Oftentimes, when it comes to Zapruder analysis of viral fan-fighting videos, we have virtually no back story, no participant names, so it leaves us (well, leaves me) to fill in the blanks. Pseudonyms, contrived trigger events, these are hallmarks of the genre.
I do what I can.
But sometimes a video comes along whose action is not only special, but for which we also are able to assemble the actual storyline, with real names, with real events leading up to the explosion.
Today is that day.
College football's bowl season, specifically Thursday's Oklahoma upset of Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, has given us our first Fan Fighting League gift of the fan-fighting season (which is 365 days long, incidentally). And this one is a deluxe version, complete with footage of the pre-fight seeds being planted, and post fight commentary from the two parties involved, almost like a director's cut.
So without further ado, meet Michelle Pritchett!
She is a photographer from Sweet Water, Alabama, a wife and mother of what appears to be three children, and above all else, a diehard Alabama football fan! YEEEE HAW! ROLL DAMN TIDE!
Pritchett was in attendance at the Sugar Bowl last week with her family, and as happens sometimes at these sporting events, the back and forth between her and the opposing fans nearby got a little heated. How heated?
Well, "double birds" heated. If there were a WWE-style tease vignette, like those standing shots they show of a wrestler when his match is coming up after the commercial, this would be it for Pritchett...
Yes, that sultry vixen in the houndstooth blouse who is flipping off the amateur cameraman is Pritchett. (By the way, odds that Pritchett owns a houndstooth thong are -350; odds she is wearing it in these videos are -200.)
Well, that would be the amateur cameraman, and his name is Michael Connolly. He's an Oklahoma Sooner fan who recounted his version of the events that led up to the explosive confrontation you're about to see:
"At the beginning of the game, they were kind of talking s--. They did an "SEC" chant right after the first touchdown of the game, and we all thought we were screwed at that point. So once we started winning, they shut their mouths and my crew of 6-10 people just started talking a lottttt of s--, specifically me and my friend who you can see waving the towel in the background of the video.
At one point she went up to get a beer, and was kind of talking s-- to us when she got back. She just kept flicking us off and stuff during the game. A few times, my friend yelled in the direction of her group of 'Bama fans, 'I yell 'Roll Tide' when I eff my cousin,' but since she was the only one standing it seemed like it was directed only at her.
At this point her 16-year-old son, who weighs about 120 pounds, told us to come up and fight him. We were like, 'No, come down here.'"
And that's where this Zapruder begins...at "No, come down here," with Michelle Pritchett taking Michael Connolly up on his offer. Let's go to the film, followed by the Zapruder analysis:
0:03 -- Pritchett makes her way down to Connolly's row, wading through the Oklahoma mass of humanity to stare him down face to face. As she gets closer, the surrounding Sooner fans stand up, turn around, begin to buzz -- it's almost like a heel wrestler is running down the aisle to confront the champion in the ring.
0:05 -- Okay, the dude off to the left shimmying is ridiculous. Okay, now back to the main action...
0:07 -- Pritchett arrives and her first move is a very MILF-y stroking of Connolly's chin. I'm not gonna lie, it's a little bit of a turn-on, and I start to think that if American Pie were to take place at the Sugar Bowl, this is how the love affair between Finch and Stiffler's mom would have begun.
0:08 -- For their part, it appears that Connolly and his buddies felt a similar tug in their trousers from the houndstooth-clad Mrs. Robinson:
"She was screaming at me, and sticking her tongue out at me so I asked, 'Are you trying to make out with me?' And my friend was yelling 'Kiss her! Kiss her!'"
0:14 -- Pritchett is pulled away from Connolly by a man in a hoodie who may or may not be Mr. Pritchett. At this point, it's going to be a three-way battle between Hoodie Guy, circumstance, and alcohol to try and hold Michelle Pritchett back from bringing the pain on these OU bros.
