Processing the fever pitch of rabid fans is a complicated thing, especially if you're the owner of the team.
On the one hand, it's the passion that fans show for your team, your league, and the product on the field that translates into the multiple billions of dollars that your sport generates and the hundreds of millions that your team is worth. Yes, many of these people seem freaky to you, and you wonder how they can be so obsessed, so far over the lunatic fringe, over a bunch of people they'll probably never meet in person.
But you gladly cash their checks, and thank them for their support. That's the easy part.
The hard part comes when passion bleeds into disrespect, and disrespect becomes desecration. Sure, it's destructive, but technically it's coming from the same raw emotion that drove that person to spend money on your product in the first place.
To be clear, I'm not sticking up for the Cleveland Browns fan who peed on the grave site of the late Art Modell, but I'm not exactly blamefully wagging my finger at him either.
In case you missed it, a couple weeks ago, this video went viral....
That guy's name is Paul Serbu, and he's a longtime fan of the Cleveland Browns, which means he endured the nightmare of Modell moving his team from Cleveland to Baltimore back in 1996, and the empty existence that was life without NFL football for three seasons (a feeling we know all too well here in Houston, having overlapped Cleveland and then some as a football-less city).
Serbu has passion, maybe too much passion, as evidenced by his Browns jersey and what presumably is a catheter that he's strung from the tip of his wiener down his pants in order to gently drizzle his urine on Modell's cemetery plot.
Processing Serbu's transgression as "right or wrong" is pretty easy -- you should never be peeing in public sober if you're over the age of three. That's simple common sense (not to mention, it's the law). However, in the words of Silvio Dante, "Is it a hanging offense?" Yeah, probably not.
It's juvenile, it's moderately sociopathic, and I'm fairly certain I'd last about three minutes before wanting to punch Serbu in the face if we were hanging out, but whatever. It's harmless.
Unfortunately, Modell's son David doesn't share the same laissez-faire attitude that I have regarding the situation. According to TMZ, the younger Modell wants the book (yeah, THAT BOOK, the one that gets thrown at the WORST people) thrown at one Paul Serbu:
Art Modell's son wants to see the man accused of peeing on his father's grave prosecuted -- and he wants to do so in person ... telling TMZ Sports he will absolutely be in court to stare down the suspect.
David Modell has heard Paul Serbu's claim the incident -- which became a viral video -- was all a prank and that he didn't actually pee on the grave site ... but he's not buying it.
Modell -- who was Ravens President from 2001 to 2004 -- says Serbu must be held accountable, and he's looking forward to a trial.
Serbu's attorney told TMZ his client desperately wants to reach out to the Modell family and apologize -- but he shouldn't hold his breath. David tells us Serbu "shouldn't reach out [to my family]. He should call his attorney."
As for feeling any relief that Serbu was found and charged -- Modell says, "The only misplaced relief here was his."
For some reason, there's something hilarious to me about David Modell wanting to be in the court so he can stare daggers at the man who may or may not have peed on his father's grave right square in the eye, like the family of the murdered little girls in The Green Mile screaming at John Coffey that they HOPE THE ELECTRIC CHAIR HURTS!!!
Dude, David, chill out, bro.
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I post this story because a) David Modell's over the top desire for justice is funny to me and b) if any of you here in Houston are guzzling bottles of Evian so you can go over and plunder Bud Adams' grave in a golden shower, I'd double check and make sure his offspring and relatives aren't the litigious type.
Besides, if it weren't for Bud Adams moving the Oilers, we wouldn't have the Texans, right?
I said, RIGHT?!!