A great rivalry lost its way and its meaning Saturday. It plunged from its lofty and respected perch a bloody, mouthy, embarrassing mess. No Crosstown Shootout was ever this ugly, not even close. The ending was bad enough, you give serious wonder to whether the game should continue.
A regal game, a nationally recognized game, Our Game, ended up on its knees. It looked like Kenny Frease. The Xavier center had taken a punch to his left cheek, after he waded into the center of the riot, seemingly trying to make peace. Frease crawled from the pile on all fours, blood pouring from his face. If he were a boxer, the referee would have been in his gaze, counting eight.
Behind him hell continued to break loose, freely.
We can speculate on who started it, on who threw punches, on why any of it happened. It doesn't matter. People in power will watch the video and decide who gets punished. Meantime, the riot already has been replayed on cable several thousand times. And our city is shamed yet again.