Fans out of control or rules?

Published 6:53 pm Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Let me begin this column by being very clear. I do not condone the actions in San Francisco this past week, I do, however, feel that more rules and regulations are not the answer.

The classic knee-jerk reaction to events like the ones at the 49ers-Raiders game or the Ravens-Cheifs matchup is to poor more rules and regulations down our throats.

The shooting that took place outside Candlestick park is inexcusable and the person(s) responsible should be punished to the full extent of the law. But as for the fan-on-fan fights, I have this felling that I will be punished for something I had no part in. It’s like when a sibling spills a drink on the sofa. I’ve had thousands of glasses of sweat tea on it and have never lost a drop. But because thoughtless action of another I will be punished by not being allowed to drink on the sofa.

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Same thing will happen here. Instead of giving these idiots, who can’t handle being around other people, a $500 slap on the wrist and a “don’t come back until next year” these professional organizations will place restrictions on the fan base as a whole. If everyone can’t play nice no one will play period. Yeah, that’ll teach us.

I remember a quote from the movie Men in Black when Tommy Lee Jones’ character says to Will Smith when he is curious why not just let Earth’s population know that aliens live amongst us, “A person is smart, people are dumb.”

People are, sadly, dumb when they get into groups. I don’t know why that’s for someone with an appreciation before their name to figure out but looking at the sporting landscape today I would say it’s true.

So why should we expect law enforcement and sports organizations to trust us to behave ourselves? Two people out of 50,000 can’t get along and the fun is over.

After the fights in San Francisco and Los Angeles this year (A Giants fan was beaten into a coma in the parking lot after a Giants-Dodgers game), both organizations have taken steps to curb fan violence. The Dodgers beefed up security and the 49ers have all but eliminated tailgating. But that’s the problem Two out of 50,000 and no more tailgating … Really? How about the fact that you have 50,000 people in an area the size of a Wal-Mart Supercenter and only enough police officers to help the elderly down the stairs. That might be a starting point for regulation reform don’t you think?

To some extent it has been, however. Again, both teams increased security but with media driven public screaming “That’s not enough! What else?” It brings me to ask “What else what?”

These actions are terrible and I would be furious if it happened to me or someone I was attending a game with but I also know how to half-way behave in public and some, obviously don’t. Why can’t people just be responsible for their actions instead of having their actions dictated by the powers that be?

Things are going to happen when you cram thousands of people in a small area, the teams should be prepared for that. After all, they only do this EVERY YEAR. It is inexcusable for events like these to take place but you cannot hold everyone’s hand the entire game. Make the punishments greater for most monstrous acts such as these instead of creating many small regulations designed to change behavior. Behavior will not change. Idiots are idiots and the 20 or 30 that attend a sporting event are still going to be there. Don’t punish the 49,980 others who know how to act.

Give the fighters ten minutes in a room with an angry gorilla and see how much fight they have left. Heck, sell tickets to watch the punishment after the game. Extra revenue, right?

Seriously though, something obviously has to be done to protect spectators at sporting events and rules and regulations are one of the ways to do so but the point is to “protect” them, not control them.