When my wife came home from doing some last minute Christmas shopping Saturday she talked enthusiastically about what she had been able to buy and for whom.
Then Sherri remarked about seeing four Manatee County Sheriff's Office deputies outside Champs Sports in DeSoto Square Mall.
"I wonder what that was all about?" she said.
I had a good idea.
It was all about the shoes: Nike's new Air Jordan Gamma Blue 11s, retailing for about $170.
Earlier in the week I'd read about the new sneakers going on sale.
I hoped it didn't mean trouble.
I should've known better.
According to the MCSO, about 20 deputies had to disperse a crowd Friday night that had become disorderly.
It was all because of the shoes.
The four deputies my wife saw were probably there to make sure there were no repeats of what had happened the night before.
A crowd between 400 to 500 were waiting to buy the new Air Jordans, but there was a little problem. The store didn't have enough for everyone, so the Champs staff, getting an eyeful of the size of that crowd, decided not to release the sneakers for sale.
That didn't go over well with the potential customers.
“When word of the cancellation filtered to the crowd many individuals
became unruly and began to bang on the Champs’ security gate demanding
entrance into the store,” a sheriff’s news release said.
Ultimately, deputies were able to peacefully disperse the crowd.
That's good because B'town was able to avoid the kind of ugly incidents that broke out at sporting goods stores from Stockton, Calif., to Dallas to the Bronx, according to news reports.
We're not just talking young men, either.
There were women brawling outside a Foot Locker over the Air Jordan Gamma Blue 11s.
How asinine is that?
Fortunately, there were no reports of anyone getting killed, a not uncommon occurence associated with the release of the latest sneakers in past years.
I don't get it.
Paying that kind of mad money for a pair of sneakers is crazy.
Fighting for them?
Dying over them?