Alabama Football: Let’s Get a Life, Folks

Considering the what happened and how it happened Saturday night in Auburn, I thought we were taking things fairly well.  Sure, there was the expected treatment of Cade Foster by some absolute imbeciles, but we had to know some of that would happen.

What you never expect, though it is this:

Briskey is charged in the shooting death of 36-year-old Michelle Shepherd, a mother of three and case worker for at risk youth and young parents. The shooting happened about 7 p.m. Saturday at the Summerchase at Riverchase apartments. Shepherd was pronounced dead on the scene.

Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said Shepherd and Briskey, both Alabama fans, got into an argument shortly after the game ended. The argument started inside the apartment, and spilled over into the parking lot. Derzis said the argument turned physical and both women ended up on the ground.

Briskey pulled a small caliber handgun and shot the other. Derzis said the two women didn’t know each other. He said police have not yet confirmed what started the fight.

The victim’s sister provided a different account of what led to the shooting. Neketa Shepherd said her sister was an Alabama fan, but even more than Alabama, she loved The Miami Heat. After the game ended, she and her sister were joking around, not about Alabama’s loss, but about the Miami Heat. Briskey, Neketa Shepherd said, apparently took their joking the wrong way and became mad that they weren’t more upset over Alabama’s loss.

Now, to be sure, we don’t know exactly what happened.  But what we do know is this:

She and another woman held her and tried to stop the bleeding until paramedics arrived. “I was telling her, ‘Don’t leave me. Don’t leave the kids. I need you,”’ she said. “They couldn’t bring her back.”

Neketa Shepherd said her sister was a wonderful mother to three children; two boys and one girl, ages 9, 7 and 4. Her children were most important to her, but she also devoted her life to helping others.

As the oldest of five children, she spent much of her time helping to raise her younger siblings while their mother worked while growing up in Demopolis. . “Michelle was a mother figure to us a lot of times,” Neketa Shepherd said. “We all looked up to her. If anything was to go wrong, we looked to Michelle to make it right.”

Michelle Shepherd went to a party to watch a football game and left dead.

I’m really at a loss for words over this.  Inexplicable.  Stupid.  A waste.  There really aren’t words to describe the insanity of this act.

Alabama fans, it’s time for us all to get a reality check.

We need to realize we are among the most blessed of all sporting fans.  The New York Yankees.  The Green Bay Packers.  Kentucky Wildcat basketball.  Alabama football.

We are among the elite winners of the sporting world.  We have tradition.  We’ve had the best coaches.  We’ve won a ton of championships.  Our place in the sporting world history is secure.

So now, we need to chill out and remember it’s just a game.

Win or lose, it’s not worth destroying someone’s property.  It’s not.

Win or lose, it’s not worth sexually assaulting a drunk, who for all you know is already dead.  It’s not.

And for sure, it’s not worth, shooting a stranger.  It’s not.

Is Alabama football totally to blame for the murder of Michelle Shepherd?  Absolutely not.  No, there’s another part of our sin-sick culture that thinks whipping out pistols at parties is the way to roll.  That part of our culture bred the murder of Shepherd.

But most of us, myself included, are guilty of losing our perspective about a football game.

Let’s get a life, folks.


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