Sports fans are the lifeline and backbone behind any professional sports franchise, no matter how good or bad the team is. Without the fans financial funding and overall support, a professional franchise cannot operate on a day-to-day basis. Fans are more essential to a pro team than any owner, general manager or player could ever be. With all of that being said, it is truly unfortunate and disheartening to witness the devolution in the behavior of sports fans over the past few years.
Granted, there have always been situations where fans have displayed reprehensible behavior while attending games, but events such as those would only occur occasionally. However, now it seems as quite too commonplace that there is some type of offensive fan behavior taking place across the world of sports.
Take a look at what happened during the National League Wild Card Game between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals last week. The game had to be delayed 18 minutes due to the fans throwing bottles and cans on the field, following an infield fly rule that was called by left field umpire Sam Holbrook. The call may have been made inaccurately, but that – in no way, shape, or form – excuses the crowd in excess of 52,000 behaving in the manner in which they did.
Or what about the situation which took place at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, when Kansas City Chiefs fans cheered when their quarterback Matt Cassel suffered a concussion during the Chiefs 9-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens? There is no denying that Cassel hasn’t lived up to expectations over the duration of his time in Kansas City, but the fact that fans cheered while he laid motionless on his back is 100% inexcusable and distasteful.
We all know about the sad tale of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow being savagely beaten following a Los Angeles Dodgers/Giants game which took place in March of 2011. Stow is just now regaining many of his basic bodily functions, following several months of extensive rehab and recovery. That situation is one of the saddest that has ever taken place involving senseless fan behavior, and hopefully there will never be a duplicate of it.
Since the dawn of pro sports there had always been altercations between fans of opposing teams prior to, during and following games but those altercations rarely escalated past good old fashion trash talking and jeering one another. Now all-out brawls take place before, during and after games between fans, and it is leaving much more than a black eye on the combatants involved in the altercations – they are also staining the fabric of sports as a whole.
Something needs to be done about altercations such as these, and it shouldn’t just be left up to management of the teams and law enforcement agencies across the country. The fans should not only hold each other accountable , but also themselves as well, for not allowing situations such as these to occur. If these instances fail to cease sooner rather than later, attending live sports as we have grown to love them so much will completely be altered which could then in turn shift and change the entire world of American professional sports.
Stay Classy American Sports Fans!