In the bottom of the sixth inning of last night’s Brewers-Yankees game at Miller Park, some jabroni fan ran on to the field and tried to hug Derek Jeter. Jeter demurred, and the fan was promptly tackled and escorted away by security. I think we can all agree that watching some idiot get decked at a sporting event is the height of entertainment. Unfortunately, those of you who weren’t at the game won’t be able to find TV quality footage of the incident.
Sports broadcasters have had a long standing policy of cutting away when fans run on to the field. The thinking is that if you give attention-seekers attention, you will encourage more of that kind of behavior. I disagree. I think the time has come to acknowledge that not only does TV publicity have a negligible impact on someone’s poor decision-making, it might actually have the opposite effect – showing some putz fan getting his ass beat could be an effective deterrent.
Clearly, the kinds of people who participate in this nonsense are looking for attention. Showing them on TV gives them more attention than they otherwise would have. But in our crazy modern world with the internet, social media, and smartphone cameras, the fact is these yahoos are going to get attention. The AP story of yesterday’s incident was linked by the Drudge Report. MLB.com wrote about it. NJ.com wrote about it and posted a photo gallery. The New York Post wrote about it. The New York Daily News wrote about it. That’s not even counting the tweets and posts on social media.
I’m not sure TV would have given him significantly more exposure than he got. Furthermore, it deprived the audience at home of seeing what the Daily News described as “two security guards…taking him out with a ferocity that would have made Lawrence Taylor proud.” C’mon, Fox Sports Wisconsin, give us what we want – we want to see the dude hit the ground.
How certain can we be that televising these jackasses will lead to an increase in jackasses? Who would watch some twit get manhandled on TV and think, “I gotta try that!” The official attendance for last night’s game was 40,123. No one else in the stadium ran on to the field after that guy. No one saw him take a dive and thought it seemed like a good idea. Why do we assume if they saw it on TV they would think it was a good idea? We are giving TV too much credit.
If anything, TV very well might discourage bad behavior by showing these clowns getting smeared by security – especially if slow motion replays are used. Here’s how an MMA looks on Fox Phantom Cam.
You show footage like that of a wannbe Jeter-hugger being faceplanted by security, it will make nitwits think twice. There have always been a handful of fan-trespassing incidents over the years, and I suspect they’ll disappear altogether when morons fully appreciated the Phantom Cam consequences. Add to that the tremendous entertainment value, and it’s practically a no-brainer. Sports TV broadcasters must consign their obsolete rules to the dustbin of history.
(Image: Jeffrey Phelps/AP)