The decision has been rendered. Can you imagine how hard it would be to vote on it.
As ugly a moment in the short lived history of the Frank McCourt ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The McCourt’s, bankruptcy, divorce, greed, MLB foreclosure, and the beating of a fan at their stadium on opening night. Some era.
Can you imagine being on the jury, or being the jury foreman, and having to make a decision in the Brian Stow lawsuit against the Dodgers and it’s former owner.
Brain damaged for life, savagely stomped by 2-Latinos with criminal records, Brian Stow will forever be in a wheelchair, will never work, and will never have all the brain faculties he had when he went to see the Dodgers-Giants opening night game in 2011.
He was jumped, pummeled, kicked in the face, had his head slammed into the parking lot pavement. The two who did the assault are serving 24-years in prison.
Stow will forever live in the prison of his injuries. He was awarded not the 37M he asked for, but 18M. The jury however will order the Dodgers to pay just 4.5M of it. McCourt will pay nothing. The hoodlums will be held accountable for the rest, but they are penniless in prison..
Somewhere in between the accusation that the owner skimped on parking lot security and the explosive fans taunting exchange that led to the fite, there is blame enough for everyone.
The baseball team testified they had a record number of security, uniformed police, and non uniformed there that opening night. They admit as the sellout crowd streamed out into the lot, it was impossible to have police everywhere. They did admit, unruly fans had tended to take over the pavilion at Chavez Ravine in recent years.
But somewhere in all this is the blame to be passed on Stow too. Caught on video taunting fans, while wearing his Giants jersey. Caught on video spewing shouts at Dodgers fans in the parking lot. Caught with a blood alcohol count of .187, over double the legal limit, before the first punch-kick reigned on him.
Imagine being on the jury having to determine blame, future earning powers lost, and value of a crippled father with kids.
Part of me says the thugs got what they deserved. Some part of me says the Dodgers insurance money will be spent now to help the Giants fan. Part of me says Stow himself invited all this too by how he acted and how much he drank.
In a world of macho men, fueled by beer, impassioned by rooting for their team, this should be a lesson. Sporting events are not meant to wind up like this. Somewhere deep in the recesses of his damaged brain, Brian Stow’s thought process has to be held as accountable as the two toughs, locked away till 2026.
It’s a sad commentary on what a chunk of society, sporting society, has become.