Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fans Behaving Badly

One of my co-bloggers at Catholic Dads posted a story today that appears in the current version of The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the diocese I grew up in, the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis:

Last weekend, my 10-year-old son and I attended the Vikings-Packers game. He’s an avid sports fan and had never been to a professional football game. So I bought two tickets to this classic rivalry, thinking it would leave a lasting memory with my son. It did — but not because the Vikings won the game.

Here’s what my son said to me in the closing seconds of the third quarter: “I think maybe we should wait until I’m older to come to another game. I’ve never heard so much swearing in one building in my life.”

I agree.

From the opening kickoff to the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, a few fans around us — about six or seven — frequently directed obscenities at players, at the game’s officials and, even more frequently, at other fans sitting around them...

Alcohol at root of problem

I understand that emotions can be high when historic rivals meet. But these actions were inexcusable. In almost every case, the boorish behavior was the result of excessive alcohol consumption.

Read the rest here.

Reading this reminded me of what is possibly the most famous instance of boorish fan behavior in the history of American sports—which, incidentally, also occurred at a Vikings home game (albeit at the old Met Stadium, not the apology for a stadium that is the Metrodome)—to wit, the 1975 divisional playoff game when a fan threw a whiskey bottle and hit referee Armen Terzian in the head, rendering him unconscious. (Minutes earlier, Terzian didn't call pass interference on Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson—although Vikings fans thought he should have—and his touchdown catch put Dallas ahead for good.)

Ironically, the pass, thrown by Roger Staubach, was the original "Hail Mary".

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