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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, June 24, 2005


schadenfreude \SHAHD-n-froy-duh\, noun: A malicious satisfaction in the misfortune of others.

I did not stay up late last night to watch all of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. But when I woke up this morning and commuted to downtown Detroit, I knew who had won. The skies over southeastern Michigan were inexorably hazy and gray. The I-75, with the exception of the ubiquitous semi rigs, seemed abandoned and empty, as if half the city had called in sick. Noticeably absent were the caffeinated drivers whizzing past me at 100 miles per hour, weaving in and out of traffic as they cherished the memories of a Pistons victory the night before. The U.S. Marshals who greeted me at the federal building seemed grim and grumpy--a typical sight to be sure--but a little unusual for a Friday.

Then espn.com confirmed what I already knew--the Detroit Pistons had lost. I confess that I felt a tinge of satisfaction upon learning this. It's not that I don't like the Pistons themselves. They are a group of talented and unheralded players who work hard and don't receive the respect they deserve. But I don't care much for some of the fans. I primarily blame the fans for the brawl with the Indiana Pacers. I concede that the fight could have happened in any number of arenas around this country, but it was certainly no surprise to me that it happened in Auburn Hills. My condolences to Fumare readers who are true Piston fans, but to those "fans" who have no qualms about chucking ice at players or running onto the basketball floor to take a swing, you only have my schadenfreude.