Keller @ Large: When ‘Toughness’ Means ‘Recklessly Idiotic’

BOSTON (CBS) – If you haven’t yet seen the dangerous, ridiculous fight that broke out on the floor at the end of Saturday’s Cincinnati-Xavier college basketball game, take a look.

Or better yet, if you have an impressionable youngster in your life, watch it with them.

It’s a teachable moment about how not to act, and what the opposite of toughness looks like.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Here’s the backdrop – Xavier vs. Cincinnati is a big crosstown sports rivalry in that city, and apparently, Xavier’s star player, Tu Holloway, was angered by pregame comments a Cincinnati player made unwisely disparaging his athletic ability.

So with seconds to go in an easy win for Xavier, Holloway started taunting the Cincinnati bench.

Next thing you know, there’s an all-out brawl going on, including a sucker punch thrown by a Cincinnati player that could easily have blinded its unsuspecting target.

That’s all bad enough, but what made this even worse than the usual stupid sports fight were the post-game comments, including this gem from Holloway:

“We’re grown men over here, we got a whole bunch of gangsters, not thugs, but tough guys on the court. That’s our motto, zip ‘em up and that’s what we did.”

Get it?

Zip ‘em up, like in a body bag?

Luckily, there is adult supervision on hand.

The furious Cincinnati coach stripped the uniforms off his players who participated in the fight and called the episode “a complete embarrassment. Toughness is doing the right thing. If my players don’t act the right way, they will never play another game at Cincinnati.”

I can only hope that the worst offenders in this do suffer severe consequences, like losing the scholarships they are privileged to have, that others with less athletic skill would love to have.

For a senior in college like Holloway to call himself and his teammates “gangsters” as a point of pride is foolish and immature beyond belief.

So kids, take note – in this case, “toughness” is a euphemism for “recklessly idiotic.”

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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