1. The inner dialogue must have been crazy.
As a fan, you expect to have a good time cheering for your favorite team while the players and coaches do their jobs.
So when an angry fan insults the opposing team’s coach and the coach turns around to say a few words of his own, things can get a little out of hand.
Between the fans going crazy, Pitino heading toward the heckler, the heckler realizing things were about to get real and the Louisville assistants frantically holding back their boss from getting in a fist fight, the thoughts running through everyone’s minds at the time must have been incredible.
The fans loved it ... and hated it. The heckler might have been shook.
I can’t even fathom just how furious Pitino was, because it takes a lot to make a grown man react in such a brash manner. I imagine he was on some Robert-De-Niro-talking-to-himself-shit, thinking, “Huh? Insult me? You don’t Piti-know what you’ve gotten yourself into, punk!”
And those poor, innocent assistants. They just wanted to help coach a solid game plan against a dominant UNC squad, not hold back their boss from fighting some random fan. They were probably thinking “Oh Piti-NO!” or something...
OK, that’s enough bad puns for now.
2. The cause of the altercation was silly.
A simple, childish insult from one adult evidently was too much for Pitino to handle.
The insult? “You suck.”
Usually, a fair childhood punishment for saying such a no-no (more like a Piti-no-no, ha) word would be getting one’s mouth washed out with soap.
But regardless of his reaction, the treatment of this insult was comical.
A Washington Post piece reviewing the incident treated “you suck” as some sort of disparaging curse word, instead opting to type “you s—.”
During live coverage on ESPN, one sideline report also opted to censor the phrase by spelling out S-U-C-K instead. Following the game, a member of SportsCenter said that the insult rhymed with “you duck,” which could imply that a legitimately bad word was said.
3. It could have been worse. Much, much worse.
Following the game, head coach Roy Williams apologized for the poor behavior from the fan. Pitino also seems to have put the incident behind him, stating, “North Carolina is a classy place, and one person doesn’t speak for the rest of the people.”