Fans are Arrested, Too

By Beacon Staff

Another University of Montana athlete was arrested last weekend – this time accused of drunken driving. Thus, the rap sheets at MSU and UM continue to grow. At the professional sports level, NFL quarterback Michael Vick was indicted on gruesome dog fighting charges. And an NBA referee allegedly fixed games. But some red-blooded American sport fans love crime as much as their favorite athletes.

The Web site, thesmokinggun.com, has a collection of mug shots of alleged criminals who were wearing team jerseys when they got picked up. Of the 18 photos on the site – some jerseys are hard to make out – three alleged criminals are certainly wearing Denver Bronco jerseys, more than any other.

I would guess there are more Bronco fans in Montana than any other NFL team. The Seattle Seahawks are probably a close second. Personally, I’m a fan of the Chicago Bears, which just booted Tank Johnson off the team for his legal troubles. So I’m not pointing fingers at Bronco fans. The sports world, in general, has been beset by lawbreaking lately. And the list is timely in light of the predictable discussions about athletes as role models.

I actually flipped through the photos, which were linked at poynter.org, thinking there’d be a Grizzly or Bobcat fan with disheveled hair wearing a home jersey, considering the string of charges our athletes have faced lately. No dice. Along with the collection of jersey-wearing criminals, however, there’s a list of people who were booked in jail wearing bandages on their heads.