CHICAGO (BP)–ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg of “Mike & Mike in the Morning” said it was “kind of fun” to attend an NCAA tournament game where beer was not sold.
Greenberg, on the March 19 show, said the absence of beer made a difference in the crowd’s behavior.
“I took my 6-year-old daughter and my 8-year-old nephew to the tournament games on Friday night at United Center in Chicago,” Greenberg recounted to co-host Mike Golic and a national audience. “We saw Kansas play Niagara, a 16 [seed] versus a 1.”
Greenberg also took along a former ESPN producer, who volunteered to make a trip to the concession stand at the beginning of the game to buy popcorn for the children and beer for him and Greenberg.
“We were sitting right behind the Kansas student section, and the Niagara student section is not far away,” Greenberg said, “and there are a lot of obviously hardcore fans around us, people wearing the colors of their schools — mostly Kansas, as you would imagine.
“And I got a little nervous because I mostly go to football games, and I’ve got a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old with me, and I’m thinking, ‘Boy, you know, I hope this thing doesn’t get — I don’t know how I’m going to handle this if it really gets uncomfortable.’”
When the friend returned and reported that no beer was being sold because it was a college game, Greenberg said he noticed something.
“Now, I don’t know that there is a direct correlation between these two things, but there was no beer sold at this game, and let me tell you there was nothing around us that made me even remotely uncomfortable,” Greenberg said.
“The fans were going back and forth with each other in a perfectly friendly, jovial, nice way. Everyone around us was into the game and cheering and yelling, but there was no profanity, there was nothing uncomfortable, there was no hint of anything that might turn into a fight or anyone using any language or anything that you’d be uncomfortable around a 6- and an 8-year-old,” he said.
“Now I can’t sit here and tell you that it was exclusively because there was no alcohol being sold at this game, but I don’t think you would have to be Einstein to put those together,” Greenberg added.
The next time someone thinks fans’ behavior has nothing to do with the fact that they’re drunk, Greenberg said, they should reconsider.
“I’ve sometimes said that, you know, ‘It’s the people, not so much the drunk.’ Maybe it’s the drunk,” Greenberg said. “At least that day the not-so-drunk was kind of fun.”