Crowd-surfing is rarely a good idea. Sure, you might be the raddest dude at the Nickelback concernt -- I can see everyone's heads from up here! Rawk! -- but when you leave yourself at the mercy of the strangers below you, something bad is going to happen. It might not happen the first time. But if you tempt fate long enough, it will happen.
Such is the unfortunate case of North Carolina student Andrew Madlon. Madlon was crowdsurfing on Franklin Streeet in Chapel Hill, N.C. after UNC's Final Four semifinal win over Villanova. He was riding the crowd, enjoying the waves, and 10 seconds later, bam: the crowd gave out, his new best friends dropped him, and Madlon landed smack dab in the middle of a bonfire. He was burned. Badly:
Madlon’s right forearm landed on the hot coals. “I actually didn't think it was that bad at first,” he said. He had second-degree burns. Dirt from the coals lodged in his skin, leading to an infection that required surgery and a type of biological Band-Aid made from pig skin. Cairns said Madlon’s reaction is a common one. “They say, ‘Well I didn't know it could be so bad … it didn't hurt so much in the beginning.’”
It actually sounds like Madlon was lucky -- second-degree burns are bad, but when you land face-first in a bonfire, third-degree stuff can't be too far behind. Lucky chap, that Andrew. Then again, he is getting pig skin all over his arm, so luck is especially relative here.
The lesson, as always: Don't celebrate semifinal wins at North Carolina. What are you, Davidson? Act like you've been there before, people.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.