As if the issue hadn’t already been exhausted to a ridiculous extent on the national level, I couldn’t help but bring it up… again. I shouldn’t have to explain the incident any further than just calling it “the brawl.” If you honestly don’t know what I’m talking about, then perhaps you should consider removing yourself from that cave you’re living in.

As an aspiring sportswriter, I have followed this riot pretty religiously. I read every new report, every new column, every new, goddamned angle and what every Monday morning quarterback has had to say about the issue. Assuming that the professionals have already taken care of every perspective on the fray in Detroit, there is still one issue that has gone entirely unnoticed, much to my chagrin.

That’s right my friends, the beer — everyone forgets the damned beer. That fateful beer in that blue cup that landed on the head of Pacers all-star Ron Artest has been shafted by all the national media coverage. After all, that poor beer was the source of the riot. Had that ice-cold cup of malted hops and barley not been filled from a kegerator somewhere in the Palace in Auburn Hills, sportswriters worldwide would be hammering Artest merely for his rap album shenanigans. This writer would like to label that beer-turned-projectile the most expensive beer on the planet.

With Artest suspended for the remainder of the year, he will lose roughly $4,995,000 of his $6,158,000 yearly salary. He’s going to hope the rumble helped out his street cred so he can sell a lot of albums to make up for that lost salary. Jermaine O’Neal will also lose roughly $4,111,000 because of his 25-game suspension. That’s a shitload of money to lose over one beer. Combined, all of the players involved will lose somewhere in the vicinity of $11.7 million due to suspensions. If you think that a $9 Bud Light at a baseball game is pricey, ask Ron Artest about an expensive beer – well, actually, that’s probably not the best idea unless you like taking haymakers to the dome, but that’s your prerogative, not mine.

Well, while we’re on the topic of vended beer, there is absolutely no situation that warrants disposing of your arena brew. That’s just absurd, even though tossing that $9 beer might have made you thousands in lawsuits after receiving a swift punch from Stephen Jackson. Still, old 40 oz. to Freedom still believes that under no circumstances should anyone ever choose to cut their ties with a cold beer. Besides, that beer probably costs more than I will get paid to write this halfway illiterate column anyway.

Another thing that left me dumbfounded is that the stupidity of one Pistons fan disposing his beer onto the court led to another fan doing the same, and so on and so forth. I couldn’t believe my eyes, not so much when Jamal Tinsley brandished a dustpan trying to take on the Detroit faithful, or when O’Neal dished out that vicious slide-punch to a fan on the court, but when I watched how many beers were wasted onto the court — or onto a player. Regardless, wasting booze is wasting booze; that brings a tear to my eye and a stake to my tender heart.

Now, as far as the financial implications go, one can only imagine how much money that poor beer is going to cost all parties involved — in terms of lawsuits, suspensions and, more importantly, the money lost on freshly bought beers. Not only that, but think of the moral anguish that was caused to those poor beers who apparently weren’t good enough to please their consumers.

My final thought is this: Detroit fans should be punished the most harshly. They disrespected the game of basketball. Throwing — and wasting — beer should never be tolerated. Launching beer at a professional basketball player isn’t worth cutting that beer’s life short — well, unless, of course, it’s at the Lakers.

Daily Nexus assistant opinion editor Sean Swaby would throw a beer fastball at Kobe Bryant without much remorse.