Do you think any goofball fan will ever run on to the field in Philadelphia again?
The photos and video of the kid getting himself Tasered out in short left field Monday night during the Phillies’ game with the Cardinals are all around the Internet now.
The 17-year-old knucklehead went down like a bag of groceries falling off the counter when he got zapped.
There’s all kinds of hand-wringing now about “excessive use of force’’ and so on, but there’s zero sympathy here for the kid. You sometimes need to learn the hard way and he presumably has learned his lesson. Anybody who sees the video might be persuaded that staying in the stands makes more sense. Less painful, too.
There’s a rich history of fannus interruptus in pro sports games and the culprits, usually but not always drunk, usually end up with a good beating at some point. They say they would get rubber hoses across the ribs in old Yankee Stadium, under the stands.
There was a famous NFL case in 1971 concerning a Baltimore Colts linebacker named Mike Curtis, whose nickname was Mad Dog. Curtis was a great linebacker who should be in the Hall of Fame, but had a nutty side. On day in old Memorial Stadium a drunk ran on to the field, picked up the football and started to run. Curtis coiled and absolutely levelled him. He said he, as a taxpaying citizen of Baltimore, was merely helping enforce city ordinances.
There are milder responses to invading fans, of course. One time David Beckham kicked the soccer ball at a streaker who came calling. Another time two war protesters ran on to the field at Dodgers Stadium and tried to light a U.S. flag on fire. Rick Monday, playing centre field for the Cubs, ran over and scooped up the flag while they fumbled with the matches, thus earning himself a lifetime of ovations – and a trade to the Dodgers that off-season. (Ask Expo fans how that all turned out.)
One fan-on-field case merits special interest. It involved the Brooklyn Dodgers and a very much despised umpire named George Magerkurth, whose run-ins with Dodgers manager Leo Durocher were legendary. So hated was Magerkurth in Brooklyn that when the Dodgers won the 1941 pennant and held a victory parade, one of the “floats’’ was a coffin supplied by a local funeral home with a sign on it that simply said “Magerkurth.”
Late in that ’41 season, a call by Magerkurth went against the Dodgers and a crazed fan named Frank Gernano leapt from the stands, blindsided the ump, knocked him down and proceeded to sit on him and punch the hell out of him. The fans went crazy, of course.
It turned out Gernano was working for a pickpocket ring to create a diversion and while he wailed away at the hated ump, his confederates were lifting wallets all around the ballpark.
Seeing who the victim was, the Brooklyn cops probably wouldn’t have Tasered him, even if they’d known what one was.