A fight among football fans at the Sugar Bowl, posted on Youtube, became a hit. It featured a zestfully furious Alabama fan eluding her husband’s grasp and leaping upon some fans of the team she was not rooting for (Oklahoma). When she was restrained, she kicked fiercely, making contact with at least one face.
After a few million people had viewed the video, Alabama’s Yellowhammer ran an interview with Michelle Pritchett, a freelance photographer from Sweet Water, Alabama, who said that was her, yay, sorry, don’t you ever cross me.
(The Yellowhammer aka Northern Flicker, Yellow-shafted subspecies (Colaptes auratus aruatus), is the Alabama state bird, not the Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella), a Eurasian finch said to have inspired the first notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.)
The video shows Pritchett clawing her way to a young Oklahoma fan, and cupping her hand showily under his chin (as if saying WHAT A SHAME IF I HAD TO MARK UP THIS PRETTY FACE). She’s pulled away by her husband. She calls smugly over his shoulder as he wrangles her back towards their seats – and then, as he lets her go and looks away, she turns, darts behind him, and flings herself over the backs of some unsuspecting guys in a clumsy crowd-surfing pounce.
She’s still going after her original target as people pick her up and hold her arms. That gives her leverage and she kicks him repeatedly, and kicks others while she’s at it. Near the end she’s been passed back to the aisle. She chats with her agitated husband and some security guards, and points back at her victim with a dainty arched hand.
In the Yellowhammer interview, Pritchett explains. “Everyone’s making me look like such a bad guy. What I did was probably not the thing to do. But they were taunting us. They began by going after me. But then they crossed the line and started taunting my 16-year-old son.”
She says she went over to the Sooners fans to ask them to “leave her son out of it.” I guess that’s the chin-cupping moment.
She says they were telling her son to come down “’and do something about it.’ I said ‘no, that’s not going to happen. This crap needs to stop.’” When her husband was pulling her away, one of the Oklahoma fans called her a stupid bitch, so she went back.
Oh, who to blame? None of this would have happened, Pritchett says, if the security guards had ejected the Oklahoma fans earlier for throwing bottles. She says it had nothing to do with the fact that Alabama lost the game.
Here’s her apology:
I’m embarrassed. I love The Tide and I apologize to all the players and to Coach Saban and to the entire fan base. I’m sorry. Coach Saban’s going to say ‘those crazy fans don’t know how to act.’ And I wasn’t intoxicated either. I want people to know that. I’d had a couple of drinks, but I was not intoxicated.
Pritchett added, “I hate to say it, but I’d do it again if I had to. I’m not going to let anyone go after my son.”
A couple of drinks? This is even less honest than Reese Witherspoon’s “one drink too many” when she got feisty with a Georgia state trooper.
Terrible apology. Doesn’t take responsibility. Blames others. Unremorseful. Her only regret is that people will think poorly of Alabama fans. Coach Saban will have heard! Coach! I wasn’t crazy or drunk, Coach! Coach! COACH! COACHIE! I’M SHOBER, COACH! PUT ME IN, COACH!
She looks intoxicated. But what if that’s how she acts sober? What if it’s just the joy of battle that makes her act that way? Then she needs to join an entirely different kind of 12-step group.
I say she was intoxicated. She pulls herself along the railings in a drnky kind of way. Her elaborate gestures are the grandiloquent moves of a drunk. As one Yellowhammer commenter said: “I been around a lot of drunk chicks in my life. The silly hand maneuvers gives it away for me, more than the stumbling…”
Michael Connolly, the guy she attacked, says the two groups were taunting each other, and Pritchett’s son started the come-over-here-if-you-wanna-fight business. He also tweeted that Pritchett had contacted him with “a sincere apology.”
That’s good, because the one she went public with? That’s not it.
Sigh. Human beings. What are gonna do?
On a more elevating note, here’s an inspirational Yellowhammer video (not intoxicated, just likes to get on a high place and sing repetitively):