I was driving around killing brains cells listening to sports radio on Thursday when the host, "The Common Man" started throwing around the words "stupid" and "idiot" when describing Ohio State Basketball player LaQuinton Ross. "Q" had fallen out of favor with the 97.1 intelligentsia when the previous night he shoved a Northwestern player and was thrown out of the game with a double technical foul.
I was at the game with my ten year old son and I applauded Q when was escorted from the court.
"Whoa. Hold on, psycho sports dad. You applauded a player for being thrown out of a game? What kind of message does that send to your son?"
Okay, fair question. Hear me out. The Buckeyes were up 16 points with about five minutes left. Some goon for Northwestern intentionally picked a fight with OSU center Amir Williams. He pushed Amir out of bounds and then threw a punch at him. He then proceeded to stand on OSU's home court and start running his mouth. LaQuinton came up and gave him a good hard push. Considering the situation, I thought it was a fairly well-reasoned response.
For a Buckeye team that has been accused by many - including The Common Man - of looking passive and disinterested on the court, I was happy to see somebody step up and show a little fire. Would it have been better if Q stood by as an opposing player threw a punch at his teammate and started talking trash? On our court? And to make matters worse, a Northwestern player? (Nerd.)
The way I saw it, Q was standing up for a teammate. He didn't throw a punch. He didn't jeopardize the outcome of the game. He just sent a clear message that this sort of behavior wasn't going to be tolerated in front of the home crowd. Good for him.
Admittedly, it's a fine line between being a good teammate and igniting a malice at the palace, but in sports, as in life, most decisions are somewhere in the gray area. I thought Q handled the situation pretty well. Go Bucks.
Below: This is not the way to handle an heated situation.