Brandon Backe Wants A Riot Of His Own

As noted in our

sister sports blog

, Astro pitcher Brandon Backe got himself involved in an incident in Galveston this weekend.

The headline on the Houston Chronicle website this morning said Backe was arrested as part of a "riot" in Galveston.

A riot in Galveston? We had visions of tent-city refugees finally rebelling against no power, no FEMA, no way to get to their homes.

Then we read the story and saw two key words: "wedding" and "party."

While it's true that the Galveston police report used the word "riot," it immediately became clear that what was involved, instead, was a pretty typical wedding: 1) cops called out, 2) drunk, tuxedo'd guy doesn't want to do what they tell him,3) drunk tuxedo'd friends back him up, 4) mace is sprayed, 5) everyone feels like an idiot afterwards.

We've been to weddings in Texas and New Jersey. We know how it goes.

Later headlines by the Chron called it a "scuffle," but here's a handy cheat sheet for them and the Galveston cops:

A normal riot involves Molotov cocktails. A wedding "riot" involves scotch and beer.

In a normal riot, half the people -- usually the older ones -- are watching from the side, wondering whether to join in. In a wedding "riot," half the people -- always the older ones -- are doing the Macarena and have no idea what's going on.

In a normal riot, much damage is caused to storefront windows and parked cars. In a wedding "riot," much damage is done to rented tuxes, usually vomit-related.

In a normal riot, residents scream obscenities at police. In a wedding "riot," the bride and bridesmaids scream obscenities at the groom and his friends for "ruining everything." (Note: In New Jersey, the brides and bridesmaids may instead be involved in the brawl.)

Finally, in a normal riot, the underlying cause is typically a group fighting against what it sees as unfair oppression. In a wedding "riot," the underlying cause is usually a request to turn down the PA system or last call at the open bar.

Brandon Backe, you are no rioter. You're just a jock at a wedding.

-- Richard Connelly

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