gatherers. Because we no longer hunt for food, but rather shop for inert groceries, our hunting-gathering energy is largely unspent.
- Sporting events simulate a hunt. We identify with a team (i.e., our tribe) and seek to defeat our prey (i.e., kill the hunted). Sporting events, therefore, whip up our unsatisfied hunting instincts and create an abundance of hunter-gatherer energy.
- Back in the hunter-gatherer days, once the hunt was over, the hunter was accustomed to a kill. In the modern-day sporting event, a win is a paltry substitute for a kill (akin to capturing the hunted animal but immediately dropping it in a steaming pile of something awful, rendering it inedible). A loss is obviously a totally unacceptable substitute for a kill. The hunter-gatherer energy backs up like a stopped-up sewer system. So you see, fans of both the winning and losing teams who have experienced hours of simulated hunting, must expend their hunter energy.
- Hunter energy seeks to be expended so that balance can be regained. If not, it will fester. Festering energy will quickly find an outlet.
- Let us step sideways for a moment. Why did the hunter hunt? Only to kill? Not at all. The killing was merely the means to get food. The food at stake (you don’t even know how funny my word choice is yet) was meat (now you do). This is a crucial point. The energy that builds up during a hunt and during a sports event can be expended by the capture of meat.
- After the sports event, in the absence of meat, particularly if an inhibition of urges has been relaxed by alcohol or a low-scoring game, the hunter energy festers. For individuals in a mob of fans, the energy seeks targets for its release. If there are no mammoths, rabbits, deer or other edible animals, fans will expend energy on the next closest things – cars, storefronts, parking meters. In this age, where hunting and gathering find their closest kin in the form of amassing wealth and possessions, the logical substitute for the consumption of flesh is to wreak economic damage.
- The need for meat may be too subconscious to guide the sports mob to concession stands. They might seek meat at a pit-beef vendor in a remote area of the stadium, for example. However, if presented with meat when the energy is aroused, sports fans would certainly recognize and act on the need, thereby expending the pent-up energy.
- This is how it would work: At every sporting event, six to ten helicopters would circle above the crowd, and at the first sign of unrest, they would drop individually-wrapped sticks of beef jerky, which would float quickly, but harmlessly, down to the mob via mini-parachutes. An announcement could be made via microphone to alert the crowd to the nature of the drop. “Attention: we are dropping beef jerky via parachute for you to eat.” As the jerky reaches the crowd, each riled sports fan can grab one, unwrap it and eat it, fulfilling both a need to hunt (there is some effort required to catch and unwrap the jerky), and the urge to get meat (eating said jerky). Individually and collectively, the hunting energy would be expended; the mob would be tamed, and most likely a feeling of great tribal satisfaction and camaraderie would ensue.
Beef jerky is the perfect medium for riot dispersal. It is easily delivered to large crowds by mini-parachute; it is easily unwrapped and subject to quick consumption. Its spiciness can also be varied to suit local taste. Even if the parachute fails to deploy properly, the risk of injury is minimal. (My rooftop experiments project the risk of jerky parachute drops to be substantially less than that of water balloons being dropped onto passersby from a height of twelve feet.) Turkey jerky could be dropped in countries where beef is not consumed. Vegetarian jerky could be developed for pre-screened crowds who are vegetally-predisposed. For those in the mob who are curious as to the contents of the jerky, a brief ingredient list could be printed boldly and legibly (e.g., “beef, fat, spices”) with, of course, an expiration date and a choking warning. Or the jerky’s contents, expiration date and choking warning could be announced by bullhorn from the helicopter.
I have been practicing such bullhorn announcements from a window on the north side of my home, and I am happy to report that my neighbors have unanimously indicated that the content of the announcements is audible for more than a full block. I look forward to having the district court take judicial notice of this fact at next week’s hearing. Then, I can quash Agent Martinson’s plan to pass off my ideas as his own. I am thrilled to see that he is already on the witness list.
The advantages of jerky are obvious. Jerky is always ready – it need not be refrigerated. Jerky is inexpensive. Jerky can be parachuted, catapulted, mass-mailed, slipped into lunch bags, stored in silos or pencil jars or mass-produced in pocket protectors that can be readily attached to a dress shirt (patent-pending).
The implications of this theory are far-reaching. Jerky could be served to facilitate peaceful outcomes to international diplomatic snafus, legislative filibusters, marriage counseling sessions, and labor negotiations.
As always, I invite all readers (particularly Agent Martinson) to respond to my theory. As it grows and improves with the promulgation of more corollary and ancillary theories, I hope to find you, dear reader, growing along with it. In the meantime, I am compiling a list of unemployed pilots and anyone with experience in miniature parachute design.
© Ernest Delune
ernest delune lives and writes in baltimore, maryland. he is the author of a novel, the outcome trials of ernest delune, and a series of writings about the unsettling nature of the treeline above hillside avenue in baltimore county and remedial action that could be taken against it.