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The dark side of sports

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I love sports. I do. I’m an AVID Seahawks fan (something my boyfriend thinks is kinda adorable to be honest) and I love baseball. I’m a big Red Sox fan and over the last five years have come to love and follow the San Francisco Giants as well.

The thing about sports is there are rivalries. And that’s what makes it awesome. The passion, the pride… it’s all good.

What’s not good though is when that stuff gets out of control.

Opening day was last Thursday. And one man who by all accounts is a really good guy, got beaten to the point he is in a coma and might have brain surgery for going to a baseball game to support his team.

Bryan Stow is a 42 year old paramedic, father of two and and a Giants fan. And he got beaten up for being a Giants fan leaving Dodgers stadium. That’s not cool. And what’s even more confounding, the Giants LOST the game. No need to be angry fools, your team WON.  What the hell is wrong with people?

Here’s the story from the sfgate.

Beaten Giants fan Bryan Stow in induced coma

Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle April 3, 2011 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bryan Stow of Santa Cruz was critically injured after a Giants-Dodgers game in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Bryan Stow saved many lives as a Santa Clara County paramedic. Now, the life he’s fighting for is his own.

Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was severely beaten by Dodgers fans after an Opening Day game Thursday in Los Angeles, was in a medically induced coma Sunday as family, friends and doctors waited to see the extent of his brain injury.

A day earlier, doctors removed a portion of the Santa Cruz resident’s skull to reduce swelling.

“All he did was go to a baseball game,” said his friend and co-worker, paramedic Samantha Tennison, also of Santa Cruz. “It is such a loss. This doesn’t just affect him. It affects all the people who he won’t be able to care for.”

Also Sunday, leaders representing the two cities and teams released a joint statement intended to head off any further violence between rival fans.

“Root hard for your teams,” the statement said, “and do so with civility and common decency.”

Stow, 42, and two friends went to Dodger Stadium on Thursday night to cheer for the Giants, who lost 2-1. As Stow and his friends were leaving the stadium, Stow was taunted and attacked by two men wearing Dodgers gear, Los Angeles police said.

They punched Stow in the back of his head, and after he fell to the pavement, they kicked him for about 15 seconds – continuing even after Stow lost consciousness, police said.

Stow was in critical condition Sunday at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police are continuing to search for the suspects, described as two Latino men in their 20s, Los Angeles police Officer Cleon Joseph said.

Meanwhile, Stow’s colleagues and friends are reeling from the incident. Stow, they said, is the last person who would engage in violence.

“We get called to a lot of fights, and he’s always the one to calm things down, get people laughing,” said Rebecca Mackowiak, an American Medical Response paramedic who worked with Stow for five years. “There is no doubt in my mind that if these guys were harassing him, he just walked away.”

Stow, a father of two, grew up in the Santa Cruz area and worked in paving before becoming a paramedic, friends said. Passionate about his work, he mentored dozens of trainees.

He has a great bedside manner, friends said, joking with patients and co-workers to relieve their stress.

“The little old ladies, he loved them,” Tennison said. “He’d flirt with them so they’d smile and blush. If they didn’t have chest pains when he showed up, they would after he left.”

But Stow’s favorite patients are the ones that cause many paramedics, firefighters and police officers to roll their eyes: homeless drunks with a tendency to overdial 911.

“He treated everyone with respect. A lot of these guys are Vietnam vets, and he’d love to hear their stories,” Mackowiak said. “He’d make them laugh, which is not something they have many chances to do.”

Stow is a Giants season ticket holder as well as a devoted Dallas Cowboys fan – “his one flaw,” Tennison said. He often travels to see the teams play on the road and had been to Dodger Stadium many times.

Donations to offset his medical costs can go to Commonwealth Central Credit Union, account No. 118881, P.O. Box 641690, San Jose CA 95164-1690.

Online resource

Colleagues have set up a website for the public to follow Bryan Stow’s progress: support4stow.blogspot.com.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/03/BA5H1IP8ID.DTL#ixzz1IZKR8vUp


One thought on “The dark side of sports

  1. There were some bad stories out of Chicago after interleague play began, and the Cubs and Sox started playing each other. It’s a serious rivalry between these two teams, being in the same city. Regardless, I never heard anything as bad as this story. What a shame.

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