0:27 -- The crowd wants to see this match, as epitomized by the crimson-clad fellow waving the white towel over his head cheerleader style. He's a rabble-rouser. Every good fan fight needs a few of these; they're the unsung heroes. Like good special teams guys.
0:30 -- Pritchett apparently tells peace-making Hoodie Guy what he wants to hear, and he makes a totally amateur "fight preventer" move -- he believes her.
0:31 -- With the peacemaker's guard down, Pritchett makes her move. As described by Connolly:
"That's when she walked away, and then jumped me."
0:34 -- OH....
0:35 -- ....MY....
0:36 -- ...GAWD....
Or perhaps better put, GOOD GAWD ALMIGHTY...
...yes, a grown woman just went Superfly Snuka over top of a mass of people, nailed her target and then began unleashing fists of fury. This might be the greatest thing I've ever seen. And she wasn't done yet!
0:42 -- Pritchett swings her right boot right upside Connolly's dome, and gets a couple solid guillotine-style kicks in on his upper body, to the extent that Connolly says Pritchett left giant boot marks on his shirt. Those kicks were underrated in their potential damage, as I'd imagine the heels are probably like paperweights. A few inches to the right and who knows? Maybe a broken orbital bone for Connolly, a crunched eyeball maybe? We were definitely closer than people think to having our first Alabama bowl-related assault and trial since that dude plunked his scrotum down on that LSU fan's face at the Krystal Burger back in 2012...
0:47 -- Oklahoma bros are holding their instigator buddy Connolly protectively and he reveals an acceptable reason to root for Pritchett in this fight, as we see his pinkish-colored slacks. Also, while Pritchett is being held back, Connolly cackles and points at his crotch, like a pretty-boy version of Jimmy "Mouth of the South" Hart. At this point, I would have been holding nobody back. I would have been clearing an area so we could watch Pritchett pulverize Connolly and snap his chicken neck. Seriously, she would be at least a -300 favorite in this fight.
0:59 -- OH, WHAT?!? The rabble-rouser catches some from Pritchett!! Sooner fans, you best leave this Tasmanian Devil alone! Michelle Pritchett will voluntarily make this a GAUNTLET MATCH, and pummel two or three of y'all. SHE AIN'T SCURRED...
1:06 -- From here on out, it's just a lot of drunken cheering and I would imagine a quiet review of Pritchett's Miranda rights from the security folks before the police get there to read her actual Miranda rights.
So what did we learn from all this? Well, I would say we learned these three things:
1. Hell hath no fury like a drunken mother whose cubs are threatened. For her part, Pritchett was apologetic afterwards, but not remorseful. She readily admitted that she was probably in the wrong, but would do it again if it played out the same way:
"I apologize to the whole Alabama team, to Nick Saban," she said. "I apologize to the whole Alabama base. That's not the way I would normally handle things. But when he told my son to come down there, that wasn't going to happen...
"It escalated. When they said something to my son, I told them to shut their mouths. They were telling my son to come down there and 'do something about it.' I said, 'no, that's not going to happen. This crap needs to stop.'"
If it makes you feel any better, Michelle, I think it's safe to say that your conduct as an Alabama fan wasn't nearly as offensive to Coach Saban as his team's play on the field, but I'm sure once he's done scrubbing Cade Foster's blood from his clothes and once he's done counting up the hearts he tore from his defenders' chests with his bare hands, he will be happy to accept your apology.
2. It's possible to have a memorable fan fight with only one real big moment, as long as that moment is big enough. I believe it's worth posting this one more time...
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SHOW ME HOW
That. Is. Awesome.
3. Without question, if YouTube were still sitting around wondering what its special purpose is, this footage should eliminate any debate. THIS is why YouTube was invented -- so we could watch sneaky cougarish mothers from Alabama, dressed in houndstooth, leap over two rows of civilians so she could bludgeon the face of some Oklahoma frat pretty boy.
Yes, YouTube, this is your moment. This is your day.
Starting January 2, 2014, listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.