Colin Dunlap: Texas Tech Fan The Worst Kind Of Fan
Jeff Orr is a loser, no way around it.
He’s fake-tough, too.
And he’s now been exposed as both.
Good, I say.
Orr is the jerk — to put it mildly — who made an ignoramus of himself this past weekend when his beloved Texas Tech basketball team played host to Oklahoma State.
You know him by now. Orr was the buffoon on the receiving end of a shove from Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart during a game on Saturday, when the play carried Smart into the crowd and the two briefly met. Orr admits to calling Smart a “piece of crap” which incited Smart to shove the man who seemingly gets off on taunting, provoking and otherwise hassling players from opposing schools from his perch under the basket.
Orr, a grown man, denied using a racial slur toward Smart, who had told his coaches that the man, indeed, had called him such a term.
And that’s the crux of all of this —- Jeff Orr is a man.
A grown man.
Not some college kid sitting in a student section half-bent on Natural Light that he downed in a kegstand at the fraternity house before making his way into the arena. Jeff Orr wasn’t just being a college kid in a land where college kids make shortsighted decisions all the time.
No, Orr is a 1983 graduate of Texas Tech, which puts him in the neighborhood of about 50.
Yes, a 50-year-old man teasing, irritating, vexing and annoying college basketball players — and probably feeling it’s his right to do it — all because he roots for a team and paid the price of admission at a venue.
What. A. Zero.
Apparently this Jeff Orr is as passionate of a fan as Texas Tech has ever had. He’s an air traffic controller who travels far and wide to go to Tech basketball and football games. To me, that makes him a well-traveled and dedicated zero.
No more, no less.
Indeed, Jeff Orr isn’t the only Jeff Orr-type around the country. Loudmouths persist in many venues; guys who like to shout and belittle from the safety in the crowd, knowing there is a microscopic chance they will ever have to come face-to-face with the people they are disparaging.
And he was exposed for a guy who wanted to talk all the talk, but never so much would dream of walking the walk.
He had his chance to be tough and he came off looking like a frightened coward.
Now his face has been splashed all over television sets far and wide and he’s been uncovered for the fraud that he truly is — a guy who wants to shout from the porch but wouldn’t dare venture out onto the street.
For his part, Smart received a three-game suspension and, to be fair, it was just. Smart understands — as do the people at Oklahoma State — that his actions, too, were wrong.
Here’s the thing, however: Smart’s actions don’t bother me nearly as much as Orr’s. Not even close.
Certainly two wrongs, as they say, don’t make a right, but the action committed by Orr — to me, at least — is far more grievous than the reaction from Smart.
Should Smart have put his hands on the guy? Probably not.
Does Smart have to deal with the consequences of those actions? Most certainly.
But let’s get back to the root of all of this: In a controlled environment, with cameras following and recording every move, a guy like Orr can yell and bellow all he wants, knowing that the man truly in the arena, Smart in this case, has much more to lose by doing something rash. But a never-was like Orr – some out-of-shape, middle-aged chump who gets off yelling at college kids – would never in a million years say the exact same thing to Smart in a different environment.
Not in the street.
Not outside of the gym.
Definitely not in a back alley somewhere.
Know why? Because guys like Jeff Orr would get their backside kicked in those situations — and we wouldn’t calling the Big 12 commissioner, but an ambulance.
For his part, Marcus Smart also seemed contrite in an apology he issued; appeared to speak from the heart and understand he was wrong for shoving Orr.
It was something he had to do; it was damage control and a way to make a situation where there are no winners one in which he looks better than the bigger loser.
But, you know what, in a sordid and weird way, I’m kind of glad this incident happened.
Maybe it will stop the next blowhard, bigmouth who would run away from a fight before he decides he thinks he’s tough at a sporting event.
Part of me would really like to have seen Jeff Orr get his clock cleaned by Marcus Smart on Saturday.
But maybe Smart at least scared him — and others – enough to shut those kinds of “fans” up.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weeknights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out his bio here.