The death toll from the pitched, bloody riot over whether or not Minnesota Twins fans should boo Derek Jeter in this, his final year of baseball, continued to rise on Thursday as Governor Dayton called in the National Guard to assist in the clean-up.
27 people have perished and over 200 have been injured in the wake of the most violent sports-related riot since whenever the last time the Gophers hockey team did something worthwhile. "In other words, it's been ages since we've seen something like this," said Minneapolis Police spokesperson Scott Seroka. "You'd think with the abundant talent they have, that hockey team would have done something, anything, to drive their fans into a gleeful, violent, Corolla-tipping frenzy. But no."
The violence began shortly after Jeter announced that 2014 would be his last year of professional baseball. Some Twins fans, who have lustily booed the Yankees shortstop whenever he's taken the field, be it at Target Field or the Metrodome, apparently ran into a group of other fans and observers who know better how to treat Jeter and other visiting athletes at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar in St. Louis Park.
"Once that news came up on the ticker, it was like a match to a flame," said bartender Kathryn Schultz, 23, who witnessed the conflict's genesis from the safety of a pulltab booth. "Some guys started yelling, 'You suck' and 'Jeter's a pussy,' and then another table of guys are like, 'Jeter is a class act' and 'No, you suck!' After that, it was just a blur of knives and fists."
"I knew this would happen, I just knew it," said Chris Sorum, 33. The Bloomington native, who described himself as "passionately anti-Jeter," said the rage had been building in him and other like-minded fans for years.
"Listen, me and my buddies sit on StubHub for hours, waiting until those skyline view Yankees tickets get down to ten bucks or so. Once they do, boom. I spend my money, I take a cash advance outta my Visa to get some brews, and I'm gonna let Jeter know exactly what I think. I think he sucks."
When it was pointed out to Sorum that he was likely too far away for Jeter to hear, he responded that his voice really carries after he's had a few.
"You think he hears how much he sucks from the East Coast media? Hell no. And some local turds are gonna tell me I can't do that? Did they give me ten bucks to pay for that ticket? No, my girlfriend did. You don't like it, you're gonna get your head kicked in. And that's what happened."
Stephen Craft, 37, a Minnetonka realtor and self-proclaimed "superfan" of the Yankees, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Cowboys, agreed that it was only a matter of time before the Jeter situation escalated.
"What Twins fans don't understand about the Captain (Jeter) is that American sport has rarely seen an athlete of such uncommon grace and classiness. He transcends mere sports, frankly. Then these cattle have the temerity, the gall, to boo The Captain (Jeter) or call The Captain (Jeter) bathroom names? It's unconscionable, and it's my job, nay, my obligation to tell paying customers how they are supposed to act when The Captain (Jeter) steps into the box. And rather than accept this self-evident truth from their betters, these rubes take offense for some reason. It's sad."
The riot, which was marked by vicious name-calling, hard opinions and wanton murder, spread from the popular West End bar into downtown Minneapolis and as far as St. Paul's Midway area before dying down as a cold front moved in and sent the participants indoors.