“…they are looking for any excuse to let out their primal aggression on the world.”

There’s a certain kind of shitstorm that brews when the home team of a major city loses a big game. It’s like after the loss the whole city fills with a negative energy and transforms.

It starts at the local bars with the drunk, irate fans who are upset and trying to deal with the season being over, and having nothing else to do with their lives until the season starts again next year. They take their frustrations out as if they were small children throwing and breaking things that aren’t theirs during a temper tantrum. These temper tantrums lead to fights which transform into all out brawls; leaving the local watering holes wrecked.

Afterwards, the fans—full of piss and vinegar—spill out into the city streets where they all converge and mass chaos ensues. The fighting grows out of control and many are injured. The property damage skyrockets as people begin to break windows and take whatever they can find. Cars are flipped by pissed off fans and one of the oddest things—that I don’t quite understand—happens; couches are set on fire in the streets. I feel sorry for any poor soul who happens to be wearing any gear of the opposing team. They risks their lives in such a hostile environment.

At this point authorities are on their way, but let’s be honest, with the sheer number of rioters there’s not much they can do. It will take hours for the police to make any progress breaking up the huge crowds of unruly fans. Countless cans of tear gas will get hurled along with enough tasers to power a house. But that won’t be enough.

Even after breaking up the riots the work is nowhere near done. The EMTs will have a sleepless night trying to deal with all of the injured; if they’re lucky no one ended up dying during the stupidity.

After things settle down it’ll be hard to tell what’s more full; the hospital or the police stations with people crammed into their holding cells like sardines. The streets of the city will be littered with broken cars, garbage, and whatever else people decided to throw around from the trashed storefronts. It’ll be days, perhaps even weeks to get everything back to the way it was before.

And all of this was for what, exactly? It wasn’t to right some wrong done by the government, or to make some monumental statement about how things should be changed. It was over a simple game that in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t mean anything. What is supposed to be a fun thing to watch to blow off some steam turns into a ridiculous tribe mentality; us versus them. This tribalism makes certain kinds of people feel like they actually had something to do with the outcome (which they don’t) which causes them to take out their anger on others when things don’t go their way. A simple sporting event turns people into raging baboons. Then the next day the one’s who aren’t in jail or the hospital pretend like everything is normal. But deep down, they are looking for any excuse to let out their primal aggression on the world. Perhaps this is what the riot is really about.


Want more flash fiction?  Check out some of these pieces.

A Meaty Situation

Junk Mail

A Black Friday Story

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