A cure for Huntington Beach’s nasty surf party hangover

A bicycle shop was broken into during a disturbance Sunday in Huntington Beach.
A bicycle shop was broken into during a disturbance Sunday in Huntington Beach.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
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Turns out the surf wasn’t the only thing up in Huntington Beach on Sunday.

First, the city hosted the U.S. Open of Surfing. Then, it hosted the U.S. Open of Rioting. And on Monday morning, it was hosting the U.S. Open of Cleaning Up.

Gee, Gidget, bet you didn’t see this coming! Mix hundreds of young people, alcohol, an all-day event and what do you get? Tequila Uprising.

Sadly, though, this type of incident is all too common in today’s sporting world. Rioting is now as much a part of championship celebrations as the parade. And who hasn’t been more than a little nervous attending a game in recent years, be it baseball (see: Stow, Bryan, and Dodger Stadium), football (go ahead, pick a Raiders game, any game) or soccer (showing that violence is a multinational problem).


The only sport that seems immune is golf, but then again, that’s only true if you’ve never been to the 16th hole at the annual PGA tour event in Phoenix.

And what’s the common denominator? All together now: Booze! That’s right: Teams, and fans, have sold their souls to the devil, and he goes by the name of Bud Light.

Still, we tried a little something once to combat this problem -- you might have heard of it: Prohibition. Didn’t really work out. So now we’re stuck: A few drunken knuckleheads -- and there are always a few -- ruin many a sporting event for the the rest of us.

Maybe, though, just maybe, it’s time to put some stricter limits on the whole booze-at-the-ballgame mentality. I’m not suggesting folks can’t have a beer at the game, but don’t tell me there isn’t a high-tech solution to the inebriation problem. You know, maybe a Breathe into the Phone to Prove You’re Sober app to screen out the booze hounds.

In Huntington Beach on Sunday, of course, the event was fine; it was the after-party that got out of hand. But the effect is the same: How eager will the city be to host another surfing championship, knowing that the price may be millions in damages to businesses?

Still, who knows, maybe Hollywood can make hay with this story.

Is there an up-and-coming Annette out there itching to star in “Beach Blanket Burning”?



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