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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Let's put unruly fans in their place - jail

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Maybe it's just a sign of our times but sports fans have become a bit too brazen in some instances. Two incidents in the past two years have seen fans run onto the field and assault baseball officials, for example. These dumb acts of insane, alcohol-fueled stupidity have been played and replayed thousands of times across the television screens. And now, at least in the city of Chicago, they are beginning to put some bite into the field-charging fans.

The Chicago City Council last week approved an ordinance that would fine fans who enter the playing field and could even mean a jail sentence for the unruly fanatics. A coach was attacked by two fans last year and an umpire was assaulted this year by the antics of some drunken idiots. We applaud the move in Chicago but think it should have gone a step or two further.

Fans who cross that line in a sporting event should face much more than a simple fine. Jail sentences should be mandatory and perhaps the punishment should keep on going. As a sports fan, I am insulted and repulsed by the few who put a damper on the activities of others. The threat of a $1,000 fine will not deter these acts of stupidity. Not by a mile. You combine alcohol and the excitement of a game, mix in an ample dose of dumbness and you have the recipe for a disaster.

A rule should exist in all sports arenas. If a fan for any reason other than the obligatory rush onto the field when a college football upset is posted, that fan should pay a hefty penalty. And the penalty should be a temporary removal from society. Promise to send their fannies to jail regardless of their motive and you'll see less fans being tempted to commit acts of stupidity.

A few fans will someday force sporting events to erect barriers between the fans and the players. That is unfortunate on many levels. If kids witness these asinine antics and then see that the punishment is just measured in dollars and cents, they will have a slanted view of the actions and the results. Let's make it clear that some things are prohibited in the area of sports. And then let's stick to our guns.

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