Here's further proof, in case you needed it, that American basketball players in general and Ron Artest in particular don't have exclusive rights to The Crazy®: Wynne Arboleda of the Philippine Basketball Association recently made sports headlines you probably haven't read by attacking a courtside fan. Apparently, the fan -- Alain Katigbak -- "shouted profane words" at Arboleda after he committed his second flagrant foul during the PBA 2009-10 Philippine Cup. The second flagrant was turrible, but you can see a replay of the first flagrant foul at the 1:10 mark. It's definitely dirty enough to earn Arboleda a few profane words...and maybe even a short prison sentence. You know, unless the Philippines are a desolate, Mad Max-style wasteland. Although if that is the case: sweet!
Awesome, right? Even more awesome is the name of Arboleda's team: the Burger King Whoppers, formerly known as the Burger King Titans, the Air21 Express, and the FedEx Express. But awesomest of all is the fact that Arboleda was the team captain of the Whoppers and the son-in-law of the team owner. Not exactly the behavior you expect from a team leader, or anyone not infected with rabies for that matter. I'm sure Alain Katigbak didn't expect it. As hottie sideline reporter Patricia Hizon said, "no one ever really thinks that could happen to them." (Memo to the NBA: it's time to start importing sideline reporters from the Philippines. I understand that "all the ballaz around the world" love Cheryl Miller and everything, but I'd replace her with Hizon faster than Zach Randolph would skip an optional practice session.)
As a postscript to the incident, PBA Comissioner Sonny Barrios took a page out of David Stern's notebook and suspended Arboleda for the rest of the 2009-10 season without pay. It's the heaviest sanction in PBA history. Sound familiar, Pacers fans? Despite this harsh punishment, the PBA can't be too upset about Arboleda's freakout, considering the fact that it's been great for business: "Figures made available showed a 55.78 percent increase in sales during the Oct. 11 opener, which also hit a remarkable 108.45 percent increase in attendance compared to the same period of last year's Philippine Cup." Let's fight? Them's fightin' words!
Meanwhile, Arboleda issued a rather remorseless non-apology: "I take full responsibility and express regret over the unfortunate incident. My action was provoked by the incessant name-calling and cursing uttered by the said fan particularly to me each time I was within hearing distance. Even as I apologize to Alain Katigbak and his family, as well as the PBA fans, at the same time, I raise an appeal on behalf of other players to the PBA to recognize that provocations and invectives directed towards specific players unnecessarily test our limitations."
Translation: "I might have dispensed the contents of that can of Whup Ass, but the fan opened it."
Getting back to the Burger King Whoppers thing, I'm lovin' it. (Sorry for lifting your dandy slogan, McDonald's.) And the PBA is chock full of fun team names, like the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, and the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters. Now those are some teams I could get behind.
I can only hope this imperialist expansion of American products into Filipino basketball naming conventions continues. Maybe someday residents of the Philippines will be able to watch thrilling matchups like the Vagisil All-Natural Douchebags versus the Tampax Panty Liners, or the Oscar Meyer All-Beef Foot Longs versus the Little Ceasar's Hot 'N Readys. It'll be like The Age of Aquarius: Part II.
More Bonus Fun: Here's a list of violent spectator incidents in sports. My personal favorite is the women's suffrage activist who was trampled to death by a horse. Who knew horses were so violently opposed to equal rights for women? I guess you could say they really put the "rage" in "suffrage." Sorry. I had to do it.
Hat tip: Thanks to Basketbawful reader Grizzly for the head's up.