Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord
They were subdued in North Carolina, pepper-sprayed in Washington and arrested in Georgia.
In case this nugget of news slipped under your radar over the Christmas weekend, I'm talking about shoppers—throngs of unhinged shoppers who were whipped into a frenzy on Friday over the release of the new Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord sneaks.
Closer to home, police in Elmhurst said a man was robbed of his Jordans at gunpoint Saturday after posting an ad on Craigslist to trade his shoes, triblocal.com reported.
After reading these stories, my question is: Are you serious?!
Maybe I'm just getting more mature, or spending my money more wisely—or both—but I'm not understanding this.
When I was younger, it definitely said a lot if you were the freshest kid on the block laced with the new Jordans. A lot of that had to do, though, with the fact that His Airness still was playing and you could see these shoes soaring past the faces of embarrassed would-be defenders as MJ skied for poster-worthy dunks.
But No. 23 retired almost a decade ago, so excuse me if some of the thrill is gone. Don't get me wrong: I agree with those who say the 11s are the best Jordans ever made; I'm just not into fistfights to secure my footwear.
Letting the situation get the best of you is never a good look, but throwing punches over shoes that—if you're a young dude—won't even fit this time next year is an even worse look.
Is it really worth hurting someone or even worse over a pair of kicks? I don't think so. Remember the Tickle Me Elmo craze that had shoppers doing their best mixed martial arts moves on each other to get their hands on one? Are any of the kids who received those toys—now teens or adults—still tickling that little furry red dude?
I don't know if the shoe's release turned violent because of a lack of supply, a lack of preparedness by the stores or just a lack of common sense from everyone involved, but we all know incidents like these can be avoided.
Something as simple as an online lottery to determine who gets first dibs on the new Mikes or even standing in a "virtual" line, as is customary for hot concert tickets, could have saved a lot of people time, money and a few minutes of pain as they washed the pepper spray from their eyes. The shoes undoubtedly still would sell out, and there would be no risk to personal safety.
Ultimately, it all comes back to the shoppers. How good can you feel about yourself knowing that to get your pair you had to drop a series of elbows and perform several body slams WWE-style?
We've got to do better. As consumers, we have a responsibility to not lose our humanity in the name of a good deal or rare find. MJ was known for taking flight—not picking fights—on the court, so perhaps we can learn something from this incident. You know, be like Mike.
ANTHONY ROBERTS IS A REDEYE SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR.