As you could imagine, we see all kinds of stories coming into the newsroom on a given day.
We try to find something positive in the community and feature it on the front page when we can. We see all the negativity and fighting between our politicians inside the Beltway, too. And we see more than our share of tragic news that happens here and around the world.
Then there are some stories that I call head-scratchers.
Most of the time, these stories leave me in disbelief and take place elsewhere.
Maybe these stories stand out to me because of the “man bites dog” nature and the stupidity of it. The commonality, to me, on these head-scratching stories is the lack of decorum and quick tempers that erupt into violence.
And it's appalling to see that these fits of anger — and more — take place where people go to be entertained.
It's found at Major League Baseball games.
At the start of the season, a man's skull was fractured when he was punched and knocked down while leaving a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks on March 29.
It all stemmed from a verbal dispute after the game.
Have we sunken so far as a society that fans are left in hospital beds because they cheer for a different team?
The scale and scope of these stories have changed over time. Before, it was just yelling and screaming at the umpires, or parents screaming at the coaches for more playing time for their kids.
But the anger has festered and turned into rage.
A baseball game this June between 7-year-olds in Colorado turned into a full-scale rumble between parents. The brawl led to injuries and a host of citations from police.
What started the brawl, according to the Denver Post, was a call from a 13-year-old umpire. That was shocking news to me. I used to umpire around the same age to make a few bucks during the summer. I never dreamed a call would lead to a "brawlgame."
I used to think maybe that all of that was isolated to sports. I rationalized it away that parents either were living vicariously through their kids or had dreams of their kids growing up to become the next LeBron James.
Then I stumbled upon this: One year ago during a battle of the bands competition, a scuffle broke out between Virginia State and Norfolk State band members.
And I came across that after I read a story about the University of Florida band director getting knocked to the ground by a University of Miami fan after the teams met in a college football game on Aug. 24.
Pretty sickening stuff, if you ask me.
It's appalling to see events where people go to be entertained and escape from the ugly news of the world generate — or is it degenerate? — into that same news we're trying to get a break from.
Going to sporting events and other things are meant to provide entertainment and a way to forget about all that might be wrong with the world. Instead, I can't help but see where that anger and venom has infected the things that should be immune from such problems.
Luckily, we haven't encountered something to that level here.
However, I was disturbed to read about the events at the 4-H swine show during the fair and hope that isn't a sign of things to come.
There weren't punches thrown (thankfully), but there were words — and unfortunately that's how it starts.
In case you missed it, there was a judging uproar at the swine show, resulting in security having to be called.
"Security at a show — that is just appalling," said Crawford County Fair Board member Kathy Klink during the fair.
Yeah, that's a good word for it.
Several 4-H parents were upset about how a judge handled the show and some parents apparently had tried to interfere with the judge, resulting in the need for security to be called.
That's head-scratching stuff right there. Security at our 4-H show over judging?
During a 45-minute meeting a day or two after the judging mess, the conversation degenerated into a shouting match between some of the 4-H families.
And, according to then-Fair Board President Bill Winters, this is the second year in a row there was a problem in the swine department.
Does anyone see a path that we're on? Can't we just sit back and enjoy some of these events for what they are?
Do we really need to escalate everything into an argument?
We all need a break from this. Let's hope this stops everywhere.
Rick Green can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @RGreenMeadville.