Dinkytown Diary: The ‘blame game’

As surprising as the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team’s defensive “no-show” was at Saturday night’s NCAA championship game, anyone could see the Dinkytown arrests and damage coming from a mile away. And the post-“riot” quarterbacking has been even more predictable.

And this is in a city that lost a championship game.

Like the Minnesota sports in general, it’s a no-win world.

The police are going to be criticized for overreacting and inviting an escalation. They’d be criticized if they were slow to respond to violence. But it’s also in the DNA of college students to push back against authority.

University of Minnesota president Eric Kaler talked tough before the game, but the university overall has done little in its history to curb Dinkytown rioting. There’s precious little in the history of Dinkytown rioting to dissuade students from celebrating losing by throwing a street sign through someone’s car.

And the news media is getting its share of blame. There’s nothing slower than a Saturday night and the possibility of rioting is too good to pass up. And, realistically, they couldn’t. But nothing makes people go all stupid like a TV camera.

And nothing is more journalistically responsible than asking drunken fools what they saw, right?

The people who weren’t doing anything wrong? They always pay the price.

“Technically, everyone here could be arrested,” Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau told the Star Tribune.

“I’m exercising my rights. I can stand here and watch this,” Tommy Dahl, one of those on the street, responded.

And so, here we are, with the blame game, a sport we’re actually pretty darned good at around here.

Related: University vows to hold students accountable.