Last night while checking my e-mail once more, a story flashed across the screen that caught my attention. As a die-hard sports fan this story really hits home and I think we can all relate to it. However its inconceivable why such a tragedy had to occur.
Bryan Stow, a father of two, a paramedic and a San Francisco Giants/Dallas Cowboys fan, attended the home opener at Dodger Stadium last Thursday with some friends. As they were leaving the game something happened that will forever change the life of Bryan and his family…
Of all the people who were walking from Dodger Stadium to the parking lot Thursday night, Stow was the most likely to turn away from a fight. According to Los Angeles police, that’s what he did after two men wearing Dodger blue began to taunt Stow and two of his friends – all decked out in San Francisco Giants colors — following the season opener, which the Dodgers won, 2-1. Stow’s two friends outran the bullies, but the assailants caught up with Stow, punching him in the back of his head until he fell to the pavement.
They kicked him again and again, witnesses told police, with most of the blows aimed above his shoulders. As he lay on the asphalt, bloodied and unconscious, the perpetrators fled in a four-door sedan driven by a woman. A boy was also in the car, according to reports. The victim’s friends returned and found Stow on the ground, blood seeping from his head.
Six days later, Stow remains in a medically induced coma at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, suffering from brain injuries. Doctors have removed a portion of his skull to reduce swelling; they say he has a severe skull fracture and bruising to his brain’s frontal lobes.
A man who dedicated his life to saving others now fights for his life simply for being a fan of the wrong team. As Bryan lays in a coma, these bullies got away scot-free. A reward of $100,000 is being offered and the authorities hope that money talks and the men are caught soon.
The Giants will host the Dodgers on Monday and both teams have asked fans to refrain from any violence.
“We’ll ask fans to come together and have the two teams join before the game to remind people what respectful rivalry is,” Giants spokeswoman Shana Daum said. “The rivalry should stay on the field.”
While we enjoy our sports and things get heated against rivals, we should all remember to respect others. In a frightening world of war and terrorism, the last place we need to worry about being attacked is at a ballgame.
A website set up for Bryan Stow: http://support4stow.blogspot.com
Our prayers are with Bryan Stow (Facebook): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Our-prayers-are-with-Bryan-Stow/193247974046088